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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Why Humanity Needs Monsters

   
Author Topic: Why Humanity Needs Monsters
BlackBlade
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I'm not sure when it happened but Cracked Magazine started printing stuff that's actually thought provoking.

Warning language.

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Tuukka
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Great article. Also kind of sad, yet predictable how many people in the comments feel offended/threatened by it, and try their best to distort the point of the article into something it is not.
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Szymon
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I liked that part about hatred, I agree with most of it. Especially that hatred-addicts are easy to control. There are a lot of similiarities to OSC's varesle, don't you think? Those posters of American Soldiers throwing babies into the well, monsterizing them, dehumanizing.
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AchillesHeel
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My sociology teacher once handed out a list called "How to de-humanize people." Eleven simple ways to convince a group of people that another group is disgusting and not worthy of human rights. I wish had the presence of mind to keep it back then but it is lost to the ages.

My favortie was "Them: they are not people with names and histories, they are them. Those people, over there and they are not like us."

It was easily the most productive semester of my educational career.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
My sociology teacher once handed out a list called "How to de-humanize people." Eleven simple ways to convince a group of people that another group is disgusting and not worthy of human rights. I wish had the presence of mind to keep it back then but it is lost to the ages.

My favortie was "Them: they are not people with names and histories, they are them. Those people, over there and they are not like us."

It was easily the most productive semester of my educational career.

I vaguely recall reading a similar document in grade school. The principle I remember is never refer to them as people. Start referring to them as animals, or a specific animal like dogs. It's easier to mistreat an animal than a human being.

When I watched Hotel Rwanda and the Huto radio agitator kept referring to the Tutsis as "cockroaches" it made sense.

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Darth_Mauve
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Todd Akin, the politician who shot himself in the foot with the "real raped women can't get pregnant" moment is being attacked for his statement that "Abortion Doctors routinely perform abortions on women who aren't even pregnant."

While that is impossible, what he means is that they do false abortion surgeries, and cause pain and suffering to women all in order to bilk everyone for fees.

He's dehumanizing doctors who perform abortions into greedy, self-centered monsters.

Yes, dehumanization is alive and well in today's politics.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Great article!
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Tuukka
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How many of you are willing to embrace the idea that you are - by reasonable moral standards - monsters?

I don't really have a problem in admitting to it. I pay people to torture and kill animals in terrible conditions. I occasionally support child slavery. I pay people to cut down rain forests. I actively destroy the environment, much more than 90% of people on earth do.

I do all these things - And a lot more - simply to satisfy my childish, selfish needs. There isn't really any real need for me to do the aforementioned things, I just do them. I know I'm causing pain to others, but I don't care.

So yeah, by a reasonable moral standard, I'm a monster.

Most people I know do the same things, but generally don't seem to agree, that they are monsters. It seems almost impossible for most people to admit, that they would be doing anything seriously morally wrong. A monster is simply someone who does bad things that are different from the bad things you do yourself.

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Szymon
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I disagree. You and I are animals, not monsters. We need to eat meat, so you have to kill it. There are too many of us to rely on hunting, so we have to breed and slaughter them.

If you stopped buying cheap cloths, nothing would change. You would just be a freak. Those kids would die of hunger if they didn't work. If China and India weren't supplying us with cheap stuff, what would they have? They will soon stop, in 20-30 years and everything will be back to normal.

But you and I are different. If you think that you're a monster and continue to do so, you are weird.

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Szymon:
I disagree. You and I are animals, not monsters. We need to eat meat, so you have to kill it. There are too many of us to rely on hunting, so we have to breed and slaughter them.

If you stopped buying cheap cloths, nothing would change. You would just be a freak. Those kids would die of hunger if they didn't work. If China and India weren't supplying us with cheap stuff, what would they have? They will soon stop, in 20-30 years and everything will be back to normal.

But you and I are different. If you think that you're a monster and continue to do so, you are weird.

In all honesty, that sounds like self-defense mechanism to me.

We don't need to eat meat. It's easy to stay just as healthy without meat. And even if you don't want to be a vegan or a vegetarian, it's easy to eat 80-90% less meat and stay just as healthy. This isn't really debatable at all. It's a scientific fact.

If I would stop buying cheap clothes and I would buy more expensive clothes, it would actually mean a very big change in the way I affect the world personally. If others would do the same, the entire market would change. There isn't any proof that children would die of starvation, if they couldn't work in factories.

