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Some ‘educated’ Indians feel smart because they can see ‘grey’

I'm very simple minded and can't see grey. I see only black or white. Either something is true or it is false. It can't be BOTH true and false. Grey as a colour is fine, but being grey in terms of truth is NOT fine. Moral relativism, saying that our problems are of 'poor implementation' even as the fundamental policy issues stare in our face – is NOT fine.

Moral greyness and 'everything goes' ('chalta hai') encompasses most 'educated' Indians who think they are so smart because they can detect 'fine shades' of 'truth'. They are wrong. There is ONLY one truth, whether you like it or not. 

Here's a typical conversation (this one from FB). Note how offended and antsy these 'educated' smart Indians get when you tell them that there is NO shade of grey in real life, that they better decide where they stand in relation to the reality.

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JA Great like ur attitude. Its all about freedom, but we all should know our boundaries. Those who do understand are treated as failures (Winners actually) and those who do not understand but pretend to understand are winners (loosers actually).

I am a very big fan of Narayan Murthy, Bill Gates, Towing Queen, Ratan Tata, Ambanis, Mittal, But only on the Positive side of all. The kind of responsibility they have taken for their country is not many can even think of doing. I would have love to see u in their seat and then would have ask you what you would have done. Easy to speak but its equally 100 times difficult to sit on that hot seat. Thats the Bitter Truth. Try One day of a CEO of any of the organisations, u will come to know the facts urself.

being revolutionary is not a crime, but what u write is for Mass and when u write u have no right to Question anybody, what has been said and done has eight meanings, unfortunately learned like u too moved from the path, what to speak of the others

Sanjeev Sabhlok Jeetendra, Bill Gates doesn't go about commenting on US politics and governance – he is focused on his business/ charity. Murthy KEEPS complaining about India's governance. He should focus only on his business if money is all that matters to him (or on charity if he has charitable intentions) but keep his mouth shut on politics if he doesn't intend to do anything about it. He should also stop taunting Indians that they do nothing but only talk. He is the classic example of ALL talk no action.

JA What are we then same as him we are also talking and doing nothing.Giving jobs to 20,000/- more employees, is it a small thing. multiply by 4 (assuming minimum 4 people in a family) = 80,000/- food shelter is this a small thing Is he sitting idle.???? different ways are there to be revolutionary some are direct and some are indirect. :):):)

Sanjeev Sabhlok I say only this, Jeetendra: either he should do something or stop taunting Indians for empty rhetoric. There are enough supporters of the corrupt system as it is. Why try to pretend he is not? Btw, "giving" jobs is fine. I have no problems with his own business and making money. That's what classical liberalism is all about. But is there anything called citizenship as well? A joint responsibility to the country? Where is that? 99.999% of our businessmen are slaves, not citizens. JRD was a citizen. That's what we need. Anyway, please join FTI if you are not a supporter of the existing situation.

JA i do not disagree to what u r saying but sometimes to say yes we have to say no and vice versa dont u do this at times

Sanjeev Sabhlok I am very simple minded. I don't understand such complexity. Either you are with the corrupt forces or you are against them. Anyway. I'm going to move on. No time to chit chat at all.

JA Alright So you believe in Black and white and no grey factor. All the best

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47 thoughts on “Some ‘educated’ Indians feel smart because they can see ‘grey’
  1. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Unfortunately, every moral system rests on premises which are axioms. Axioms by definition can’t be “proved”. When people try and make a “system” out of morality, they end up making an idiot of themselves and those who listen to them.
    Ayn Rand is one of the best example of a person who refused to see the world in anything but her simple little world of black and white. Her definitions were poor and she used rhetoric to cover up the flaws in her writing. She was an excellent writer and an author. But anyone who studies even the basics of philosophy will be able to out her as a fake philosopher.
    To quote Samuel Butler in his classic “The way of all flesh:” “Extremes are alone logical, and they are always absurd, the mean is alone practicable and it is always illogical”

     
  2. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Unfortunately, every moral system rests on premises which are axioms. Axioms by definition can’t be “proved”. When people try and make a “system” out of morality, they end up making an idiot of themselves and those who listen to them.
    Ayn Rand is one of the best example of a person who refused to see the world in anything but her simple little world of black and white. Her definitions were poor and she used rhetoric to cover up the flaws in her writing. She was an excellent writer and an author. But anyone who studies even the basics of philosophy will be able to out her as a fake philosopher.
    To quote Samuel Butler in his classic “The way of all flesh:” “Extremes are alone logical, and they are always absurd, the mean is alone practicable and it is always illogical”

     
  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Bhagwad

    Let’s not ramble about and discuss Ayn Rand who is irrelevant to the issue I raise.
    Simple things:
    a) Should the state exist? (Y/N)
    b) Should the state do anything beyond things that the private citizens can’t organise themselves? (Y/N)
    c) Should the test of our success in getting a good government be whether there is peace, prosperity and justice? (Y/N)
    d) Should our politicians and bureaucrats be paid a salary commensurate with what they would have earned in the market? (Y/N)
    e) Should our politicians and bureaucrats make money below the table? (Y/N)
    f) Should A, who has not harmed B, be obliged to give him a special concession (reservations)? (Y/N)
    etc.

    The moral system based on just two principles: life and liberty, leads to the NON-VIOLENCE principle, and to justice. You leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. You meet your part of the bargain and I’ll meet mine. Accountability, as I show in DOF, is a PRECISE mathematical equation.

    I’d be deeply confused if you think that everything in the world is right. Both Y and N.

    The idea that things can fall down and fly up at the same time doesn’t make sense. There is always ONLY one true position. Even re: ‘moral’ principles. And our job as educated people is to find that true position.

    When MMS joins Congress, he BETRAYS India since Congress is a party of gangsters (I speak from first hand experience). That is the truth. There can be no two opinions on such things, I’m afraid.

    When NM talks about empty rhetoric but does NOTHING to support an overthrow of bad governance, he JOINS the corrupt, I’m afraid. There can’t be any two views on that, either.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  4. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Bhagwad

    Let’s not ramble about and discuss Ayn Rand who is irrelevant to the issue I raise.
    Simple things:
    a) Should the state exist? (Y/N)
    b) Should the state do anything beyond things that the private citizens can’t organise themselves? (Y/N)
    c) Should the test of our success in getting a good government be whether there is peace, prosperity and justice? (Y/N)
    d) Should our politicians and bureaucrats be paid a salary commensurate with what they would have earned in the market? (Y/N)
    e) Should our politicians and bureaucrats make money below the table? (Y/N)
    f) Should A, who has not harmed B, be obliged to give him a special concession (reservations)? (Y/N)
    etc.

    The moral system based on just two principles: life and liberty, leads to the NON-VIOLENCE principle, and to justice. You leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. You meet your part of the bargain and I’ll meet mine. Accountability, as I show in DOF, is a PRECISE mathematical equation.

    I’d be deeply confused if you think that everything in the world is right. Both Y and N.

