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Old 2012-08-24, 23:52   Link #201
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Cause View Post
And yet there would still be firearms available through black markets or other illegal means. Just because you close the gun store, doesn't mean you can't get a gun.
Absolutely correct, but you're still overlooking something. I am not arguing for a world where there are no guns, and where gun violence never occurs. It is very unlikely that such a scenario could be brought about, because there will always be people who shirk the law. Guns aren't terribly difficult to produce, either.

However, consider this. If you force guns "underground," fewer guns will be produced. The black market will continue to produce their own and they may even expand a bit, but gun production would decrease. With a decreased production of guns, fewer people will have guns. The less people who have guns, the less gun crime there will be.

Obviously, in order for this to work the ban would need to be nation-wide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Cause View Post
As for as the fear thing goes, I don't buy into it! Americans (myself included) just don't like Big Brother telling us what to do, what to eat, what to wear, or how to act! As long as we're lawful in our activities and not treading on somebody else's liberties then we should be allowed to do "out own thing"!
I think it depends on what part of the country you're in. If you're in a very remote area, the type of place where even your neighbors are 10 minutes or more away, then you're quite vulnerable. I'd say that gun ownership makes sense in a place like that. The people from these areas who claim that armed civilians can easily take down an aggressor are probably right, at least for their location: the population density is low enough that there's little risk of collateral damage.

Yet in suburban to urban environments, neighbors and bystanders (who admittedly aren't always going to jump in to help) are much more readily available, as are the police. Having a gunfight in those types of areas will incite panic and can cause injury from stray shots.

Such is what seems to have happened here, in yet another shooting incident, this time in New York City (2 dead, 9 wounded). A man fired on the police, and many were injured by stray shots. (I suppose the conservative response will be "they should have trained more; people with better shooting skills wouldn't have those problems." Yeah, whatever; get real, please.)

On the topic of "I don't want to be told how to live," there are certain times when an individual's desires should be curtailed. For example, most Americans don't want to be told how to eat. Look at us: we're drowning in our obesity. If one person wants to eat themselves to death, I'd say that it's their business and their right. When the majority of the nation is doing it, it's a problem. It's a problem because it costs us in productivity and other areas of business, but most importantly, it costs us in our healthcare.

Obesity leads to a host of other health problems. It costs money to treat all of that, which puts a strain on insurance companies. It also takes up resources to treat those issues, which means medical personnel time and hospital space taken up by people who couldn't control themselves that could have otherwise been used by people with other health issues.

In other words, because many people didn't want to listen to advice and guidelines about eating and exercising, our entire healthcare system (and other areas of our society) is going to be strained. That's a system that we all rely on. You tell me what you would prefer: the collapse of the healthcare system, or stricter mandates on what people can and can't eat. Neither option is appealing, but I'll tell you that I'd choose the latter in a heartbeat.

How does that relate to guns? Simple: the more guns are around, the greater the chance that I or someone I love will cross paths with someone who loses it and decides to use their guns against others. Is it right that law-abiding, sane gun owners should be punished for the actions of a few deranged individuals? No, of course not. In a perfect world, people who misbehaved would simply have their guns taken away, and everyone else would not be punished. But the world isn't perfect. From a selfish perspective that concerns only me and mine, the way I see it, the benefits of limiting guns outweigh the downsides.
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Old 2012-08-25, 09:05   Link #202
kyp275
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Yet in suburban to urban environments, neighbors and bystanders (who admittedly aren't always going to jump in to help) are much more readily available, as are the police. Having a gunfight in those types of areas will incite panic and can cause injury from stray shots.
These days it's far more likely the bystanders will pull out their phones to record you getting beaten / shot to death and then put it on youtube and facebook and then texting their buddies going "OMG look at this LOLOLOL" instead of actually calling 911 or doing anything about it

Also, more police doesn't mean anything other than there would be more people to clean up the mess afterwards, police forces by nature is reactionary, they can't be everywhere all the time. In high population area this becomes even worse, as the police department has to deal with extremely high workloads, which often leads to situations where even urgent calls are overlooked/ignored, like that Dallas women who called 911 screaming for help, yet nothing happened, and her relatives had to kick down her door and discover her rotting body two days later. In places like Detroit, many people don't even bother calling the police, as they aren't going to show up 'til at least a hour later anyway, if at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Such is what seems to have happened here, in yet another shooting incident, this time in New York City (2 dead, 9 wounded). A man fired on the police, and many were injured by stray shots. (I suppose the conservative response will be "they should have trained more; people with better shooting skills wouldn't have those problems." Yeah, whatever; get real, please.)
yea, stray shots... by the police :P


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
In other words, because many people didn't want to listen to advice and guidelines about eating and exercising, our entire healthcare system (and other areas of our society) is going to be strained. That's a system that we all rely on. You tell me what you would prefer: the collapse of the healthcare system, or stricter mandates on what people can and can't eat. Neither option is appealing, but I'll tell you that I'd choose the latter in a heartbeat.
Once you start accepting that the end justify the means, where do you stop? Should we install cameras at every home and GPS tracker on every person to stop crimes?

