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Brannock replied 2 years ago (Jul 29th 2021, 11:47:23 am)

As to xodarap's responsive discussion...   I will respond below....

He needs to specify what he believes evil to be. 

He did.  Perhaps you didn't notice.  It is stated clearly in the root evil camp as amended.

I have not said that evil is exclusively and completely identical with depersonalisation.

Yes.   Actually, by publishing your camp statement as a statement under the heading "evil", without clarifying that you were offering one example of evil, as opposed to stating what evil was, you did, in effect present a statement of what evil is that is reasonably interpreted as definitive and exclusive.   Whether you meant it that way or not.... that is the effect of the communication you chose.   Of course, I assume you will disagree, because if you shared that view of communication, you wouldn't have done it that way.  (a smile).

I do say there is a very big overlap.

Well... you say that now.... but you did not say that in your camp statement.   The validity of your statement is reasonably assessed on what the statement actually said and the context in which is was said..... not what you intended (meant) but did not actually say.

Brannok needs to specify what "soul" means to him.

No.  He does not need to.   You may wish him to.   You may invite him to.  If you did, he likely would.   But he does not "need" to.   What soul means to Brannock is not germane to his point that that your camp statement, presented as a definition of evil, is inappropriate on those grounds, even if he may agree with the idea that some of what you say is evil.   

As to 'helpful' versus 'essential',

You are entitled to your view of what is "essential" and in what context.   In the context that you used the term in your camp statement, Brannock doesn't agree.   He doesn't "need" to say anything more about that.   You may invite him to.... and if you did, and he thought it was of sufficient interest to share, he might, or he might not.   He doesn't "need" to.   He has no motivation.   As a courtesy, he explained what he didn't agree with in your camp statement.   He doesn't owe you or anyone else anything.   He is participating at the invitation and suggestion of Brent.   Invitation and suggestion... not compulsion, not moral requirement, not social obligation.   It is curious that your choice of words seems to suggest that you don't get that and reflect a latent passive-aggressive tension.   Perhaps I might suggest some breathing exercises?  (a smile)  

Brannock replied 2 years ago (Jul 29th 2021, 11:17:13 am)

xodarap's camp statement on evil has (at the suggestion of Brent) been moved to a subcamp of evil.   Those who supported xodarap's camp statement when it was the root Evil camp are invited to support the newly created subcamp which has the exact statement (typos corrected) that xodarap had in the root evil camp before it was amended to be a general discussion camp.   

xodarap replied 2 years ago (Jul 28th 2021, 3:55:55 pm)

I am a bit confused as to what Brannock is actually proposing. He needs to specify what he believes evil to be. 

I have defined evil as that which occurs as, when, and to the extent that a person is treated as if he or she is a thing rather than an equal other.  I then remarked that authoritarian entities create evil if/when people are depersonalised as part of the, process of production, shall we say. 
I think what I wrote entails that depersonalisation is one aspect, or process, of evil; I have not said that evil is exclusively and completely identical with depersonalisation. I do say there is a very big overlap.

Soul versus empathy. Brannok needs to specify what "soul" means to him. I make no apologies for writing as if supernatural thinking is not applicable. As far as I can see, in the pre scientific universe, it was normal to explain phenomena that have no obvious causal origins perceivable with the naked senses as being caused by supernatural agents and/or substances. Modern scientific method has rendered obsolete most of those beliefs and guesses from the pre scientific universe. What we now have instead, if we choose to avail ourselves of it, is a vast, rich, and pervasively applicable set of explanations based on discoveries of umpteen different types of living things, biological structures, and physical forces and processes, which can only be detected and measured using tools which extend our senses into orders of magnitude both greater and smaller than our naked senses can reach. Of course it is still open to people to choose to describe their world in terms of supernatural essences, etc. The problem with that though is where different traditions all have their own proprietary concepts and definitions. 

As to 'helpful' versus 'essential', Bannok needs to make his case as to why it is only helpful to pin point the fundamental wrong that people commit in their [our] way of treating others as opposed to it being absolutely essential - which is my opinion - that we realise what it is we are doing when we mistreat others. 

Brannock replied 2 years ago (Jul 23rd 2021, 3:04:02 pm)

At the suggestion of Brent, I have proposed an edit to the camp statement.   If that edit is approved, I will support the camp statement and remove support for my own counterpoint camp.  (Not that anyone cares to any great degree what I will do...lol)    Now....  as long as I am imposing on this discussion, my own unsolicited views...   When the original camp statement is (per Brent's suggestion) moved to become a sub-camp, I would like to support it to.... but for a thing or two that it incorporates that I cannot support as follows (for example):

"This statement of the concept is plain, clear and easy to understand and it can be rigorously applied to any situation we think about or find ourselves in."

Well... it could be if it were amended a bit.... but it isn't quite yet due to what follows below that statement.

"As human societies become ever more complex and ever more dependent upon world wide communications and trade, it is essential to use this concept as a basis of judgment about relationships, communities and the behaviours of people and organisations."

I would be more supportive of "helpful" as opposed to "essential".

Furthermore this statement of the nature of evil helps bring into sharp focus the potential for evil to occur through the depersonalisation and loss of empathy which seem to be intrinsic features of legally constructed corporate entities.

I don't think the claim that depersonalizatoin is the "nature of evil" is legitimate.   I would agree that the nature of depersonalization is evil.  

"In other words, one of the greatest dangers that threatens our modern world is the eradication of "soul" - which really is just an old word for empathy - ..."