    The idea that things can fall down and fly up at the same time doesn’t make sense. There is always ONLY one true position. Even re: ‘moral’ principles. And our job as educated people is to find that true position.

    When MMS joins Congress, he BETRAYS India since Congress is a party of gangsters (I speak from first hand experience). That is the truth. There can be no two opinions on such things, I’m afraid.

    When NM talks about empty rhetoric but does NOTHING to support an overthrow of bad governance, he JOINS the corrupt, I’m afraid. There can’t be any two views on that, either.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  5. Maaran

    Wasn’t JRD one of the architects of the original “Bombay plan” that led us into disastrous Nehruvian central planning. He may have changed his views later on in his life. I don’t know.

     
  6. Maaran

    Wasn’t JRD one of the architects of the original “Bombay plan” that led us into disastrous Nehruvian central planning. He may have changed his views later on in his life. I don’t know.

     
  7. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    You are absolutely right, Maaran. JRD’s hands are all over the disastrous Bombay Plan. Fortunately, it appears that time showed him the folly of his ways, and he definitely supported Swatantra Party, much to the chagrin of Nehru. I recall, in the 1970s and 1980s his speeches and was enormously impressed by the awareness shown of the reforms India needs. I even cut out some of them when I was a student: don’t have them now.

    Will be useful if someone can write an article describing how JRD changed.

    Indeed, NM also admits he was a socialist when he started his career. He has changed. People do change. The difference is that JRD put his money where his mouth is. NM is an idle talker of no consequence for India’s history.

     
  8. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    You are absolutely right, Maaran. JRD’s hands are all over the disastrous Bombay Plan. Fortunately, it appears that time showed him the folly of his ways, and he definitely supported Swatantra Party, much to the chagrin of Nehru. I recall, in the 1970s and 1980s his speeches and was enormously impressed by the awareness shown of the reforms India needs. I even cut out some of them when I was a student: don’t have them now.

    Will be useful if someone can write an article describing how JRD changed.

    Indeed, NM also admits he was a socialist when he started his career. He has changed. People do change. The difference is that JRD put his money where his mouth is. NM is an idle talker of no consequence for India’s history.

     
  9. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Let’s take a look at some of your questions:
    a) It depends. On the number of people for example. If there are just 4 people they can manage their own affairs. Of course, this is an extreme case but my point is that unless you define all the parameters and unless everyone agrees to the definitions, axioms and inference rules, there will necessarily be a moral “grey” area.
    b) Depends on the organizational abilities of the citizens. And at what point does a massive organization of private citizens itself become a quasi-state?
    c) Depends on how you define peace, prosperity and justice
    d) I say yes, but obviously not everyone agrees with me and they give their own reasons for it.
    e) No.
    f) Depends on how you define harm.
    By putting a (Y/N), you’re creating a false dichotomy.
    Now don’t get me wrong. In reality my definitions more or less match yours especially when it comes to harm etc. But these definitions are by no means universal and getting everyone to agree on one definition is the first step before starting to say that every question has a yes/no answer.
    There will always be a moral gray area when people don’t agree on definitions and inferences. It’s like two mathematicians using a different set of rules for the set of natural numbers of example. They will obviously reach different conclusions.

     
  10. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Let’s take a look at some of your questions:
    a) It depends. On the number of people for example. If there are just 4 people they can manage their own affairs. Of course, this is an extreme case but my point is that unless you define all the parameters and unless everyone agrees to the definitions, axioms and inference rules, there will necessarily be a moral “grey” area.
    b) Depends on the organizational abilities of the citizens. And at what point does a massive organization of private citizens itself become a quasi-state?
    c) Depends on how you define peace, prosperity and justice
    d) I say yes, but obviously not everyone agrees with me and they give their own reasons for it.
    e) No.
    f) Depends on how you define harm.
    By putting a (Y/N), you’re creating a false dichotomy.
    Now don’t get me wrong. In reality my definitions more or less match yours especially when it comes to harm etc. But these definitions are by no means universal and getting everyone to agree on one definition is the first step before starting to say that every question has a yes/no answer.
    There will always be a moral gray area when people don’t agree on definitions and inferences. It’s like two mathematicians using a different set of rules for the set of natural numbers of example. They will obviously reach different conclusions.

     
  11. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    Obviously I just knocked up a few issues as illustration. There will be differences of opinion WHERE data is missing or where definitions are not clear. So the first step is to clarify. Once you’ve done that there will be only one answer. Let’s be clear that there is only ONE sustainable way known to mankind to

    a) achieve wealth
    b) without harming others.

    And that is capitalism = freedom + democracy.

    This is a TRUTH that has been proven repeatedly since 1776. That there are still people who “differ” from this basic shows their mental confusion, not that the truth changes.

    In ALL cases, let me assert this – there is only ONE truth. The perceptions of that truth might vary but these are based on our own blind spots/ignorance. So when people see “grey” they haven’t removed their mental confusion and sought useful knowledge that could dissipate that confusion.

    Anyway, this is such a basic thing that I don’t even know why we are discussing this. Can you show me any instance where there are multiple truths using a standard definition/rules (and by that I don’t mean mathematical equations with multiple solutions or zeros or equilibria: truth can be multiple, in that precise sense, but it is till one truth).

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  12. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    Obviously I just knocked up a few issues as illustration. There will be differences of opinion WHERE data is missing or where definitions are not clear. So the first step is to clarify. Once you’ve done that there will be only one answer. Let’s be clear that there is only ONE sustainable way known to mankind to

    a) achieve wealth
    b) without harming others.

    And that is capitalism = freedom + democracy.

    This is a TRUTH that has been proven repeatedly since 1776. That there are still people who “differ” from this basic shows their mental confusion, not that the truth changes.

    In ALL cases, let me assert this – there is only ONE truth. The perceptions of that truth might vary but these are based on our own blind spots/ignorance. So when people see “grey” they haven’t removed their mental confusion and sought useful knowledge that could dissipate that confusion.

    Anyway, this is such a basic thing that I don’t even know why we are discussing this. Can you show me any instance where there are multiple truths using a standard definition/rules (and by that I don’t mean mathematical equations with multiple solutions or zeros or equilibria: truth can be multiple, in that precise sense, but it is till one truth).

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  13. Bhagwad Jal Park

    You’re preaching to the choir Sanjeev. I know all this and agree with you. I even wrote a post on it: http://www.bhagwad.com/blog/2010/rights-and-freedoms/stop-harming-me.html
    My point though is that merely iterating that this is the correct way to view “harm” for example isn’t enough. I can tell you that it’s not at all easy to convince people that “harm” doesn’t include being offended by a painting for instance. And there is a fundamental difference in the definitions of terms used.
    You talk as if the first hurdle of clarifying definitions and basic axioms is a given. It isn’t. Ultimately humans are logical and even those who seem illogical are I feel like that only because their basic premises are different from ours. “Gray” areas are gray only because basics aren’t standardized.
    Gray areas are also encountered at the “edges” where black blends into white. The border isn’t a line with no width. This is because our definitions aren’t precise and they have to rely on spoken language which is easy to understand but imprecise upon very close examination. The language of mathematics is the only one which suits our needs, but it’s impractical to apply it to morals. It may be possible but I’m not keen on trying to start on it!