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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
From a selfish perspective that concerns only me and mine, the way I see it, the benefits of limiting guns outweigh the downsides.
I just happen to land on the other side of the line from you :P
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Old 2012-08-25, 09:27   Link #203
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
These days it's far more likely the bystanders will pull out their phones to record you getting beaten / shot to death and then put it on youtube and facebook and then texting their buddies going "OMG look at this LOLOLOL" instead of actually calling 911 or doing anything about it

Also, more police doesn't mean anything other than there would be more people to clean up the mess afterwards, police forces by nature is reactionary, they can't be everywhere all the time. In high population area this becomes even worse, as the police department has to deal with extremely high workloads, which often leads to situations where even urgent calls are overlooked/ignored, like that Dallas women who called 911 screaming for help, yet nothing happened, and her relatives had to kick down her door and discover her rotting body two days later. In places like Detroit, many people don't even bother calling the police, as they aren't going to show up 'til at least a hour later anyway, if at all.
You have a seriously messed up view of humanity if you think that.

If people delay in calling 911 it's more down to shock then anything else. Likewise people will only hesitate to involve themselves because they have no idea what to do (and are afraid themselves).

Fundamentally, 90% of the population will always try to do the right thing.
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Old 2012-08-25, 10:05   Link #204
kyp275
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
You have a seriously messed up view of humanity if you think that.

If people delay in calling 911 it's more down to shock then anything else. Likewise people will only hesitate to involve themselves because they have no idea what to do (and are afraid themselves).

Fundamentally, 90% of the population will always try to do the right thing.
Not really, it's happened time and time again, there are more than a few news stories you can find where bystanders walked by people who are literally dying on the street without doing anything, or at best taking out their phones and...take pictures of the dying man, and then walk on by.

like this

http://onemansblog.com/2010/04/25/ne...-over-an-hour/

or this:

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/sc...ns-pic-1188379


Are there people out there who would rush out and help? of course there is, but they are the exception rather than the norm, and many tend to default to the "well, someone else will do something about this" mentality and do nothing - it's called the Diffusion of Responsibility, not exactly a new concept.

also, I'd like to see what study or survey or any sort of empirical study that you based your 90% claim on
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Old 2012-08-25, 14:37   Link #205
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
These days it's far more likely the bystanders will pull out their phones to record you getting beaten / shot to death and then put it on youtube and facebook and then texting their buddies going "OMG look at this LOLOLOL" instead of actually calling 911 or doing anything about it
I agree with this. Even if people aren't going to simply gawk, many people feel that it's better not to get involved. Why risk yourself, and why risk getting involved in something that may end up with you facing a lawsuit?

The culture may change eventually. I hope that it does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
In places like Detroit, many people don't even bother calling the police, as they aren't going to show up 'til at least a hour later anyway, if at all.
Perhaps we should find ways to decrease the police response time, then. This isn't something that is unchangeable.

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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
yea, stray shots... by the police :P
It doesn't matter that the stray shots were derived from the police. It goes to show that in a very crowded area, the risk of injuring or killing uninvolved parties is very high. I think this is just common sense: with more people around, the chance of stray shots (or fragments from stray shots) to hit unintended targets increases. As I mentioned before, the people who feel that the best solution is to equip everyone with a gun might have something that works for a small, sparsely-populated community. Once you get into places with a higher population density, that sort of proposition seems like a very bad idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Once you start accepting that the end justify the means, where do you stop? Should we install cameras at every home and GPS tracker on every person to stop crimes?
I have not been arguing that a ban on guns would stop or decrease crimes. I think I have been fairly consistent about this within this thread, even though pro-gun advocates keep bringing it up and arguing against it. What I have been saying is that getting rid of guns would decrease the severity of injuries and number of deaths. GundamFan0083 brought up some data about how knife crimes were prevalent in Canada, presumably due to Canada's strict gun laws. Do you really want to say that a knife has more destructive potential than a gun?

Regarding regulations, life isn't black and white. Society's regulations are all based around grey zones. We have speed limits and rules of the road, as opposed to offering a choice of either banning people from driving or allowing roads to be a free-for-all. We allow biological experiments to occur and even allow limited human testing (with consent), but have banned certain "ethically sensitive" areas such as aspects of embryonic stem cell research; it is again not the case that society decided between stopping all research, or allowing all research with zero regulations.

As such, why are you going from "ban guns" to "monitor everyone"? Could such a slide occur? Yes. Could we have a state where everyone monitored (or worse) and guns are still legal? Absolutely.

Where do you draw the line? I don't like absolutes, but I also like cost-benefit analyses. Here's an example.

What are some of the benefits of removing speed limits from roads? People could drive what ever speed they were comfortable with, decreasing their travel time; people with powerful vehicles could derive full enjoyment from those vehicles by going as fast as possible.

What are some of the risks of removing speed limits from roads? Extremely high-speed collisions would result in greater risk of death and grave injuries; such collisions would become more likely with greater disparities between travelers' speeds; there's a greater risk of people losing control of their vehicles by overestimating their handling capacity; at extremely high speeds, vehicles may fly off of roads and cause injury and damage to people and structures along roads (can be rectified by building walls or greater guard rails alongside roads, but that's going to cost a lot of money).

Do the benefits outweigh the risks? No. We can discuss raising the speed limits in some areas, but outright removal of speed limits would not be worth it.

How about guns?

What are the benefits of allowing guns to be purchased? Recreational use (hunting, sport shooting); collector's items for some; personal protection or protection of property (particularly farms).

What are some of the consequences? Potential for grave accidental injury; places easy killing capacity in the hands of the population (including the mentally unstable); capacity for wide-spread injury and death to be brought about by a single individual.