I don't understand your logic, that wearing clothes that are *not done* with child slavery makes you a freak. I though it was a morally decent thing to be anti-child slavery. But maybe in some parts of of the world such a moral stand indeed makes you a freak.

Are you okay with destroying rainforests, and the rest of the nature as well? I think it's a fairly important. Not important enough to change my self-centered living habits, but morally I think it's kind of important.

I'm not weird. I'm just admitting that by reasonable moral standpoint, it's logical to call me a monster. If using logic is weird, then so be it.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
How many of you are willing to embrace the idea that you are - by reasonable moral standards - monsters?

I don't really have a problem in admitting to it. I pay people to torture and kill animals in terrible conditions. I occasionally support child slavery. I pay people to cut down rain forests. I actively destroy the environment, much more than 90% of people on earth do.

I do all these things - And a lot more - simply to satisfy my childish, selfish needs. There isn't really any real need for me to do the aforementioned things, I just do them. I know I'm causing pain to others, but I don't care.

So yeah, by a reasonable moral standard, I'm a monster.

Most people I know do the same things, but generally don't seem to agree, that they are monsters. It seems almost impossible for most people to admit, that they would be doing anything seriously morally wrong. A monster is simply someone who does bad things that are different from the bad things you do yourself.

It boggles my mind that people like you genuinely believe all that awesome progress is bad, and that using it makes you a monster.

But moreover, it really boggles my mind that you believe it makes you a monster and yet you do it anyway!

Is it that hard for you to live morally by your lights? Do you just not care?

Maybe if you find it difficult to live morally you should rethink your concept of morality, and figure out if you are actually right that utilizing progress and prioritizing humanity is evil.

Much like the linked article, you take a lot of morality for granted, as if it were established fact when, in fact, it is not.

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Szymon
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Well, what I wanted to say, DF said.
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Szymon
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quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:


I don't really have a problem in admitting to it. I pay people to torture and kill animals in terrible conditions.




And even if you don't want to be a vegan or a vegetarian, it's easy to eat 80-90% less meat and stay just as healthy.

And pay them to kill 80-90% fewer cows? What is the difference. Killing at all or kill a lot? Killing one cow isn't monstrous? Killing 10 is? Or 7? I don't get it.

I think that, except for really special cases, you're usually responsible only for you actively do or allow to happen around you. I think that after spending a month in a slaughterhouse I might change my mind. But I won't.

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Raymond Arnold
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I mostly agree with Tukka, but I don't self-identify as a monster. Measuring morality on an absolute sense isn't useful. A few things worth noting:

1) I measure people's goodness based on the effort they make to push past the status quo, with regards to their morals.

A warrior who lives in a culture where it's acceptable to rape and plunder is guilty of rape and murder. That's pretty awful. But I'm not going to blame such a warrior for failing to live up to modern standards of decency. I'd have tremendous respect for a warrior that found ways to behave more mercifully (on average), without getting himself killed by his tribesmen, even if he still did some raping and killing.

If he does whatever is acceptable to his culture, I don't judge him more than I judge the average person of any time period. Rebelling against your culture's mores is hard. Really hard. Seriously incredibly hard. Nobody wants to believe they'd murder somebody if they were told to - most of those people are wrong.

2) One torturous death is a tragedy. A million torturous deaths is a million tragedies.

It's 10x as bad to rape and murder 10 people as it is to one. It's 10x as bad to cause 10 cows to be tortured and killed as it is one. It's 10x as bad to cause 10 children to be forced into labor and threatened with sexual assault if they try to resist (this is a thing that happens sometimes), as it is to cause one.

Yes, reducing your negative impact by 90% makes you 90% less monstrous in absolute terms and you should be applauded for it, especially given how much work that is to deviate from the status quo.

3) Yes, factory farming is awful.

I don't really know how you can endorse this. It's not necessary for most people to eat meat. It's not necessary to eat meat that was factory farmed. You are not eating factory farmed meat because you're an animal that needs to eat, you're eating it because it's convenient and you're lazy.

3) Technological advancement is allowed to have negative externalities.

Technology is amazing. It does amazing things. And I will even say that a lot of sweatshop labor is a net positive, better than the backbreaking farming labor that it replaced, and serves as a transitionary tool that lets third world develop their economy, gradually raising their standard of living.

But actual slave labor still exists. My understanding is that slaves per capita have gone down but total slavery's gone up. Obviously an improvement, but slavery is still bad for all the reasons it's usually bad. Yes, it's neat that said slaves are hundreds of times more productive than they used to be. You can respect those improvements and still think it's an awful thing that should be eradicated.