No.   Soul is not just and old word for empathy.   The two have very different meanings.   Each of the different meanings are useful in their own right.   To obfuscate both meanings by claiming they mean the same thing is unsupportable obfuscation, which (obfuscation of important concepts in general) I believe to be one of the greatest evils on earth more responsible for the discord and disfunction of society than many if not most other more obvious evils.   It (obfuscation) can be found at the root of every other evil act.   Many, if not most, evil acts would not have occurred if more intellectual discipline (the antidote to obfuscation) were applied.   All justification for evil acts requires obfuscation for the justification.   

xodarap replied 13 years ago (May 17th 2010, 10:18:46 pm)
Brent, Xodarap here [you never heard of a "Marodox" did ya ;-] Anyway, yes, this is a very important issue and of enormous scope. I fear to write too much in one go because people wont read it. In this thread I can give some background. In the camp statement I will try to summarise what I take to be important points. * I say that an inherent tendency of all organisations with a *command structure* is to cause many people to be treated as if they are things, at least in part for some of the time, and often to some extent for *all* the time, that those people are contracted to obey commands of the office holders. * It is crucial to realise that this applies to all organisations: armies, police forces, government departments, commercial organisations, sports clubs and religious organisations. The clearest examples of course are organised crime gangs and "families", and military units obeying the orders of a dictatorship. But militant and murderous religious cults have been around since the dawn of civilisation showing that the hideous crimes committed by sick and twisted fanatics of Jihad, the equally perverse atrocities of the Christian inquisitions, and so forth, are not "aberrations" but merely examples of the more extreme end of a common continuum. My slant on the nature of evil crystallised after reading Cape Jugulem [spelling?] one of the Disc World novels by Terry Pratchett, who is of course one of my heroes. I was blown out by the sublime simplicity of a statement he put in the mouth of Granny Weatherwax. She is the chief witch in an anarchistic coven of feisty non-conformists so, during a cross country journey she is forced to undertake in the company of a fanatical disciple of Om [one of many gods], the two of them conduct a full on and pretty much non-stop argument about religions and philosophy. The haughty disciple of Om sounds off by the campfire one evening and starts on the subject of sin. Granny W responds: "There is only ONE sin, and that is to treat another person as a thing!" Well that just stopped me in my tracks when I first read it. Considering that comedy is the biggest feature of the Disc world books, and the main reason I think that he has become a millionaire from the writing of them, it is a gem, a pearl beyond price, which shows how much else Terry Pratchett brings to his writing. After mulling and meditating I have come to see that evil is what happens as and when a person is treated as a thing. It is the essence of evil. We can apply this insight to virtually every situation of human life and if delivers clarity of understanding with practical implications for how many situations can be improved. What is more it allows us to see why our societies are so afflicted by many seemingly intractable problems. I think it is an idea whose time has come and as far as I can see it is an idea of the modern era; it could not be sustained in the pre-scientific universe even though, of course, it was always true. The reason for that I believe is that before the advent of scientific method on the world scene, not enough [natural] persons could extricate themselves mentally from their cultural worldview to see the possibility of something radically different. In the modern era though sceptical thought is at last attaining recognition as a proper and essential approach to discover of the truth. Consider the following: in modern societies various kinds of corporate entities have been given the legal status of "persons". In other words, these entities, which otherwise would be groupings and associations of people, have been accorded a form of sovereign right to stand before the law and assert their existence. In the beginning this was allowed as a special privilege in order to protect sponsors and investors from being saddled with the debts of others with whom they combined investment capital. Before the invention of the limited company such investors would have to be in partnership with each other which entailed being individually and severally responsible for all the debts of the partnership. Fear of dying in a debtors prison was a strong incentive NOT to risk one's hard won capital on a commercial adventure with that basis. Thus the reason for the creation of legal persons which embody the combined capital of thousands of natural persons is perfectly understandable. What most people don't seem to understand, or just don't want to admit, is that limited companies do not feel empathy! Duh - of course not! No reasonable person would say they do. The problem is that the directors of companies, their lawyers, and the many shareholders, all believe that the basic structure and mechanism is benign or at least value free. They believe this while at the same time asserting that the primary function of the company is to make money by "turning a profit". By and large all the bigger private companies are ruled by the doctrine that money profit is the aim of the organisation and the measure of its success. Producing money profit is in effect THE PRIMARY VIRTUE compared to which all other considerations are secondary at best. What this ignores is that money is only an accounting system [as yet anyway] which has real meaning and worth ONLY when it matches off consistently, as a representation, against things of real value that is to say the products of human labour. There are many sides to this but the chief one here is that * as we substitute money for the actual created good or service we abstract ourselves out of the immediate reality. Furthermore, to the extent that those in positions of power exercise that power over others, those over [or against] whom the power is used become objectified in the sight of the powerful ones. That is they come to be seen at least in part as things: "human resources" rather than personnel. This creates divisions in the mind of the one wielding power, but not acknowledged as such probably. * The insidious outcome though, is that, the powerful one looses some of his connection or identity with the rest of humanity. He becomes diminished without realising it. Those who suffer this objectification [us wage slaves for example] lose autonomy and lose authority to make many decisions which directly affect us. This usually leads to stress reactions in the people so affected. If endured for long periods this has the effect of undermining the sufferer's immune system resulting in various kinds of chronic illness. That is enough to go on with Mark
Brent_Allsop replied 13 years ago (May 15th 2010, 8:30:50 pm)
Hi Xodoram, This looks like a great and critically important topic. Thanks for the contribution. I'd be interested to know more details and examples of how this applies to every day behaviors of people. In other words, could you give examples of people violating this principle, or a abiding by it, and explanations for why it is better? Upwards, Brent Allsop