Do the benefits outweigh the risks? I've been arguing 100% against guns in this thread for fun, but my personal opinion is that guns are warranted in certain areas (farms, rural communities). In areas with a high population density the consequences weigh much more heavily. It seems very strange to put that sort of destructive potential into people's hands in such environments. At the moment, I don't have any good solution to reconciling between rural and urban environments.
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Old 2012-08-25, 18:23   Link #206
Lost Cause
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Absolutely correct, but you're still overlooking something. I am not arguing for a world where there are no guns, and where gun violence never occurs. It is very unlikely that such a scenario could be brought about, because there will always be people who shirk the law. Guns aren't terribly difficult to produce, either.

However, consider this. If you force guns "underground," fewer guns will be produced. The black market will continue to produce their own and they may even expand a bit, but gun production would decrease. With a decreased production of guns, fewer people will have guns. The less people who have guns, the less gun crime there will be.

Obviously, in order for this to work the ban would need to be nation-wide.


I think it depends on what part of the country you're in. If you're in a very remote area, the type of place where even your neighbors are 10 minutes or more away, then you're quite vulnerable. I'd say that gun ownership makes sense in a place like that. The people from these areas who claim that armed civilians can easily take down an aggressor are probably right, at least for their location: the population density is low enough that there's little risk of collateral damage.

Yet in suburban to urban environments, neighbors and bystanders (who admittedly aren't always going to jump in to help) are much more readily available, as are the police. Having a gunfight in those types of areas will incite panic and can cause injury from stray shots.

Such is what seems to have happened here, in yet another shooting incident, this time in New York City (2 dead, 9 wounded). A man fired on the police, and many were injured by stray shots. (I suppose the conservative response will be "they should have trained more; people with better shooting skills wouldn't have those problems." Yeah, whatever; get real, please.)

On the topic of "I don't want to be told how to live," there are certain times when an individual's desires should be curtailed. For example, most Americans don't want to be told how to eat. Look at us: we're drowning in our obesity. If one person wants to eat themselves to death, I'd say that it's their business and their right. When the majority of the nation is doing it, it's a problem. It's a problem because it costs us in productivity and other areas of business, but most importantly, it costs us in our healthcare.

Obesity leads to a host of other health problems. It costs money to treat all of that, which puts a strain on insurance companies. It also takes up resources to treat those issues, which means medical personnel time and hospital space taken up by people who couldn't control themselves that could have otherwise been used by people with other health issues.

In other words, because many people didn't want to listen to advice and guidelines about eating and exercising, our entire healthcare system (and other areas of our society) is going to be strained. That's a system that we all rely on. You tell me what you would prefer: the collapse of the healthcare system, or stricter mandates on what people can and can't eat. Neither option is appealing, but I'll tell you that I'd choose the latter in a heartbeat.

How does that relate to guns? Simple: the more guns are around, the greater the chance that I or someone I love will cross paths with someone who loses it and decides to use their guns against others. Is it right that law-abiding, sane gun owners should be punished for the actions of a few deranged individuals? No, of course not. In a perfect world, people who misbehaved would simply have their guns taken away, and everyone else would not be punished. But the world isn't perfect. From a selfish perspective that concerns only me and mine, the way I see it, the benefits of limiting guns outweigh the downsides.
While I agree with most if what you said, the whole idea of making guns go "underground" are more serious than you think! First the weapons made there would be shoddy and possibly blow up in the users face!
Second it's far easier to assemble your own AR-15 rifle from parts than you might think! A trip over too YouTube can verify that!
Now you touched on obesity and how it goes with the gun "problem". It's more about lacksadaisely ideologies and "just don't wanna" attitudes that prevail here. With the proliferation of the Internet, and the ability to shop online, we no longer need to go out and roam stores and malls, thus getting a workout or just exercising.
The trick to responsible gun handleing and shooting is TRAINING!!! I have taken two courses at Gunsite in Arizona, as well as a local concealed carry weapon class. I go to the range monthly and would like to go more often.
As to the police in New York hitting bystanders, not all cops are professionals at there job! Some see it as a stepping stone to public office or as "just a job". I've talked to veteran police officers who say getting some of these guys to go to the range or even clean their weapons is like pulling teeth!
Yet there are some very talented civilian shooters. If you could see the local IPSC competitors you'd know what I mean.
Lastly a gunshot wound will send you too the hospital, a knife will send you too the hospital in pieces! Either one can kill you!
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Old 2012-08-25, 18:47   Link #207
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I agree with this. Even if people aren't going to simply gawk, many people feel that it's better not to get involved. Why risk yourself, and why risk getting involved in something that may end up with you facing a lawsuit?

The culture may change eventually. I hope that it does.
The Lawsuit is likely to go the other way. You are often obliged to help someone in need, and receive protection from lawsuits when doing so.

@kyp275: If most of us were so, then general opinion would hold that such actions were not immoral. If we can easily agree that something is immoral, then that means that 90% of people (or more) would think so too. If it was only 50%, then we wouldn't be sure if it's immoral (For instance, everyone thinks murder is immoral, and so very few will ever do it. Whereas for homosexuality there's more disagreement, so many do it with impunity).