     
  14. Bhagwad Jal Park

    You’re preaching to the choir Sanjeev. I know all this and agree with you. I even wrote a post on it: http://www.bhagwad.com/blog/2010/rights-and-freedoms/stop-harming-me.html
    My point though is that merely iterating that this is the correct way to view “harm” for example isn’t enough. I can tell you that it’s not at all easy to convince people that “harm” doesn’t include being offended by a painting for instance. And there is a fundamental difference in the definitions of terms used.
    You talk as if the first hurdle of clarifying definitions and basic axioms is a given. It isn’t. Ultimately humans are logical and even those who seem illogical are I feel like that only because their basic premises are different from ours. “Gray” areas are gray only because basics aren’t standardized.
    Gray areas are also encountered at the “edges” where black blends into white. The border isn’t a line with no width. This is because our definitions aren’t precise and they have to rely on spoken language which is easy to understand but imprecise upon very close examination. The language of mathematics is the only one which suits our needs, but it’s impractical to apply it to morals. It may be possible but I’m not keen on trying to start on it!

     
  15. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    Re: the ‘harm’ issue, I’ve provided an extensive analytical analysis in chapter 4 of my draft manuscript DOF (still considerable work to be put in). The basic premise is that harm is precisely like a mathematical equation.

    In relation to harm by a painting, I classify this as third order harm, not being physical harm, nor it being intended against a particular person. Therefore should one have a thin skin and the painting gets below one’s skin and one can’t sleep, one can claim damages for opportunity cost of lost sleep (a few rupees; mostly zero) through a civil court.

    In other words, by precisely measuring the level of harm the accountability can be worked out. It is important, I think, to demand EVIDENCE. That is the essence of the truth. If people have lost sleep then is it because of a painting, or because they are insomniacs anyway, etc. The precise examination of the evidence will yield the mathematical precise accountability.

    I’m glad that we are in broad agreement. All that is needed is precise understanding. Once that is obtained there will be only one truth. Other things are exaggerations (e.g. fatwa to kill Salman Rushdie for a book) and such perspectives are untruths. Truth can’t be found through exaggerating and falsifying things (which is what Marx did, Keynes did, and now ‘climate’ scientists are doing).

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  16. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    Re: the ‘harm’ issue, I’ve provided an extensive analytical analysis in chapter 4 of my draft manuscript DOF (still considerable work to be put in). The basic premise is that harm is precisely like a mathematical equation.

    In relation to harm by a painting, I classify this as third order harm, not being physical harm, nor it being intended against a particular person. Therefore should one have a thin skin and the painting gets below one’s skin and one can’t sleep, one can claim damages for opportunity cost of lost sleep (a few rupees; mostly zero) through a civil court.

    In other words, by precisely measuring the level of harm the accountability can be worked out. It is important, I think, to demand EVIDENCE. That is the essence of the truth. If people have lost sleep then is it because of a painting, or because they are insomniacs anyway, etc. The precise examination of the evidence will yield the mathematical precise accountability.

    I’m glad that we are in broad agreement. All that is needed is precise understanding. Once that is obtained there will be only one truth. Other things are exaggerations (e.g. fatwa to kill Salman Rushdie for a book) and such perspectives are untruths. Truth can’t be found through exaggerating and falsifying things (which is what Marx did, Keynes did, and now ‘climate’ scientists are doing).

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  17. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Sanjeev, again I agree with you and I’ve made precisely this points regarding “evidence” in the post in linked to. My point is that there are those who will say that it’s not feasible to always provide evidence of harm and harm must be presumed.
    By likening it to a mathematical equation, you’re again opening yourself up to attack from those who disagree with your axioms. And by definition you cannot use your axiomatic system to convince them otherwise since their entire basis is at variance with yours.
    We must try and get into the heads of those who disagree with us instead of trying to force one’s view on them. Said and done those who disagree with me are humans too and there must be some reason for their disagreement no matter how much I feel about the truth of my position.

     
  18. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Sanjeev, again I agree with you and I’ve made precisely this points regarding “evidence” in the post in linked to. My point is that there are those who will say that it’s not feasible to always provide evidence of harm and harm must be presumed.
    By likening it to a mathematical equation, you’re again opening yourself up to attack from those who disagree with your axioms. And by definition you cannot use your axiomatic system to convince them otherwise since their entire basis is at variance with yours.
    We must try and get into the heads of those who disagree with us instead of trying to force one’s view on them. Said and done those who disagree with me are humans too and there must be some reason for their disagreement no matter how much I feel about the truth of my position.

     
  19. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    No one is forcing views. The truth doesn’t need force to win. It wins on merit.

    RE:”By likening it to a mathematical equation, you’re again opening yourself up to attack from those who disagree with your axioms”. I’m afraid the only way to resolve this is through actual examples. My claim follows from the ancient principle of eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. That is a PRECISE mathematical equation. Harm = punishment. No more, no less.

    a) You charge Rs.10 for a service. I agree. I pay Rs.10. No more no less. The accounts are over.

    b) You write an article against Mickey Mouse (my ‘god’) and I can’t sleep for one night. I prove (showing the actual expense on sleeping tablets/ etc.) that it cost me Rs.10 to recover. You first verify that I’m not a regular insomniac anyway, and once satisfied, you pay me Rs.10. Matter over.

    The idea that harm can’t be quantified is very familiar to me. I hear it all the time in my job – that ‘benefits’ of a policy can’t be quantified. This is also the plea taken by ‘climate experts’ to force the taxpayer to spend Rs. 100 in order to save Rs.1 in harm.

    I therefore beg to differ. If you CAN’T prove harm precisely and unequivocally, you have no business to be demanding ‘justice’ or ‘accountability’ or asking the taxpayer to pay Rs.100 for greenhouse gas reduction.

    Indeed this is such an important thing I can’t over-emphasise. There is ONLY one truth. The problem is not with the truth but with our theories and instruments that are unable to reach the truth. So we must focus on setting these right and that is a purely scientific, empirical approach.

    There is, for instance only one truth about God. He either exists or does not. There is no confusion in the middle. The fact that I don’t know which is true means I don’t agree with either side, but I still know that there is only one truth, and I’ll presumably find out when I die. On such matters I don’t force my opinion on you but explain my ignorance.

    On matters such as 2+2 =4, however, I can readily show how this is true.

    The issue was not about whether those who disagree with the truth have a reason or not, but that there are those who believe that there is no truth in life and everything goes. Capitalism is fine. Socialism is fine. State is fine. Anarchy is fine. And so on. There are people who claim they don’t have ‘ideologies’. Unfortunately, that simply means they don’t think precisely enough to question their assumptions.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  20. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    No one is forcing views. The truth doesn’t need force to win. It wins on merit.

