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Controversial topic but...
#1
Controversial topic but...
I feel it is important to think about it. 

The purpose of this thread is not to take a position, but rather encourage discussion.

I have been thinking that our society gives the same rights and value to every human just for being human. This is the universal correct thought.
But what happens when we start taking certain characteristics into account? For example: the intelligence. Is someone with more intelligence more valuable than a dumber person, eve though both are human? What about people with down syndrome?  And lets not stop there. What about the emotions and feelings on these people? Are the sentiments of an intelligent person more important/valuable than those of a dumb person? 

We consider the suffering of animals less important than that of humans because they dont reason, have feelings, or a human consciousness (they feel pain, yes). So, in comparison, can we say that a dumb person is similar to an animal in that regard? The less intelligent you are, the more animal you are. And therefore, your emotions are less important. Would this also apply to people with mental disabilities? Probably yes.

So what do you think about it? Do we humans have inherent value, or does it change depending on our characteristics? 
This can be expanded to topics such as age, sex, etc. For example, if you have to save an old man from or a little cute girl from a building in fire, who would you save? And why?
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#2
RE: Controversial topic but...
I would say that people that actively work against society have less value and can safely be voided.
So people who wont vaccinate and they litter or pollute. Those who instigate violence against the innocent.

You know republicans or tories.



You can fix ignorance, you can't fix stupid.

Tinkety Tonk and down with the Nazis.




 








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#3
RE: Controversial topic but...
(September 27, 2019 at 2:04 pm)Macoleco Wrote: I feel it is important to think about it. 

The purpose of this thread is not to take a position, but rather encourage discussion.

I have been thinking that our society gives the same rights and value to every human just for being human. This is the universal correct thought.
But what happens when we start taking certain characteristics into account? For example: the intelligence. Is someone with more intelligence more valuable than a dumber person, eve though both are human? What about people with down syndrome?  And lets not stop there. What about the emotions and feelings on these people? Are the sentiments of an intelligent person more important/valuable than those of a dumb person? 

We consider the suffering of animals less important than that of humans because they dont reason, have feelings, or a human consciousness (they feel pain, yes). So, in comparison, can we say that a dumb person is similar to an animal in that regard? The less intelligent you are, the more animal you are. And therefore, your emotions are less important. Would this also apply to people with mental disabilities? Probably yes.

So what do you think about it? Do we humans have inherent value, or does it change depending on our characteristics? 
This can be expanded to topics such as age, sex, etc. For example, if you have to save an old man from or a little cute girl from a building in fire, who would you save? And why?

It's pretty clear that everyone has value, but not everyone has the same value.  You seem to stress intelligence, so let's address that.

Suppose you needed brain surgery.  Wouldn't it make sense to place greater value on a more intelligent surgeon than on a less intelligent one?  Or you needed a plumber - wouldn't you place more value (and thus be more likely to hire) an experienced, intelligent plumber than someone who isn't clear about the difference between copper and plastic piping?

All things being equal, I would probably save the little girl from a burning building.  This is because, for no particular reason, I tend to place more value on the safety and welfare of children than I do on that of adults.

There's actually a thought experiment that kind of applies here.  Imagine you're driving a locomotive.  As you're approaching the next stop, you discover than your brakes have failed - there is literally NO way to stop the train.  On the tracks ahead of you are five people, none of whom you know.  You have the option of directing the train to a siding on which is a single person you do know.  Your options are to kill five people you don't know through your inaction, or to kill a single friend via a deliberate, conscious act.  Do you value the lives of people you know more than the lives of strangers?

(There's a third option only available to Beccs:  Is there any way you can kill all six people?  :Smile )

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#4
RE: Controversial topic but...
I would say we have two sets of values:

One set of values comes from individual as well as collective evaluation of self-interest, historic experience, and deductions that might plausibly, I most often in perhaps very impressionistic ways, maximize desired good at acceptable cost and risk.    This is the sausage making process, much of which may be too convoluted, too embarrassing, to impressionistic, too intuitive, to be set out in a collected an defensible way for general consumption.

Another set comes from an attempt to create an ex-post set of rationalizations for the 1st set of values that would be acceptable to a wide enough range of other people to give the first set a good chance of sticking.

The notion that all people are equal is definitely part of the second set.

In practice, we often forget what is necessary rationalization for ensuring the society adopts a set of standards that would keep it from falling part or be overtaken and suppressed by another, and what is fundamentally true.    As a result, we often forget there are reasons for keeping rationalization even if it is not strictly true.   Conversely, we try to extend the rationalization as if it fundamentally true, leading to absurd conclusions that in no way help the rationalization serve its real purpose.
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#5
RE: Controversial topic but...
There are definetly some sub- humans running around.


Hang out and watch what sort of creatures go in and out of Walmart.

You'll see what I mean.
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#6
RE: Controversial topic but...
Replaying Elephant Man in my head. He had value(s) on many different levels.

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#7
RE: Controversial topic but...
(September 27, 2019 at 2:29 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(September 27, 2019 at 2:04 pm)Macoleco Wrote: I feel it is important to think about it. 

The purpose of this thread is not to take a position, but rather encourage discussion.