Generally speaking, pretty much everyone will help someone in need, because pretty much everyone is fundamentally moral. People do hesitate of course, but usually more due to being a "Deer in the headlights" then anything else. If you don't know how to respond, you'll often just do nothing. Such people aren't gleefully spectating. Quite the opposite in fact, they're shocked and afraid.
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Old 2012-08-25, 20:31   Link #208
kyp275
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Good Samaritan laws protects those who helped, it does not apply a duty to help to those who would not do so. Heck, even the police are not obligated by law to save you in the US. It is also not uniform across most jurisdictions, with varying levels of protection. And most important of all, just because it may protect you from being convicted in the end, it does not protect you from being sued in the first place, with all of the lovely associated court and lawyer cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
@kyp275: If most of us were so, then general opinion would hold that such actions were not immoral. If we can easily agree that something is immoral, then that means that 90% of people (or more) would think so too. If it was only 50%, then we wouldn't be sure if it's immoral (For instance, everyone thinks murder is immoral, and so very few will ever do it. Whereas for homosexuality there's more disagreement, so many do it with impunity).
Whether something is considered moral or immoral is irrelevant here, as we're talking about what people actually DO, not what they THINK. Just about everyone would say it's wrong to not help a dying man, but guess what, people do it anyway. How many times have you seen someone with a broken down vehicle by the road or the highway and stopped to offer assistance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Generally speaking, pretty much everyone will help someone in need
No, many people would like to THINK they would, how they actually act when something happens, especially when it's something serious, is another matter entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
because pretty much everyone is fundamentally moral.
Says who? humans are neither fundamentally moral or immoral, as morality is a social construct that is learned after one is born.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
People do hesitate of course, but usually more due to being a "Deer in the headlights" then anything else. If you don't know how to respond, you'll often just do nothing. Such people aren't gleefully spectating. Quite the opposite in fact, they're shocked and afraid.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusi...responsibility
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Old 2012-08-25, 21:09   Link #209
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Whether something is considered moral or immoral is irrelevant here, as we're talking about what people actually DO, not what they THINK. Just about everyone would say it's wrong to not help a dying man, but guess what, people do it anyway. How many times have you seen someone with a broken down vehicle by the road or the highway and stopped to offer assistance?
I don't often see people broken down at the side of the road. But there's a big difference between helping someone who's car has broken down, and calling 911 for a guy who's dying.

Quote:
Says who? humans are neither fundamentally moral or immoral, as morality is a social construct that is learned after one is born.
Humans are fundamentally moral. There is not a single human society on earth without a system of morality in place. When you get a person who is without moral sense you get a psychopath/sociopath, and such people are always born that way(or become so due to physical trauma to the brain). They are not that way by result of their experiences. Morality is not a social construct but a human construct. Even young children have a sense of "fairness".

Our innate moral sense is what allows us to form societies in the first place.
Indeed, but if you read that, you'd see that people on their own are extremely likely to help other people. It's only in a crowd that they don't. To be fair, in a crowd it's very likely that someone will help. People might assume someone else has phoned 911, or that someone else there is more qualified to help out. Or they're too afraid to do anything, and choose to let someone else take the responsibility. But there isn't apathy involved, or joy at other people's suffering.
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Old 2012-08-25, 21:27   Link #210
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Lost Cause View Post
While I agree with most if what you said, the whole idea of making guns go "underground" are more serious than you think! First the weapons made there would be shoddy and possibly blow up in the users face!
As things stand, people can injure themselves with guns that are not shoddy. We're not losing anything there. On the other hand, shoddy weapons in the hands of criminals would be a good thing, wouldn't it?

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Originally Posted by Lost Cause View Post
Second it's far easier to assemble your own AR-15 rifle from parts than you might think! A trip over too YouTube can verify that!
This doesn't matter. If you change the laws to go against guns, our culture that is currently accepting of guns will turn against it. Even if people could easily assemble or make their own guns, they won't.

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Originally Posted by Lost Cause View Post
Now you touched on obesity and how it goes with the gun "problem". It's more about lacksadaisely ideologies and "just don't wanna" attitudes that prevail here. With the proliferation of the Internet, and the ability to shop online, we no longer need to go out and roam stores and malls, thus getting a workout or just exercising.
I somehow doubt that roaming stores and malls would stave off obesity The causes of obesity are multi-faceted, and while our modern lifestyles certainly do contribute to it, the fact is that people can and do maintain their fitness within our society. But this gets to my point, which is regarding the philosophy of not wanting to be told how to live: if one person is horribly obese, it's their business. If half of society is horribly obese, it becomes everyone's business. That's because it's a problem that begins to affect even people who are not obese. How should society respond? That's currently up for debate. Japan chose a penalty approach, fining people who are overweight in an effort to further give them incentive to maintain a healthy weight.

What do you think we should do about it?

Making the connection to guns involves a similar line of thought. If one unstable individual shoots off his gun inappropriately, it's a problem between him and his community. When multiple individuals are using their guns for purposes of harm and destruction all across the country, it's a problem for the entire country.

It's unfortunate that you, as a responsible and law-abiding gun owner, would be penalized. But this isn't about you or how responsible you are - it's about everyone else.

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Originally Posted by Lost Cause View Post
The trick to responsible gun handleing and shooting is TRAINING!!!
Does training prevent people with mental problems from using guns against innocents? Does training prevent people with anger issues from using their guns in a fit of rage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Cause View Post
Lastly a gunshot wound will send you too the hospital, a knife will send you too the hospital in pieces! Either one can kill you!
Yes, either one can kill you. Which one can kill you more easily, and when wielded even by individuals who are weaker or slower than yourself? Are you really telling me that you would rather be assailed by a person with a gun than a person with a knife?
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Old 2012-08-25, 22:16   Link #211
kyp275
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I don't often see people broken down at the side of the road. But there's a big difference between helping someone who's car has broken down, and calling 911 for a guy who's dying.
Of course, but you're the one insinuating that people will always do the right thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Humans are fundamentally moral. There is not a single human society on earth without a system of morality in place. When you get a person who is without moral sense you get a psychopath/sociopath, and such people are always born that way(or become so due to physical trauma to the brain). They are not that way by result of their experiences. Morality is not a social construct but a human construct. Even young children have a sense of "fairness".