    RE:”By likening it to a mathematical equation, you’re again opening yourself up to attack from those who disagree with your axioms”. I’m afraid the only way to resolve this is through actual examples. My claim follows from the ancient principle of eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. That is a PRECISE mathematical equation. Harm = punishment. No more, no less.

    a) You charge Rs.10 for a service. I agree. I pay Rs.10. No more no less. The accounts are over.

    b) You write an article against Mickey Mouse (my ‘god’) and I can’t sleep for one night. I prove (showing the actual expense on sleeping tablets/ etc.) that it cost me Rs.10 to recover. You first verify that I’m not a regular insomniac anyway, and once satisfied, you pay me Rs.10. Matter over.

    The idea that harm can’t be quantified is very familiar to me. I hear it all the time in my job – that ‘benefits’ of a policy can’t be quantified. This is also the plea taken by ‘climate experts’ to force the taxpayer to spend Rs. 100 in order to save Rs.1 in harm.

    I therefore beg to differ. If you CAN’T prove harm precisely and unequivocally, you have no business to be demanding ‘justice’ or ‘accountability’ or asking the taxpayer to pay Rs.100 for greenhouse gas reduction.

    Indeed this is such an important thing I can’t over-emphasise. There is ONLY one truth. The problem is not with the truth but with our theories and instruments that are unable to reach the truth. So we must focus on setting these right and that is a purely scientific, empirical approach.

    There is, for instance only one truth about God. He either exists or does not. There is no confusion in the middle. The fact that I don’t know which is true means I don’t agree with either side, but I still know that there is only one truth, and I’ll presumably find out when I die. On such matters I don’t force my opinion on you but explain my ignorance.

    On matters such as 2+2 =4, however, I can readily show how this is true.

    The issue was not about whether those who disagree with the truth have a reason or not, but that there are those who believe that there is no truth in life and everything goes. Capitalism is fine. Socialism is fine. State is fine. Anarchy is fine. And so on. There are people who claim they don’t have ‘ideologies’. Unfortunately, that simply means they don’t think precisely enough to question their assumptions.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  21. Bhagwad Jal Park

    “I therefore beg to differ. If you CAN’T prove harm precisely and unequivocally, you have no business to be demanding ‘justice’ or ‘accountability’”
    I agree with you. But if someone doesn’t agree, how will you prove that your statement is the right one?
    A person can say for example that xyz causes embarrassment to them and claim that as harm. It can’t be proved or quantified. They might sleep very well.
    You say there is only one truth. Correct. But truth and morals are two very different things because of “is-ought” problem as David Hume put it. There’s no way to go from “xyz happens” to “xyz should happen.”
    Once you understand that in the field of morals your conclusions are only as good as your unprovable axioms (and axioms are by definition unprovable), then we’re good to go.

     
  22. Bhagwad Jal Park

    “I therefore beg to differ. If you CAN’T prove harm precisely and unequivocally, you have no business to be demanding ‘justice’ or ‘accountability’”
    I agree with you. But if someone doesn’t agree, how will you prove that your statement is the right one?
    A person can say for example that xyz causes embarrassment to them and claim that as harm. It can’t be proved or quantified. They might sleep very well.
    You say there is only one truth. Correct. But truth and morals are two very different things because of “is-ought” problem as David Hume put it. There’s no way to go from “xyz happens” to “xyz should happen.”
    Once you understand that in the field of morals your conclusions are only as good as your unprovable axioms (and axioms are by definition unprovable), then we’re good to go.

     
  23. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad,

    The “is-ought” problem is resolved thus.

    a) Investigate and through critical thinking, find out what “is”.

    b) Implement the “ought” in your daily life to the extent you have control (e.g. I am an agnostic since critical thinking doesn’t provide a Y/N answer re: God’s existence, but I firmly REJECT all religions since they are clearly false – on 100s of matters of detail. God, if “He” exists clearly did not speak through any existing religion.)

    c) Publicly and transparently explore options about what “ought” to occur, GIVEN what “is”. Noting that people continue to believe in different Gods and religions, the only sensible option is tolerance. Hence advocate tolerance as a solution, not imposition of a particular view. If, however, I know that evolution is true (and it is), then I’d firmly oppose anyone teaching children a falsehood in school. By all means talk of intelligent design as a fringe viewpoint (that is also true – that it is a fringe viewpoint), but then disprove and dismantle it in the science class. That is how you get to “ought” where others are involved. No force in either case.

    In the case of economic/social/political system I am convinced after extensive investigation that the system of natural liberty (capitalism, as properly defined) is the only system which allows people to develop non-violently and non-coercively at their own pace, and retain their liberty without harming others. Hence it is not only a “true” model (given human nature), but also “ought” to be followed. After all it is also the most beneficial model for all of us, generating WITHOUT ANY VIOLENCE, the greatest peace, harmony, and prosperity.

    The is-ought question is not the issue here, though. I’m only focused on the “is” issue. I assert that there is only one truth. That is all I am referring to at the moment. I’m not asserting that we know (or can know) all truths. But that there is only one truth.

    If you have examples of cases where there are two truths (not in the multiple roots case I cited earlier), then please propose them. E.g. there is God and no God.

    Note that I don’t make axioms where there is no evidence. I don’t assume God. I declare my ignorance on such matters. That doesn’t require an axiom. It simply requires humility.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  24. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad,

    The “is-ought” problem is resolved thus.

    a) Investigate and through critical thinking, find out what “is”.

    b) Implement the “ought” in your daily life to the extent you have control (e.g. I am an agnostic since critical thinking doesn’t provide a Y/N answer re: God’s existence, but I firmly REJECT all religions since they are clearly false – on 100s of matters of detail. God, if “He” exists clearly did not speak through any existing religion.)

    c) Publicly and transparently explore options about what “ought” to occur, GIVEN what “is”. Noting that people continue to believe in different Gods and religions, the only sensible option is tolerance. Hence advocate tolerance as a solution, not imposition of a particular view. If, however, I know that evolution is true (and it is), then I’d firmly oppose anyone teaching children a falsehood in school. By all means talk of intelligent design as a fringe viewpoint (that is also true – that it is a fringe viewpoint), but then disprove and dismantle it in the science class. That is how you get to “ought” where others are involved. No force in either case.

    In the case of economic/social/political system I am convinced after extensive investigation that the system of natural liberty (capitalism, as properly defined) is the only system which allows people to develop non-violently and non-coercively at their own pace, and retain their liberty without harming others. Hence it is not only a “true” model (given human nature), but also “ought” to be followed. After all it is also the most beneficial model for all of us, generating WITHOUT ANY VIOLENCE, the greatest peace, harmony, and prosperity.

    The is-ought question is not the issue here, though. I’m only focused on the “is” issue. I assert that there is only one truth. That is all I am referring to at the moment. I’m not asserting that we know (or can know) all truths. But that there is only one truth.

    If you have examples of cases where there are two truths (not in the multiple roots case I cited earlier), then please propose them. E.g. there is God and no God.