4) Seriously, I want to reiterate that you can acknowledge that you are complicit in awful, awful things, without walking around feeling miserably monstrous.

If you're complicit in awful things, and stopping all the awful things is really hard so you don't do it... the correct response is not to redefine "awful thing." Just be realistic about what you can do, and try to do be the best you can.

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Szymon
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1) Humans are superior to all other creatures that we know.


With great power comes great resposibility, though (spiderman?). We need to eat. We destroy lives of all possible kinds while doing so. Funghi, animals, plants and so on. There are people who think we should only eat something that is already dead, but this is impossible for a 7 billion population.

And I see a difference between grass and a pig. But in 400 years it will be just as immoral to eat wheat. Because it is alive.

Anyhow, we rule the world. We need to eat. So we kill and we eat. I agree that we should eat animals that are as stupid as possible, that is to say, do not suffer, but I really don't like maggots.

It would be possible not to eat meat, but I still think that it is a problem of


2) Means,


meat is important part of our diet and is it also indispensable. We, as a spiecies, can't do without it. It is still too difficult to replace it worldwide.


3)Genetics


There are studies that show humans need to eat meat, red meat, to have a good cholesterol thingy. Craving for meat is an instinct.


4) Death is not that big a deal.


Well, it's not. Torturing is a lot worse. It is possible to kill an animal without letting it know about it's imminent death.


5) Point 1 thru 4 don't matter. I love meat and I will bring down any government that forbids me to eat meat.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:

A warrior who lives in a culture where it's acceptable to rape and plunder is guilty of rape and murder. That's pretty awful. But I'm not going to blame such a warrior for failing to live up to modern standards of decency.

Miyamoto Musashi killed as many as sixty people, most before the age of thirty. It is popularly known but not recorded that he even took part in one or two battles that he had no part in, he just "borrowed the battle-field." He is something of a hero of Japanese history, I'm actually a fan of his writing. He killed a lot people, he also designed a city, designed gardens, was a tea ceremony enthusiast, a surprisingly apt artist with a flair for birds and wrote a couple books. But it still strikes me that he killed as many as sixty people, and he started when he was eleven.

Charles Manson has never commited murder, he has never killed a human. He is still very much illiterate. At twenty-one he had spent over half of his life incarcerated, starting when his mother turned custody over to the state in favor of making her current boyfriend happy. He is considedered one of the most dangerous men in America.

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Jeff C.
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Yeah, that was a very cool article. David Wong is a good writer. However, this was sort of his way of promoting his book, albeit a very creative way.

It's so strange that David Wong is getting so successful (they're supposedly making a movie about his first book). I say it's strange because when I published an article for cracked, I had to keep in contact with David for several weeks, because he was the one editing my work and eventually was responsible for paying me. Very cool to see him doing another book, and now with a high end commercial, too. Props to the man!

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Stone_Wolf_
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I find it downright silly to assign the title monster to anyone who is part of a culture which (unknown to them) has accepted less then humane policies for producing goods.

I'm sure I've ended up owning some product produced by child labor, but that does NOT mean I am a willing participant in child labor, nor that I'm a monster. If it were as easy as flipping over a label and the words "Produced by child labor" was on it...and you still bought it...then you would share complicity. But without any knowledge of wrong doing one can hardly be blamed for it. The principal that you have to be able to know the difference between right and wrong to be judged is even in our legal system.

I would -never- buy a product which involved torture or slavery, etc knowingly.

If -you- do it knowingly, then you are indeed a monster. If not, then you are just being silly.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
... We don't need to eat meat. It's easy to stay just as healthy without meat.

I don't buy this argument (on either side) about "need." A vampire needs to eat people. They're still generally considered a monster.
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Jeff C.
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Meat is pretty tasty. Why, I once ate a hamburger that was downright divine. Truly, so savory and delicious was this hamburger that it should not have been eaten at all, but rather cherished and worshiped for its creative use of flavors and eloquent design. Oh, how the water pools at my lips as I think back to that unforgettable day.

Oh yes, how the water pools...

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:

3) Technological advancement is allowed to have negative externalities.

Technology is amazing. It does amazing things. And I will even say that a lot of sweatshop labor is a net positive, better than the backbreaking farming labor that it replaced, and serves as a transitionary tool that lets third world develop their economy, gradually raising their standard of living.

But actual slave labor still exists. My understanding is that slaves per capita have gone down but total slavery's gone up. Obviously an improvement, but slavery is still bad for all the reasons it's usually bad. Yes, it's neat that said slaves are hundreds of times more productive than they used to be. You can respect those improvements and still think it's an awful thing that should be eradicated.