Our innate moral sense is what allows us to form societies in the first place.
You can't be more wrong here. There is no universal moral standard that lords over human society. What's moral for one can be extremely immoral for another, it's a social construct that varies wildly based on needs, practicality, culture and religious inputs.

There is also no concrete consensus on the root cause of socio/psychopathy. There are hints at genetic traits that predispose one to such conditions, but there are also very strong connection between adverse environment such as abuse or neglect during early childhood and those who develops psychopathic tendencies. These are basic stuff that are covered in just about every entry level sociology/criminology classes :/

Unlike other animals, humans are born as a blank slate with no instincts of any kind, but in it place we gain the ability to learn and modify our behavior, there's no behavior that is "innate" to humans, everything is learned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Indeed, but if you read that, you'd see that people on their own are extremely likely to help other people. It's only in a crowd that they don't. To be fair, in a crowd it's very likely that someone will help. People might assume someone else has phoned 911, or that someone else there is more qualified to help out. Or they're too afraid to do anything, and choose to let someone else take the responsibility. But there isn't apathy involved, or joy at other people's suffering.
Didn't say everyone would be apathetic or be joyous, but guess what, there are plenty out there who will be.
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Old 2012-08-25, 23:43   Link #212
GundamFan0083
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I don't have time to post my own comments so I'll leave this gentlmen's defense of gun ownership here for you to peruse.

"The Gun Is Civilization" By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.


In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.


The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.


There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat - it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.


People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.


People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.


The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.


When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... And that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)
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Old 2012-08-26, 00:22   Link #213
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
I don't have time to post my own comments so I'll leave this gentlmen's defense of gun ownership here for you to peruse.
I got excited when I saw that you had posted. The quote is a bit of a let-down.

While the author isn't incorrect in any of his statements, they're overly basic. For example:

Quote:
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.
In an overly simplified manner, this is correct. However, this also assumes interactions between two people living in a bubble. It doesn't matter if you're armed if a group of people confront you over something. Similarly, if you're wronged by someone who used force, society will go after them. I understand that many people dislike the idea of putting justice and protection in the hands of others (although I think that's preferable compared to a vigilante society), but you need to consider it in the context of what is to be gained by limiting firearms.

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When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.
Unless your opponent has a gun and/or you're outnumbered and/or you're ambushed. Now we're discussing force escalation.

Quote:
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society.
This makes the assumption that people with force will rule. Question: why aren't we currently ruled by people with the most guns? Why isn't the military ruling the country? It's because under society, things change. Even the strongest and those with the most destructive potential rely on the productivity and functions of other members of society in order to live.

My guess is that the author of the quote, without realizing it, has revealed a bit of paranoia. He has made his statement without realizing that, with a gun, he has more force than the majority of Americans. Does he consider that he and other gun owners are exempt from his sweeping generalizations? He probably hasn't even considered it - instead, he's preoccupied with the fear that other people would try to subdue him.

Quote:
A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
I didn't realize that America was crime-free in areas where guns are abundant.

Quote:
Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
This is some politician-level dodging going on here. Let me break this one down:

The issue he's responding to is the idea that guns increase the injuries and deaths sustained in confrontations.

1) He initially responds by again going on about force equalization, stating that victory would be won by the stronger party without guns. (Does not address anything about injury or death; once again appeals to people who feel fearful about being attacked)

2) He then tries to state that other weapons can be lethal as well. While true, this is really a distractor.

3) He finishes by once again returning to the idea of force equalization.

I don't see why people have such a hard time admitting that a gun has much more destructive capacity than other weapons. We could even go into statistics and point out that there are more gun-related deaths than there are deaths by "fists, bats, sticks, or stones."

Overall, not impressed.
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Old 2012-08-26, 04:33   Link #214
GundamFan0083
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I got excited when I saw that you had posted. The quote is a bit of a let-down.
I finished my quota for today (it's 2:24 am here).
I'll address some of your response, but keep in mind I'm dead tired right now.

Quote:
While the author isn't incorrect in any of his statements, they're overly basic. For example:
Overly basic?
Says who?
You?

I firmly disagree with your opinion there.
This man has addressed the arguments by hoplophobes head on.
If they seem simplistic that is because the gun-banners aren't of a critical mind on this issue.

Quote:
In an overly simplified manner, this is correct. However, this also assumes interactions between two people living in a bubble. It doesn't matter if you're armed if a group of people confront you over something. Similarly, if you're wronged by someone who used force, society will go after them. I understand that many people dislike the idea of putting justice and protection in the hands of others (although I think that's preferable compared to a vigilante society), but you need to consider it in the context of what is to be gained by limiting firearms.
It doesn't matter if you are armed if a group of people confront you?
Really?
Tell that to the families of the people killed by James Holmes.
They were a mob in that theater and he was one person with a shotgun.
If they had been armed, that would be a different matter, but they weren't because it was illegal to bring a firearm into theaters in Aurora.
It was a "gun free zone."