I have been thinking that our society gives the same rights and value to every human just for being human. This is the universal correct thought.
But what happens when we start taking certain characteristics into account? For example: the intelligence. Is someone with more intelligence more valuable than a dumber person, eve though both are human? What about people with down syndrome?  And lets not stop there. What about the emotions and feelings on these people? Are the sentiments of an intelligent person more important/valuable than those of a dumb person? 

We consider the suffering of animals less important than that of humans because they dont reason, have feelings, or a human consciousness (they feel pain, yes). So, in comparison, can we say that a dumb person is similar to an animal in that regard? The less intelligent you are, the more animal you are. And therefore, your emotions are less important. Would this also apply to people with mental disabilities? Probably yes.

So what do you think about it? Do we humans have inherent value, or does it change depending on our characteristics? 
This can be expanded to topics such as age, sex, etc. For example, if you have to save an old man from or a little cute girl from a building in fire, who would you save? And why?

It's pretty clear that everyone has value, but not everyone has the same value.  You seem to stress intelligence, so let's address that.

Suppose you needed brain surgery.  Wouldn't it make sense to place greater value on a more intelligent surgeon than on a less intelligent one?  Or you needed a plumber - wouldn't you place more value (and thus be more likely to hire) an experienced, intelligent plumber than someone who isn't clear about the difference between copper and plastic piping?

All things being equal, I would probably save the little girl from a burning building.  This is because, for no particular reason, I tend to place more value on the safety and welfare of children than I do on that of adults.

There's actually a thought experiment that kind of applies here.  Imagine you're driving a locomotive.  As you're approaching the next stop, you discover than your brakes have failed - there is literally NO way to stop the train.  On the tracks ahead of you are five people, none of whom you know.  You have the option of directing the train to a siding on which is a single person you do know.  Your options are to kill five people you don't know through your inaction, or to kill a single friend via a deliberate, conscious act.  Do you value the lives of people you know more than the lives of strangers?

(There's a third option only available to Beccs:  Is there any way you can kill all six people?  :Smile )

Boru


Drive the locomotive in such a way that it hits either the one or the five people, but tips over at that moment, and crushes the people it didn't hit, while also kill the conductor in the process.   7 people.    There!
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#8
RE: Controversial topic but...
OFC intelligence makes someone more valuable - but it doesn't make them more human.  We claim -human- rights for humans (because we're humans, lol).  We don't claim human rights on the basis of who plays tuba the best.



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#9
RE: Controversial topic but...
(September 27, 2019 at 4:11 pm)Anomalocaris Wrote: Drive the locomotive in such a way that it hits either the one or the five people, but tips over at that moment, and crushes the people it didn't hit, while also kill the conductor in the process.   7 people.    There!

But one gets out alive, jumps off a dam, dies his hair black and shaves his beard. Starts hanging around hospitals helping random kids to stay alive. Isn't at all embarrassed about losing a fight with a one armed man on a staircase.

Hang on.. What was the question?
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#10
RE: Controversial topic but...
I think a civil society that I would choose to live in should be constructed as something more than a meritocracy based on intelligence, productivity, net worth, mental or physical health, etc. Otherwise we start to both blame and harm the weak, disadvantaged, or unlucky. While some contribute more than others to society at a given moment, if we are not a compassionate and inclusive and merciful society, then what is the point. After all, any one of us who (think we) are contributing more to society are just a bad accident or serious health issue away from not contributing or even requiring a great deal from society just for our survival.

The concept of protecting the "least among us" is really an advanced application of empathy -- the ability to imagine how others, including our potential future selves, experience life and what they feel about it.

There is also the issue of perspective. My son suffered from something called Schizoid Personality Disorder with various comorbidities such as depression and high functioning autism. He consistently made bad life decisions in certain areas, and would never fully launch and be able to survive without help from yours truly -- and even then he only made it to age 30. But he also would drop everything to help you if you needed it. My wife (his stepmother) had a flat tire on a busy city street near his house; he happened to spot her, and took over the situation and put everything right. He often did a lot of pro bono work for extended family, getting their computers working. He was devoid of self-pity or the need to complain. He had a fantastic sense of humor. He loved good movies and good food. He was a respectful and devoted son who would do anything that I asked him to do, and that he was able to do, and would not ask for help (to a fault) but when offered it, accepted it with genuine appreciation.

On the other hand he never could hold down more than minimum wage crap jobs, had an incredibly messy apartment, and despite our efforts to spruce him up, one could only describe his manner of dress as "slovenly". If you met him on the street you would not think highly of him based on appearance alone. If you were a prospective employer, you would wonder if he was trouble or not. His flat affect did not endear him to anyone. So based on perceived intelligence (though he was in fact extremely bright and intuitive, just not broadly or socially), on appearance and perceived attitude, he wasn't worth a shit. But he was my son and I loved him like any good father loves a good son. Unfortunately he wasn't dysfunctional enough to get all the help he needed from the system, yet not functional enough to thrive. One of the things I hope to see from society is that they do a better job with people like that, not a worse job. We shouldn't be looking for excuses to discard people. We've already emptied out the mental institutions and pushed them out into the streets as it is, over the past couple of generations.
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