    Note that I don’t make axioms where there is no evidence. I don’t assume God. I declare my ignorance on such matters. That doesn’t require an axiom. It simply requires humility.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  25. Bhagwad Jal Park

    The problem isn’t finding out the truth (though that itself can be tough.) Strictly speaking no one alive will say that a rock both exists and doesn’t exist. That isn’t what we’re discussing either.
    We’re talking about morals which is not the same as truth. Sure, you can base your morals on the truth which one tries to gain to the best of one’s ability.
    If a teacher tells children that evolution is a lie, then that’s that. I personally don’t approve of it, but the fact that she’s teaching it is not good or bad from the “truth” point of view. Good and bad are human constructs. The truth is not a human construct. The truth will exist even when humans are dead. Good and bad have no meaning when there’s no human around.
    You can apply maths to the truth. You can’t do the same with morals. You say you don’t make axioms where there is no evidence. Then that’s not an axiom. By definition an axiom is unprovable.
    Let me show you. You say for example that xyz is the only way to obtain peace and justice. Your axiom is that peace is good. Why? My axiom can be that peace and justice is not good. You can’t “prove” that peace and justice are good. It’s just something that feels right to us and so we say it (never mind that peace and justice are themselves notoriously hard to define precisely.)
    I hope you understand me. You cannot approach morals as a science. If you do, you’ll be forced to take up untenable positions. For example, do we allow a couple to have sex on the side of the road? If not, why not? They’re not harming anyone, no one is forced to look at them and at the most they’ll lose a few nights of sleep! Personally I don’t mind – but do you advocate legalizing it?

     
  26. Bhagwad Jal Park

    The problem isn’t finding out the truth (though that itself can be tough.) Strictly speaking no one alive will say that a rock both exists and doesn’t exist. That isn’t what we’re discussing either.
    We’re talking about morals which is not the same as truth. Sure, you can base your morals on the truth which one tries to gain to the best of one’s ability.
    If a teacher tells children that evolution is a lie, then that’s that. I personally don’t approve of it, but the fact that she’s teaching it is not good or bad from the “truth” point of view. Good and bad are human constructs. The truth is not a human construct. The truth will exist even when humans are dead. Good and bad have no meaning when there’s no human around.
    You can apply maths to the truth. You can’t do the same with morals. You say you don’t make axioms where there is no evidence. Then that’s not an axiom. By definition an axiom is unprovable.
    Let me show you. You say for example that xyz is the only way to obtain peace and justice. Your axiom is that peace is good. Why? My axiom can be that peace and justice is not good. You can’t “prove” that peace and justice are good. It’s just something that feels right to us and so we say it (never mind that peace and justice are themselves notoriously hard to define precisely.)
    I hope you understand me. You cannot approach morals as a science. If you do, you’ll be forced to take up untenable positions. For example, do we allow a couple to have sex on the side of the road? If not, why not? They’re not harming anyone, no one is forced to look at them and at the most they’ll lose a few nights of sleep! Personally I don’t mind – but do you advocate legalizing it?

     
  27. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Drugs are another good example. A person should be allowed to harm themselves if they wish. Do we allow people to manufacture their own methamphetamine for personal consumption only? For that matter, why not allow the sale of methamphetamine to people who are informed of the risks?
    I’m not saying it’s good/bad. I’m saying that blindly applying a set of rules to a fixed set of axioms in the realm of morals is a foolhardy exercise. There’s no magic “system” which is the panacea to all our problems.
    That is lazy thinking.

     
  28. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Drugs are another good example. A person should be allowed to harm themselves if they wish. Do we allow people to manufacture their own methamphetamine for personal consumption only? For that matter, why not allow the sale of methamphetamine to people who are informed of the risks?
    I’m not saying it’s good/bad. I’m saying that blindly applying a set of rules to a fixed set of axioms in the realm of morals is a foolhardy exercise. There’s no magic “system” which is the panacea to all our problems.
    That is lazy thinking.

     
  29. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad, the drugs case is a good case in point re: the truth.

    The first step is to be clear on two things:

    a) What’s the truth about a person’s so-called ‘right to harm themselves’? I discuss this at length in DOF and conclude that one can harm oneself only if one doesn’t end up harming another. That’s based on the mathematical accounts that I’ve outlined. Of course there are many more details involved. Do read DOF chapter 4. The idea that one ‘owns’ one’s body or life is nonsensical since one didn’t create oneself. That is not a true idea.

    b) What is the extent of harm drugs cause? Empirically, there is now overwhelming evidence that the standard ‘drugs’ are less harmful than tobacco and alcohol.
    https://sabhlokcity.com/2010/11/what-is-a-governments-role-in-the-use-of-drugs/.

    So now we can objectively state that (a) self-harm is admissible so long as one FULLY pays for the harm (financially, dues to family, etc.) and (b) we have a list of drugs with precise information on their relative harm.

    This leads to the truth that all drugs can be freely available and people should be able to choose to harm themselves SO LONG as they precisely pay for the harm they may cause (action-reaction) others in the process.

    This is the ‘truth’. The ‘ought’ then flows from this: all drugs shouldbe freely available and people should be able to choose to harm themselves SO LONG as they precisely pay for the harm they may cause (action-reaction) others in the process.

    This is a simplistic analysis. I haven’t completed my analysis of the use of drugs. But please show me how the ‘ought’ [presumably what you mean by morals] can’t be objectively derived from the facts of the case, should all relevant facts be known.

    Thereafter we can discuss issue re: practicability. How practical is it to get a chronic drug addict (alcoholic?) to repay the society for harm caused? If not the we apply the rule of prevention, and either apply a Pigovian tax or otherwise manage the issue of accountability through some form of regulation. Under no circumstances should a non-drug user be asked to pay for the harm caused by the drug addict. That is the upper boundary of all discussion.

    All very precise and objectively clear, according to me. Any ‘moral’ discussion beyond that is mere imagination.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  30. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad, the drugs case is a good case in point re: the truth.

    The first step is to be clear on two things:

    a) What’s the truth about a person’s so-called ‘right to harm themselves’? I discuss this at length in DOF and conclude that one can harm oneself only if one doesn’t end up harming another. That’s based on the mathematical accounts that I’ve outlined. Of course there are many more details involved. Do read DOF chapter 4. The idea that one ‘owns’ one’s body or life is nonsensical since one didn’t create oneself. That is not a true idea.

    b) What is the extent of harm drugs cause? Empirically, there is now overwhelming evidence that the standard ‘drugs’ are less harmful than tobacco and alcohol.
    https://sabhlokcity.com/2010/11/what-is-a-governments-role-in-the-use-of-drugs/.

    So now we can objectively state that (a) self-harm is admissible so long as one FULLY pays for the harm (financially, dues to family, etc.) and (b) we have a list of drugs with precise information on their relative harm.

    This leads to the truth that all drugs can be freely available and people should be able to choose to harm themselves SO LONG as they precisely pay for the harm they may cause (action-reaction) others in the process.

    This is the ‘truth’. The ‘ought’ then flows from this: all drugs shouldbe freely available and people should be able to choose to harm themselves SO LONG as they precisely pay for the harm they may cause (action-reaction) others in the process.