Society?
No Legem actually "society" doesn't go after anyone, nor does it have any obligation to.
That kind of wrong-thinking is part of the reason gun-control is so flawed.
It stems from the erroneous notion that government is good, when history has proven beyond any doubt that it is not.
Governments have killed more people than practically any other force on Earth.
As Washington said, "it's like fire, and is both a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Your second major mistake is this idea that government has an obligation to protect you or bring justice on your behalf.
In the US it doesn't as determined by the SCOTUS.
That alone buries the argument you are attempting to make.
Personal firearms are the only means of protection you have.
As the saying goes, "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away."


Quote:
Unless your opponent has a gun and/or you're outnumbered and/or you're ambushed. Now we're discussing force escalation.
No, he is pointing out equalization and there is no way to deny that rationally.
If both opponents are armed, then their chances are equalized.

Quote:
This makes the assumption that people with force will rule. Question: why aren't we currently ruled by people with the most guns? Why isn't the military ruling the country? It's because under society, things change. Even the strongest and those with the most destructive potential rely on the productivity and functions of other members of society in order to live.
All people rule by force.
It's the reason you pay your taxes, stop when a cop turns his lights on behind you, don't steal, and don't do a whole slew of other things.
As Nietzsche said, "fear is the mother of morality."
No dear, the military industrial complex does rule this country, and has since the 1950s.
Why do you think our police use grenades, armored personnel carriers, machineguns, body armor, assault rifles, drones, and grenade launchers.
They are no longer domestic police forces, they are internal military security units.
That's what SWAT stands for: Special Weapons And Tactics.
Hell we've got military forces patrolling our streets and at DUI checkpoints.

Quote:
My guess is that the author of the quote, without realizing it, has revealed a bit of paranoia. He has made his statement without realizing that, with a gun, he has more force than the majority of Americans. Does he consider that he and other gun owners are exempt from his sweeping generalizations? He probably hasn't even considered it - instead, he's preoccupied with the fear that other people would try to subdue him.
Ah yes the good ol paranoia spin.
Sorry, that's a meme at this point it's so overused.
No, this gentleman made excellent points that were spot on and detrimental to the hoplophobic argument. After all, the real fearmongers here are the ones screaming "OMG there are too many guns in the hands of citizens...eww I'm gonna die! If we could only reduce them by banning them."
Which is the same mentality as those who think banning sodomy will reduce HIV/AIDS.

Quote:
I didn't realize that America was crime-free in areas where guns are abundant.
Crime-free? This man made no such statement. You are making that up entirely and quite frankly lying.

Quote:
This is some politician-level dodging going on here. Let me break this one down:

The issue he's responding to is the idea that guns increase the injuries and deaths sustained in confrontations.

1) He initially responds by again going on about force equalization, stating that victory would be won by the stronger party without guns. (Does not address anything about injury or death; once again appeals to people who feel fearful about being attacked)
No he didn't. He simply points out the facts.
If you are confronted by a person with superior strength, skill, or some combination thereof and you have nothing to equalize him with, you lose, end of story.

Quote:
2) He then tries to state that other weapons can be lethal as well. While true, this is really a distractor.
And he is correct.
Bombs are far more deadly than a firearm.
Machettes can be also, and knives at close range are as dangerous as a pistol.
Every student of Martial Arts worth his Gi knows this.

Quote:
3) He finishes by once again returning to the idea of force equalization.
No, he points out the stupidty of "TV/Movie" thinking which paints an irrational picture of how the world really works.
A gun is your best defense against an armed attacker.
However, it is a moot point since the 2nd Amendment isn't about just defense.
It is an individual right to keep and bear military style arms, end of discussion.

Quote:
I don't see why people have such a hard time admitting that a gun has much more destructive capacity than other weapons. We could even go into statistics and point out that there are more gun-related deaths than there are deaths by "fists, bats, sticks, or stones."
You mean you don't understand why people don't have your irrational fear of firearms.
There are more homicides by gangs than there are anything else with regard to murder.
You want to reduce homcide?
Reduce the number of gang bangers.

Quote:
Overall, not impressed.
Neither am I, with the hoplophobe position on this issue.
It reeks of whining, blubbering, and wimpering on and on about "why won't people just become victims so I can be safe from those evil guns...OOOOOH the humanity."

SCOTUS has settled this issue when they made the ownership of arms an individual right, and when in Miller vs. US Scotus declared that only military arms are the type protected.
That's it, game over, your side lost so stop crying about it.
It's like the Christians that keep bitching about abortion, it's the law of the land so deal with it.
The only thing left for public safety is mandatory training laws since those do conform to the 2nd Amendment.

Now, after reading through all the posts since before my last one I can see this thread has run its course and thus a modus vivendi must be reached.
I have to do this because I'm going to be very busy these next few months and don't know how often I can slip in here on the weekends.
So at this point I have no choice but to agree to disagree on all points brought forward by the hoplophobes here.
You hate guns?
Fine, don't buy one, don't own one, but if you try to take away the right for others to have them, I will be there helping to stop you every step of the way.
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Old 2012-08-26, 05:24   Link #215
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Of course, but you're the one insinuating that people will always do the right thing.
I'll quote the wikipedia article you directed to earlier "
"Group size significantly influenced the likelihood of helping behavior in a staged emergency: 85% of participants responded with intervention when alone, 62% of participants took action when with one other person, and only 31% did when there were four other bystanders."

That 85% responding when alone sounds awfully close to my 90% figure. Even in the case where there are 4 other bystanders, mathematics will tell you that there's still an 85% chance one of them will help. Same goes for the one other bystander case. Regardless, in that study, there'd always be an 85% chance of that person receiving help from someone.