I'm confused by your use of "allowed" here. Technology can have negative externalities, sure, especially if "externality" is just a fancy word for "side effect."

Everything in the world is fallible and full of imperfections, so all technology currently known to us has negative side effects. If the negative side effects of X are better than the negative side effects of Y, then X is better and should be embraced and applauded. Calling it evil to utilize X because of its negative side effects is perverse.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't recognize the negative effects and try to correct them. That's the whole point of progress: solve problems, and then solve the even better problems created by previous solutions.

But don't call it evil and bitch about how we're addicted to it or whatever just because it has some negative side effects. That's incredibly common, and seriously messed up.

quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:

4) Seriously, I want to reiterate that you can acknowledge that you are complicit in awful, awful things, without walking around feeling miserably monstrous.

If you're complicit in awful things, and stopping all the awful things is really hard so you don't do it... the correct response is not to redefine "awful thing." Just be realistic about what you can do, and try to do be the best you can.

Well, I'm in favor of redefining "awful things" only as a response to certain trends in our society. It's currently very popular to demonize and vilify various forms of progress. And, broadly, to bias heavily against humans and for vastly inferior things, like "the natural environment."
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
I'm confused by your use of "allowed" here. Technology can have negative externalities, sure, especially if "externality" is just a fancy word for "side effect."
Sorry, jargon I acquired when arguing with particular types of people.

On one hand, yes, dramatic improvements have been made. Obviously we should continuously try to make new improvements. I do recognize that there is a type of person who blindly demonizes "corporations" without understanding a lot of the economic realities and (frankly) amazing things that the modern economy has done.

I also see loads of libertarian-types defending "corporations" and "capitalistic progress" as a class, without acknowledging that the remaining "much better problems" are *still horribly awful problems*, involving coercion and suffering, and that none of these problems ever go away until large numbers of people organize, boycott, and yes, perhaps demonize the practice. An awful practice has to become economically unviable before it goes away.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
An awful practice has to become economically unviable before it goes away.

There also needs to be a superior practice.

Not just before it goes away. I mean that for any practice to be labeled "awful" there needs to be a superior practice, one that could take the place of the awful practice. One that we know about and understand how to implement.

We have to measure practices against concretes. Otherwise, you're calling something "awful" when measured against wishes and rainbows.

We have better practices than rape and pillage (e.g. not raping and pillaging), so it makes sense to label those things awful.

Here, for a nice clear example of what I mean, I'll take energy usage and sources.

Generating energy from our environment and using it to perform work that would otherwise be done by humans (or remain undone) is positive. Using that energy improves human lives. It's amazing!

It also can have negative side effects. Those side effects don't diminish the great benefit of using energy, and don't in any way mean we should strive to not use energy.

Before we knew how to burn coal, burning dung was amazing. Before we knew how to burn oil, burning coal was amazing. Before we knew how to split the atom, burning oil was amazing. And since nuclear power is currently stymied by bad attitudes, oil is still amazing.

Measuring oil (or nuclear, or anything) against a (currently) impossible goal like "zero pollution" is not just silly or foolish. It's morally wrong. It's denigrating progress. It's taking a stand against something that measurably improves human lives, instead of recognizing that the negative side effects are worth the benefit until we have some alternative that provides the same benefit with better side effects.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I'd like to add that addressing the negative sides effect directly is also an honest and positive way of improving existing technologies.

For instance, we used to dump raw sewage into the ocean. Good solution for humans, no raw sewage sitting around setting off epidemics of dysentery, but not so good for the ocean. So, we addressed the problem and started to treat the sewage before dumping it and wha la! Same activity (dumping sewage into the ocean) but now without the ecological problems.

My mother only buys eggs which are from free range chickens (I would do the same if I had her budget).

Next to my kitchen trash can is an equally large recycle can, which fills up about three times as fast. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I feel just fine buying products encased in cardboard and plastic as I recycle them.

I think part of the discussion that has not been addressed is cost vs benefit. How much extra packaging is generated to hermetically seal everything? Who cares? There are crazies out there that have poisoned unsealed stuff! Just toss that extra bit of wrapping in the recycle bin and move on with your life!

Yes, burning wood (or whatever example you like) releases carbon monoxide and you have to cut down a tree, but it's preferable to a family freezing to death. We -can- cut down trees which are grown in a way that doesn't lead to deforestation and add filters to our chimneys. We can treat our food animals with respect and give them good lives, kill them humanely and well and eat our steak guilt free.