    This is a simplistic analysis. I haven’t completed my analysis of the use of drugs. But please show me how the ‘ought’ [presumably what you mean by morals] can’t be objectively derived from the facts of the case, should all relevant facts be known.

    Thereafter we can discuss issue re: practicability. How practical is it to get a chronic drug addict (alcoholic?) to repay the society for harm caused? If not the we apply the rule of prevention, and either apply a Pigovian tax or otherwise manage the issue of accountability through some form of regulation. Under no circumstances should a non-drug user be asked to pay for the harm caused by the drug addict. That is the upper boundary of all discussion.

    All very precise and objectively clear, according to me. Any ‘moral’ discussion beyond that is mere imagination.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  31. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Of course one owns one’s body. Not creating it is hardly the criterion to be used. I suffer pain when my body is in trouble and I’m responsible for keeping it alive. As far as I’m concerned my body is very much my own.
     
    In fact, if one doesn’t own one’s body, then no self harm can be permitted at all even when no others are involved. This means that all drugs should be banned and the govt. should regulate every person’s life to ensure that no one harms their body which they don’t own!
     
    In any case I take your conclusion to mean that we should legalize crystal meth. What about sex in public? Should we legalize that or not?

     
  32. Bhagwad Jal Park

    Of course one owns one’s body. Not creating it is hardly the criterion to be used. I suffer pain when my body is in trouble and I’m responsible for keeping it alive. As far as I’m concerned my body is very much my own.
     
    In fact, if one doesn’t own one’s body, then no self harm can be permitted at all even when no others are involved. This means that all drugs should be banned and the govt. should regulate every person’s life to ensure that no one harms their body which they don’t own!
     
    In any case I take your conclusion to mean that we should legalize crystal meth. What about sex in public? Should we legalize that or not?

     
  33. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Bhagwad,

    You raise a fundamental question re: self-ownership. No one owns it. It is a lease from the cycle of life. Life has its urge to continue. It uses our body for that purpose. We lease our body from life. Should anyone own his life then suicide should be a valid choice. After all one can trash a spoon that one doesn’t like. However, since we are lessees we are required to conduct our affairs so we don’t harm others. That means the option of suicide is out. Even euthanasia is valid only in certain controlled circumstances.

    Re: a particular drug. I couldn’t say. As I said the facts must be determined first, then the accountabilities. As a general rule, no one would have the right to prevent anyone from putting something into his mouth without a very strong case that the person is causing not just self-harm but harm to someone specific, including the tax payer.

    Note that a ‘drug’ is just a molecule. Even food is a ‘drug’. Some molecules like cyanide cause immediate harm, others (like fatty foods) can have delayed effects. So we need to be specific about why we are interested in a particular chemical at the expense of all other chemicals in the world. The biochemistry, the psychotropic qualities involved, etc. would need to be explored. The harm caused would need to be analysed: who, where, when, what amount? Evidence would lead to the assessment of harm, which would inform accountability.

    In brief I don’t blithely conclude that “we should legalise” XYZ drug. All I expect is a totally detached and unemotional analysis of the facts.

    I think you are trying to prove that ‘anything goes’ – namely that there is no objective standard for a particular action, and that there is no ‘moral’ truth. I beg to differ. Should the facts of a case be carefully analysed, only one appropriate answer will emerge. I know I’ve had people debate with me that beef eating is some kind of a criminal act, but they have been driven not by precise scientific logic but emotional ‘reasons’ such as ‘cow is our mother’, etc. That someone imagines they are born of a cow (which is not what they are saying) doesn’t change the fact that the cow is not their mother. That someone gives a cow godlike qualities doesn’t make it a god, either.

    The fact that people said the earth is the centre of the world – and killed those who said otherwise – didn’t change the truth. Just because people believe or say different things about something means nothing. What is meaningful is precise scientific analysis – right up to the atomic level, if possible. Once you’ve done that analysis (which is very hard, I admit), then you can’t go wrong on anything. Anyway, that is my model of the world which has not been proven wrong even once so far. That’s proof enough, for me, that I’m on the right track.

    Note I’m not saying I know all the truths, but that the model which says there is ONLY one truth, is true. I can’t think of something which is both true and untrue, i.e. which is ‘grey’ – after all the relevant facts are known and objectively analysed.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  34. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Bhagwad,

    You raise a fundamental question re: self-ownership. No one owns it. It is a lease from the cycle of life. Life has its urge to continue. It uses our body for that purpose. We lease our body from life. Should anyone own his life then suicide should be a valid choice. After all one can trash a spoon that one doesn’t like. However, since we are lessees we are required to conduct our affairs so we don’t harm others. That means the option of suicide is out. Even euthanasia is valid only in certain controlled circumstances.

    Re: a particular drug. I couldn’t say. As I said the facts must be determined first, then the accountabilities. As a general rule, no one would have the right to prevent anyone from putting something into his mouth without a very strong case that the person is causing not just self-harm but harm to someone specific, including the tax payer.

    Note that a ‘drug’ is just a molecule. Even food is a ‘drug’. Some molecules like cyanide cause immediate harm, others (like fatty foods) can have delayed effects. So we need to be specific about why we are interested in a particular chemical at the expense of all other chemicals in the world. The biochemistry, the psychotropic qualities involved, etc. would need to be explored. The harm caused would need to be analysed: who, where, when, what amount? Evidence would lead to the assessment of harm, which would inform accountability.

    In brief I don’t blithely conclude that “we should legalise” XYZ drug. All I expect is a totally detached and unemotional analysis of the facts.

    I think you are trying to prove that ‘anything goes’ – namely that there is no objective standard for a particular action, and that there is no ‘moral’ truth. I beg to differ. Should the facts of a case be carefully analysed, only one appropriate answer will emerge. I know I’ve had people debate with me that beef eating is some kind of a criminal act, but they have been driven not by precise scientific logic but emotional ‘reasons’ such as ‘cow is our mother’, etc. That someone imagines they are born of a cow (which is not what they are saying) doesn’t change the fact that the cow is not their mother. That someone gives a cow godlike qualities doesn’t make it a god, either.

    The fact that people said the earth is the centre of the world – and killed those who said otherwise – didn’t change the truth. Just because people believe or say different things about something means nothing. What is meaningful is precise scientific analysis – right up to the atomic level, if possible. Once you’ve done that analysis (which is very hard, I admit), then you can’t go wrong on anything. Anyway, that is my model of the world which has not been proven wrong even once so far. That’s proof enough, for me, that I’m on the right track.

    Note I’m not saying I know all the truths, but that the model which says there is ONLY one truth, is true. I can’t think of something which is both true and untrue, i.e. which is ‘grey’ – after all the relevant facts are known and objectively analysed.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  35. Bhagwad Jal Park

    You can’t anthropomorphize nature. Life has no “urge” to continue. Thinking it terms of purpose is called teleological thinking and is a well known fallacy in the scientific establishment.
    You’re starting with your feeling of what is right and then working backwards to find out why you feel that way. No shame in that – we all do it. Even the great Spinoza whose “Ethics” was the first and most complex work of its kind was susceptible to it.
    But in terms of life having a “purpose” and “consciousness,” you’re just wrong. There is no purpose/meaning in life. It just goes on. The only meaning is what we as living creatures give it.
    You still haven’t given me an answer as to how the issue of sex in public can be resolved via this system!