Quote:
You can't be more wrong here. There is no universal moral standard that lords over human society. What's moral for one can be extremely immoral for another, it's a social construct that varies wildly based on needs, practicality, culture and religious inputs.
You are quite wrong. Fundamentally, all human morality is the same. The difference is entirely in the specifics. For instance, all human societies believe that killing your grandmother is wrong. Except, in India it's possible that a cow is your grandmother, so in India you cannot kill cows, as it might be your grandmother. Likewise, all people believe it's important to repay our debts. Taking this to an extreme, the Aztecs believed that they had a debt to their gods, they were created from their blood, and had to repay it with blood.

You may find the morality of other cultures to be strange, but I guarantee you, if you look deeper you'll find the root concepts of their morality is the same as yours. People are fundamentally moral, and perhaps that makes the savagery existent in so many societies all the more chilling. Usually they believe what they are doing is right.
[/quote]
There is also no concrete consensus on the root cause of socio/psychopathy. There are hints at genetic traits that predispose one to such conditions, but there are also very strong connection between adverse environment such as abuse or neglect during early childhood and those who develops psychopathic tendencies. These are basic stuff that are covered in just about every entry level sociology/criminology classes :/
[/quote] Nonsense, incidence of Psychopathy has no relation to family background, except that those from more functional backgrounds are better at covering it up. Many Psychopaths learn to function within society, albeit in a deceptive and callous manner. Psychopaths are usually born that way, and it's possible to identify psychopaths as young children (the most obvious sign is excessively abusing animals).

Now it's possible to develop criminal dysfunctions when growing up in a bad unstable environment, but not psychopathy or sociopathy. Such criminals will still have a sense of morality, albeit a twisted one. It might have different emphases. For instance gang members might excessively focus on the obligations of "brotherhood".
Quote:
Unlike other animals, humans are born as a blank slate with no instincts of any kind, but in it place we gain the ability to learn and modify our behavior, there's no behavior that is "innate" to humans, everything is learned.
Our sense of morality is molded by our culture, but it's always there regardless (except in Psychopaths, of course). At it's core it's root is our empathy, morality logically follows from this universal trait, our ability to see ourselves in others, to look at things from other people's perspectives. Those people who are psychopaths have no sense of empathy, they cannot understand any other people. To them they are just machines to be manipulated for personal gain, without thoughts or feelings.

Quote:
Didn't say everyone would be apathetic or be joyous, but guess what, there are plenty out there who will be.
Only those with sadistic tendencies, who thankfully exist in very small numbers. The only ones who will be apathetic will be the psychopaths. Everyone else will feel some sympathy even if they may not act on it.


@GundamFan0083: How come the police are able to rule here in Ireland despite not carrying any guns? I think you'll find social pressures are a lot more powerful then you might think. That article did not take any account of the two most powerful drivers of human behaviour: Guilt and Shame. If you were put in jail, you would feel immense shame (what will everyone else think...), that is why you don't commit crime. When guilt and shame fall away, law enforcement usually fail to work. For instance, when homosexuality ceased to be socially unacceptable, suddenly the numbers openly practising it ballooned, even if there were laws against it.

If it was only Reason and Force, then fathers would never stay around to look after their children, and people would never donate to charity.

The reason society stays together is because of our universal underlying morality.

Last edited by DonQuigleone; 2012-08-26 at 05:41.
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Old 2012-08-26, 08:07   Link #216
kyp275
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Even in the case where there are 4 other bystanders, mathematics will tell you that there's still an 85% chance one of them will help. Same goes for the one other bystander case. Regardless, in that study, there'd always be an 85% chance of that person receiving help from someone.
I suggest you retake a math class then, the 85% is when there is only one bystander, it doesn't mean there's always going to be one in a group that is 85% likely to give a helping hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
You are quite wrong. Fundamentally, all human morality is the same. The difference is entirely in the specifics. For instance, all human societies believe that killing your grandmother is wrong. Except, in India it's possible that a cow is your grandmother, so in India you cannot kill cows, as it might be your grandmother. Likewise, all people believe it's important to repay our debts. Taking this to an extreme, the Aztecs believed that they had a debt to their gods, they were created from their blood, and had to repay it with blood.

You may find the morality of other cultures to be strange, but I guarantee you, if you look deeper you'll find the root concepts of their morality is the same as yours. People are fundamentally moral, and perhaps that makes the savagery existent in so many societies all the more chilling. Usually they believe what they are doing is right.
Yup, because honor killings, cannibalism, human sacrifices, incest, child brides etc. are all really actually very moral choices by modern standards right? you're also missing the point here, the argument isn't whether human societies have their own value systems (ie. moral), it's whether that is something that is innate to humans when they're born, or something that was instilled in them by society after one is born. Are Indians born with a natural revulsion against killing cows? and were the Aztecs born with a natural urge to perform human sacrifice? You're essentially arguing that humans are born with a innate ethical sense of right and wrong, a tall order for a species that doesn't even have basic survival instinct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Nonsense, incidence of Psychopathy has no relation to family background, except that those from more functional backgrounds are better at covering it up. Many Psychopaths learn to function within society, albeit in a deceptive and callous manner. Psychopaths are usually born that way, and it's possible to identify psychopaths as young children (the most obvious sign is excessively abusing animals).
It's about as much nonsense as what you're saying. The Nature vs. Nurture argument over the root of psychopathy is a longstanding one, and one that certainly isn't settled, unless you have access to information that apparently the rest of the professional sociology/psychology field do not have