This is not a binary issue.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
It also can have negative side effects. Those side effects don't diminish the great benefit of using energy, and don't in any way mean we should strive to not use energy.

Before we knew how to burn coal, burning dung was amazing. Before we knew how to burn oil, burning coal was amazing. Before we knew how to split the atom, burning oil was amazing. And since nuclear power is currently stymied by bad attitudes, oil is still amazing.

Measuring oil (or nuclear, or anything) against a (currently) impossible goal like "zero pollution" is not just silly or foolish. It's morally wrong. It's denigrating progress. It's taking a stand against something that measurably improves human lives, instead of recognizing that the negative side effects are worth the benefit until we have some alternative that provides the same benefit with better side effects.

I do think that, practically, the most effective solutions will be better in the way that coal is better than dung and oil is better than coal and nuclear power is better than oil. (To be clear, I am a pro-nuclear power environmentalist)

But there is nothing inconsistent or wrong with saying "this thing is useful, but it has bad side effects - so we should only use it if we actually need to. The sense I'm getting from your argument (this may be reading into it in ways you didn't intend) is that all the things we do with oil/sweatshops/whatever fall under the category of "progress" and we should be glad for it.

In plenty of cases, the tools to fix something is not some distant technology we have yet to acquire.

It does not take special technology to pay workers more and install safe working conditions for them.

It does not take special technology to use canvas bags instead of plastic ones, or to carry your one grocery item in your hand because it's not that damn hard.

It does not take special technology to turn down the heat in a college dormitory rather than pumping it to 80 degrees in the winter, so that sweltering students have to actually open their windows in December and let the heat out.

It does not take special technology to raise animals in humane conditions, rather than leaving them unable to move, pumped so full of growth hormones that their legs break under their own weight and they spend their lives sitting in their own feces.

Each of these things require nothing but for humans to adjust their standards of what is "normal." Which *can* be hard, and I respect that. But once "normal" is adjusted, it doesn't even impact quality of life, because happiness is actually pretty flexible and we get used to new circumstances pretty easily. (It required minimal effort for me to get in the habit of carrying food in my hand rather than getting it to come in three layers of plastic containers, and hasn't hurt me in the slightest since then)

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Dan_Frank
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Yeah, none of those take special technology, but they all require something, right? You're assuming, unargued, that this something is, in each case, trivial and worth doing because the negative side effects are too great.

But in each case people chose to do things the way they are currently doing them for a reason. It's not good enough to just say "Nope, that's bad to do Y, you have to do X because it's not that damn hard."

You need to find out why they currently do Y, criticize their reasons, be open to the possibility that you're mistaken, and figure out whether X really is better than Y.

If you persuade them, and they change, okay, cool. If not, maybe X isn't as good as you thought.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
An awful practice has to become economically unviable before it goes away.

There also needs to be a superior practice.
No, not at all? It could just become economically unviable and have no superior practice available, and people would be economically forced to go without.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
An awful practice has to become economically unviable before it goes away.

There also needs to be a superior practice.
No, not at all? It could just become economically unviable and have no superior practice available, and people would be economically forced to go without.
That sounds like a loss. Something lamentable.

In context, Raymond is talking about trying to force such change. Why would you try to force a change that hurts people?

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El JT de Spang
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I'm not sure when it happened but Cracked Magazine started printing stuff that's actually thought provoking.

About five years ago when they dropped the 'magazine' part and just started producing online content.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I'm not sure when it happened but Cracked Magazine started printing stuff that's actually thought provoking.

About five years ago when they dropped the 'magazine' part and just started producing online content.
Yeah I figured as much. I kinda wish Mad Magazine would find a way to make that transition effectively.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
In context, Raymond is talking about trying to force such change. Why would you try to force a change that hurts people?
I have no idea how you got that from my most recent post.

Slave labor hurts people. We have the tools we need, right now, to make products without slave labor. We keep having things produced via slave labor because it's cheaper than paying people. The only way this becomes economically unviable is when people coordinate to stop buying from companies that benefit from slave labor until they stop using it.

Similar things go for pollution and other practices.

If by "hurt people" you mean "people will need to pay more money for some things", and "get used to not cranking down their house to 60 degrees and then huddling in blankets to create a nice cozy feeling, well, yes.