     
  36. Bhagwad Jal Park

    You can’t anthropomorphize nature. Life has no “urge” to continue. Thinking it terms of purpose is called teleological thinking and is a well known fallacy in the scientific establishment.
    You’re starting with your feeling of what is right and then working backwards to find out why you feel that way. No shame in that – we all do it. Even the great Spinoza whose “Ethics” was the first and most complex work of its kind was susceptible to it.
    But in terms of life having a “purpose” and “consciousness,” you’re just wrong. There is no purpose/meaning in life. It just goes on. The only meaning is what we as living creatures give it.
    You still haven’t given me an answer as to how the issue of sex in public can be resolved via this system!

     
  37. Bhagwad Jal Park

    I also can’t resist another example. Should private employers be allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, gender etc? If not, why not? Suppose my employer tells me – “You belong to xyz caste and so I won’t employ you. It’s my money, my job. And it’s upto me to decide.”
    What does “liberalism” have to say about this?

     
  38. Bhagwad Jal Park

    I also can’t resist another example. Should private employers be allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, gender etc? If not, why not? Suppose my employer tells me – “You belong to xyz caste and so I won’t employ you. It’s my money, my job. And it’s upto me to decide.”
    What does “liberalism” have to say about this?

     
  39. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    I’m not anthropomorphizing nature. But DNA has the property (just like all molecules have their OWN properties) of reproduction. It creates conditions for all creatures to repdocude. The moment the first such molecule was created it has kept up that task even under the most difficult circumstances.

    It is ‘maya’ that we are somehow distinct ‘creatures’. Without the first such molecule forming, we would not exist. We are merely a reflection of the properties of DNA.

    Further, 99% of ‘human nature’ can be directly explained as being a result of the properties of our species (DNA). From the fact that we get hungry (we therefore eat), etc. we are driven by this life force, not by ‘us’.

    To what extent do you ‘own’ your body when you are asleep? What is this mythical idea of ‘ownership’ when for 1/3rd of our life we don’t even know our body exists!! To what extent you ‘own’ your body when you are in coma in a hostpital, being administered all kinds of fluids?

    Sure, our brain (and hence a small part of it called our consciousness) gives the appearance of being an ‘owner’ but it is a mere lessee. A mere tenant on a structure that is owned by forces that are FAR greater than us.

    We can’t even create a petty DNA molecule from scratch in the laboratory, how can we claim to own something we can’t even create the basics of?!

    Re: sex in public places, please note that this was surely a common phenonemon before the human species evolved from a primitive primate to a more settled primate. But the human brain has evolved sensitivies called love and spiritualism (the latter, particularly, is the ONE single thing that distinguishes human consciousness from other animals: a regard for others that goes beyond the mere body).

    Human soceities have therefore have given a lot of meaning to sex, well beyond the physical act itself. Universally, across ALL human societies, this has evolved into various expressions – but so far as I know of these, it has been entirely private. Humans are not dogs or birds.

    The fact that we strongly disapprove of the idea of sex in public is attributable to the evolution of the human brain that I cited above. Some of it is attributable to strategic interactions: I won’t go into detail, but that sounds plasible to me. This combination of brain design and reason makes this idea abhorent to 99% of the human species. Those who don’t have this abhorence clearly have a defect either in their brain or reasoning powers.

    You might as well have asked the question: Why do humans walk on their feet, not their hands? Certain things are simply explained by the way we are.

    The same applies to the long standing study of taboos across the world. Incest is taboo in all societies. Why? Should there be freedom of incest? No! And why not? Because it is extremely harmful to the species. DNA gets corrupted. The truth of many such things which are related to our biology is found in our biology and the stage of our evolution, not in a discussion of ‘morals’.

     
  40. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    I’m not anthropomorphizing nature. But DNA has the property (just like all molecules have their OWN properties) of reproduction. It creates conditions for all creatures to repdocude. The moment the first such molecule was created it has kept up that task even under the most difficult circumstances.

    It is ‘maya’ that we are somehow distinct ‘creatures’. Without the first such molecule forming, we would not exist. We are merely a reflection of the properties of DNA.

    Further, 99% of ‘human nature’ can be directly explained as being a result of the properties of our species (DNA). From the fact that we get hungry (we therefore eat), etc. we are driven by this life force, not by ‘us’.

    To what extent do you ‘own’ your body when you are asleep? What is this mythical idea of ‘ownership’ when for 1/3rd of our life we don’t even know our body exists!! To what extent you ‘own’ your body when you are in coma in a hostpital, being administered all kinds of fluids?

    Sure, our brain (and hence a small part of it called our consciousness) gives the appearance of being an ‘owner’ but it is a mere lessee. A mere tenant on a structure that is owned by forces that are FAR greater than us.

    We can’t even create a petty DNA molecule from scratch in the laboratory, how can we claim to own something we can’t even create the basics of?!

    Re: sex in public places, please note that this was surely a common phenonemon before the human species evolved from a primitive primate to a more settled primate. But the human brain has evolved sensitivies called love and spiritualism (the latter, particularly, is the ONE single thing that distinguishes human consciousness from other animals: a regard for others that goes beyond the mere body).

    Human soceities have therefore have given a lot of meaning to sex, well beyond the physical act itself. Universally, across ALL human societies, this has evolved into various expressions – but so far as I know of these, it has been entirely private. Humans are not dogs or birds.

    The fact that we strongly disapprove of the idea of sex in public is attributable to the evolution of the human brain that I cited above. Some of it is attributable to strategic interactions: I won’t go into detail, but that sounds plasible to me. This combination of brain design and reason makes this idea abhorent to 99% of the human species. Those who don’t have this abhorence clearly have a defect either in their brain or reasoning powers.

    You might as well have asked the question: Why do humans walk on their feet, not their hands? Certain things are simply explained by the way we are.

    The same applies to the long standing study of taboos across the world. Incest is taboo in all societies. Why? Should there be freedom of incest? No! And why not? Because it is extremely harmful to the species. DNA gets corrupted. The truth of many such things which are related to our biology is found in our biology and the stage of our evolution, not in a discussion of ‘morals’.

     
  41. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    YES.

    Liberalism does not tolerate the imposition of a government on our private choices. Discrimination must only be forbidden within the government itself. Let the rest of the society do what it pleases so long as there is no violence caused. I have explained this on innumerable occasions so won’t go into detail here. Read BFN, DOF, my FF articles on reservations, etc.

    If such private discrimination were disallowed, we’d have to be disallowed ALL discrimination, including whom we choose to marry.

    Note that employers who discriminate against merit are doomed to failure. That is why there is virtually no discrimination in the private sector.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  42. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    YES.

    Liberalism does not tolerate the imposition of a government on our private choices. Discrimination must only be forbidden within the government itself. Let the rest of the society do what it pleases so long as there is no violence caused. I have explained this on innumerable occasions so won’t go into detail here. Read BFN, DOF, my FF articles on reservations, etc.

    If such private discrimination were disallowed, we’d have to be disallowed ALL discrimination, including whom we choose to marry.

    Note that employers who discriminate against merit are doomed to failure. That is why there is virtually no discrimination in the private sector.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  43. Bhagwad Jal Park

    You’re entering the realm of mysticism. DNA by itself is a dumb string of compounds. It has no will. When you use the words “lease” you imply there is a “lessor” and there has to be a conscious entity for that.
    I’m sorry, but you’ve crossed over from a purely scientific discussion into feel good mysticism. I’m the owner for my body because of just one reason – when there’s something wrong with it, I alone suffer the consequences. That gives me the right to call it my own.
    You’ve glossed over many things which I’ve asked and I feel this discussion is getting too long anyway.
    Your explanation of why we don’t allow sex in public is, I’m sorry to say – weak. You’ve made wild conjectures and coming from you – who say that you examine everything scientifically, it’s all the more baffling. You’ve used the word “therefore” when there’s no causative element at all! And that’s just one example.
    When you talk about banning incest, it’s remarkably puzzling how you square this with the principles of liberalism. It’s not necessary for sex to produce offspring. A brother and sister can have sex without hurting anyone at all! Banning sex between close relatives is an infraction of a people’s right to do as they please in private.
    Finally, regarding racism. If, the US supreme court hadn’t said that race discrimination in dressing rooms for example was illegal, blacks would still be second class citizens today. Your logic was followed by US courts in 1883 – rulings that were thankfully overturned. I’ve discussed this issue with Ashish on my blog.
    Anyway, this isn’t going to end anytime soon so I suggest we call it a day. You’ve attempted to use logic in several situations and I’m not satisfied with the logical workings you’ve used. So let’s end this here!

     
  44. Bhagwad Jal Park

    You’re entering the realm of mysticism. DNA by itself is a dumb string of compounds. It has no will. When you use the words “lease” you imply there is a “lessor” and there has to be a conscious entity for that.
    I’m sorry, but you’ve crossed over from a purely scientific discussion into feel good mysticism. I’m the owner for my body because of just one reason – when there’s something wrong with it, I alone suffer the consequences. That gives me the right to call it my own.
    You’ve glossed over many things which I’ve asked and I feel this discussion is getting too long anyway.
    Your explanation of why we don’t allow sex in public is, I’m sorry to say – weak. You’ve made wild conjectures and coming from you – who say that you examine everything scientifically, it’s all the more baffling. You’ve used the word “therefore” when there’s no causative element at all! And that’s just one example.
    When you talk about banning incest, it’s remarkably puzzling how you square this with the principles of liberalism. It’s not necessary for sex to produce offspring. A brother and sister can have sex without hurting anyone at all! Banning sex between close relatives is an infraction of a people’s right to do as they please in private.
    Finally, regarding racism. If, the US supreme court hadn’t said that race discrimination in dressing rooms for example was illegal, blacks would still be second class citizens today. Your logic was followed by US courts in 1883 – rulings that were thankfully overturned. I’ve discussed this issue with Ashish on my blog.
    Anyway, this isn’t going to end anytime soon so I suggest we call it a day. You’ve attempted to use logic in several situations and I’m not satisfied with the logical workings you’ve used. So let’s end this here!

     
  45. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    This is my blog so I have the last word!

    1) I did NOT attribute any INTENT to DNA. I didn’t say DNA is not a ‘dumb sting of compounds’. It is! But life is the property of that dumb mix of compounds. 99% of what you do on a daily basis is explained by your DNA, not by ‘you’ – whatever you are or you think you are. The moment you are asleep, the machine designed by your DNA is at work, involuntarily. Please learn about basics of biology, and about the involuntary system. Without the cerebellum your cerebrum is impotent. “You” don’t exist except without your DNA working away in the background. The moment even some tiny parts of the cerebrum are impacted, you will lose all consciousness about yourself BUT your body will exist. Your body is NOT owned by you but by this natural process of life. It drives your existence and your continuance. You are a mere puppet to your DNA.

    2) I’m afraid your “liberalism” is license because it is not constrained by any limitations on harm or justice. You therefore contradict yourself. One the one hand you advocate incest because it violates “people’s right to do as they please in private” and then you say that the same people can’t, in their private lives, choose NOT to employ someone on the basis of his/her superficial characteristics.

    Liberty is NOT about a positive right to DO something. It is a negative right to do things WITHOUT HARMING OTHERS. In the case of incest you HARM someone physically (the children are almost guaranteed to suffer genetic defects). In the case of job discrimination on the basis of ‘race’ (a concept which I disagree with) no one is being harmed. The person denied the job can do something else. Where is the harm? This is in fact, as I point out, a case of SELF-harm where the employer who refuses to employ the most talented person on superficial grounds of skin colour, will soon go out of business.

    Don’t cite me any US justice case. I am driven by first principles. I don’t care about anyone else’s thinking/claims/arguments about justice.

    From what you have been saying you are what I call a “social liberal”. It is natural for you to be self-contradictory at each step. Trust we can have that as a last word?

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  46. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Bhagwad

    This is my blog so I have the last word!

    1) I did NOT attribute any INTENT to DNA. I didn’t say DNA is not a ‘dumb sting of compounds’. It is! But life is the property of that dumb mix of compounds. 99% of what you do on a daily basis is explained by your DNA, not by ‘you’ – whatever you are or you think you are. The moment you are asleep, the machine designed by your DNA is at work, involuntarily. Please learn about basics of biology, and about the involuntary system. Without the cerebellum your cerebrum is impotent. “You” don’t exist except without your DNA working away in the background. The moment even some tiny parts of the cerebrum are impacted, you will lose all consciousness about yourself BUT your body will exist. Your body is NOT owned by you but by this natural process of life. It drives your existence and your continuance. You are a mere puppet to your DNA.

    2) I’m afraid your “liberalism” is license because it is not constrained by any limitations on harm or justice. You therefore contradict yourself. One the one hand you advocate incest because it violates “people’s right to do as they please in private” and then you say that the same people can’t, in their private lives, choose NOT to employ someone on the basis of his/her superficial characteristics.

    Liberty is NOT about a positive right to DO something. It is a negative right to do things WITHOUT HARMING OTHERS. In the case of incest you HARM someone physically (the children are almost guaranteed to suffer genetic defects). In the case of job discrimination on the basis of ‘race’ (a concept which I disagree with) no one is being harmed. The person denied the job can do something else. Where is the harm? This is in fact, as I point out, a case of SELF-harm where the employer who refuses to employ the most talented person on superficial grounds of skin colour, will soon go out of business.

    Don’t cite me any US justice case. I am driven by first principles. I don’t care about anyone else’s thinking/claims/arguments about justice.

    From what you have been saying you are what I call a “social liberal”. It is natural for you to be self-contradictory at each step. Trust we can have that as a last word?

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     

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