[ October 06, 2012, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: Raymond Arnold ]

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Dan_Frank
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Most of the stuff you've talked about so far has not been slave labor, though. In fact, in your recent post where you listed stuff that doesn't require technology to fix, the one I replied to, you didn't mention slave labor at all, anywhere. Slave labor is sort of a specific issue, and conflating it with "other practices" seriously obfuscates things.

Anyway, by "hurt people," yes, I mean "people will need to pay more money for some things" and also "people will lose their jobs and be unable to help their family" and also "people will be inconvenienced and waste time doing something they don't want to do" and thousands of other permutations of hurting people. Yes.

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
I mostly agree with Tukka, but I don't self-identify as a monster. Measuring morality on an absolute sense isn't useful. .

Thank you for intelligent comments. And just to point out, I don't self-identify as monster, either. I just admit that by reasonable moral standards it could be justified if someone called me a monster.

The article - and my earlier post - Is really just pointing out how grey-scale everything is. We are inclined to create monsters out of others, any way we can, while failing to see the monstrousness in ourselves.

[ October 07, 2012, 07:59 AM: Message edited by: Tuukka ]

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
It boggles my mind that people like you genuinely believe all that awesome progress is bad, and that using it makes you a monster.

I have never stated that progress is bad. You are either lying, or you are failing to actually read my posts before you comment on them.

I actually think that progress is great, because it allows us to get rid of a lot of nasty practices that we have currently.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
But moreover, it really boggles my mind that you believe it makes you a monster and yet you do it anyway!

Is it that hard for you to live morally by your lights? Do you just not care?.

I don't self-identify as a monster. I simply stated that by reasonable, logical standards, I could be said to be a monster.

quote:
Maybe if you find it difficult to live morally you should rethink your concept of morality, and figure out if you are actually right that utilizing progress and prioritizing humanity is evil.
I actually nowhere proposed that utilizing progress and prioritizing humanity would be evil.

So you are lying again, or alternatively you are not really reading my posts before commenting on them.

quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Much like the linked article, you take a lot of morality for granted, as if it were established fact when, in fact, it is not.

Actually, both the article that was linked, and my original post, made a point that morality is a slippery slope without clear-cut definitions. It's easy to see yourself as a good person, where as someone else might see you as a monster. And both sides can justify their position with logical reasoning.

So I'm arguing the exact opposite position of what you are claiming that I argue.

You are being rather impolite, along with being illogical.

[ October 07, 2012, 07:53 AM: Message edited by: Tuukka ]

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I find it downright silly to assign the title monster to anyone who is part of a culture which (unknown to them) has accepted less then humane policies for producing goods.

I'm sure I've ended up owning some product produced by child labor, but that does NOT mean I am a willing participant in child labor, nor that I'm a monster. If it were as easy as flipping over a label and the words "Produced by child labor" was on it...and you still bought it...then you would share complicity. But without any knowledge of wrong doing one can hardly be blamed for it. The principal that you have to be able to know the difference between right and wrong to be judged is even in our legal system.

I would -never- buy a product which involved torture or slavery, etc knowingly.

If -you- do it knowingly, then you are indeed a monster. If not, then you are just being silly.

I thought that at least most people on this board would be aware of the inhuman ways farm animals are treated. By any practical standards, it's torture. I've visited pig farms. Terrible, terrible places. And the places I've visited were the GOOD places, properly regulated. I've seen documentaries of places that aren't regulated properly - They are like hell's on earth.

I'm still eating pork, thought. It tastes good.

Of course, some people by principle don't really care how animals are treated. Then again, those same people are usually suddenly up in the arms when someone has hurted a dog, or a cat. When that happens, I don't think much intelligent, logical reasoning goes with it.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
You are either lying, or you are failing to actually read my posts before you comment on them.

quote:
So you are lying again, or alternatively you are not really reading my posts before commenting on them.
quote:
You are being rather impolite, along with being illogical.
I don't think you are being fair to Dan here Tuukka. Those two options (dishonesty or not reading your post) are not at all the only options on why someone could get the wrong impression.

It can be very difficult to communicate clearly through text, even more difficult then when speaking to someone in person as all tone, body language, emphasis and emotion are instantly removed.

If Dan (or anyone else for that matter) misunderstood what you have said, then simply correct them. No need to vilify or take personally a simple miscommunication.

Also, I thought your comments sounded just like Dan did, and your further explanation helped clarify your position.

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Dan_Frank
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Tuuka, I was being straightforward, but I wasn't trying to be rude. Sorry if I offended you, but so far it doesn't seem you've really offered any clear responses to my criticisms.
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