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Our sense of morality is molded by our culture, but it's always there regardless
Nope, it's still something you learn. Go and place a baby in isolation for 10 years with no human contact, do you think he/she will grow up having a sense of morality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
At it's core it's root is our empathy, morality logically follows from this universal trait, our ability to see ourselves in others, to look at things from other people's perspectives. Those people who are psychopaths have no sense of empathy, they cannot understand any other people. To them they are just machines to be manipulated for personal gain, without thoughts or feelings.
empathy does not automatically =/= morality (nor is that a trait all humans possess, psychopaths or not), nor are psychopaths evil beings like you're suggesting here. Not all psychopaths are violent, and not all of them are master manipulators out to get you. They understand others perfectly fine, just in a logical/learned manner, as they simply aren't able to feel emotions like normal people do.

Last edited by kyp275; 2012-08-26 at 08:28.
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Old 2012-08-26, 12:10   Link #217
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
I suggest you retake a math class then, the 85% is when there is only one bystander, it doesn't mean there's always going to be one in a group that is 85% likely to give a helping hand.
Don't argue with an engineering graduate, it's elementary probability:
1-(0.69^5)=~0.85
(IE the probability that no one will help in a group of 5 is 0.69^5, we just subtract that from one to get the probability that at least one will help)
[/quote]
Yup, because honor killings, cannibalism, human sacrifices, incest, child brides etc. are all really actually very moral choices by modern standards right? you're also missing the point here, the argument isn't whether human societies have their own value systems (ie. moral), it's whether that is something that is innate to humans when they're born, or something that was instilled in them by society after one is born. Are Indians born with a natural revulsion against killing cows? and were the Aztecs born with a natural urge to perform human sacrifice? You're essentially arguing that humans are born with a innate ethical sense of right and wrong, a tall order for a species that doesn't even have basic survival instinct.
[/quote] The fundamentals of morality are innate to all people. The Aztecs did not feel a natural urge to sacrifice people. They thought it was morally necessary to sustain the world. Incest is considered immoral everywhere (though what precisely is considered incest varies, some don't consider cousins incest etc.). As for honour killings, everyone considers adultery wrong, some consider it relatively minor, others consider it so terrible that the offender should be killed. But their moral judgement is coming from the same place.

Might I add, people are moral, they're not necessarily "good". But people invariably think what they're doing is good, or at least that the end they're working towards is good enough to justify the current wrong. Sometimes a person's sense of pleasure will override the sense of right and wrong though.
Quote:
It's about as much nonsense as what you're saying. The Nature vs. Nurture argument over the root of psychopathy is a longstanding one, and one that certainly isn't settled, unless you have access to information that apparently the rest of the professional sociology/psychology field do not have
All the literature I've ever seen has always leaned towards nature. Psychopaths are born that way, though the psychopaths we know of (the ones in prison), tend to have more dysfunctional backgrounds and are worse at melding into the rest of society. For what it's worth, brainscans seems to indicate it's physical in nature.

Quote:
Nope, it's still something you learn. Go and place a baby in isolation for 10 years with no human contact, do you think he/she will grow up having a sense of morality?
If Morality was entirely nurture, then why are there no societies that lack codes of behaviour and "morality". If it was entirely based on nurture, then many societies would exist lacking in any morality we can identify with. And yet, most societies are moral in similar ways to our own.

Quote:
empathy does not automatically =/= morality (nor is that a trait all humans possess, psychopaths or not), nor are psychopaths evil beings like you're suggesting here. Not all psychopaths are violent, and not all of them are master manipulators out to get you. They understand others perfectly fine, just in a logical/learned manner, as they simply aren't able to feel emotions like normal people do.
Psychopaths cannot understand others. From the DSM:
"They are callous and have little empathy for others’ needs or feelings unless they coincide with their own. They show disregard for the rights, property, or safety of others and experience little or no remorse or guilt if they cause any harm or injury to others." and
"Their emotional expression is mostly limited to irritability, anger, and hostility; acknowledgement and articulation of other emotions, such as love or anxiety, are rare. They have little insight into their motivations and are unable to consider alternative interpretations of their experiences."

They are emotionally stunted in such a way that they lack the moral sense that is otherwise universal to humanity. Our brains are wired towards morality, but given this, it is entirely possible for our wiring to be messed up by genetic or birth defects. A psychopath has no conception of right and wrong, they never feel any guilt. Guilt and empathy are some of the most powerful emotions in our brain, and drives us towards being moral. Without them, we are shallow beings, capable of only the primitive selfish reasoning of the psychopath.

Expressions of morality are too similar across cultures and time for us not to have been born with it, albeit our brains are flexible, and our morality is also flexible. But certain moral aspects are universal to everyone, and one of those the willingness to help those in close proximity who are in need of assistance. People only cease to behave this way when they are afraid of helping. The Biblical parable tells us that the Good Samaritan is the exception, I think you will find that he is by far the rule.
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Old 2012-08-26, 13:56   Link #218
kyp275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
The fundamentals of morality are innate to all people.
you keep repeating this statement as fact, without anything to back up such claim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
The Aztecs did not feel a natural urge to sacrifice people. They thought it was morally necessary to sustain the world. Incest is considered immoral everywhere (though what precisely is considered incest varies, some don't consider cousins incest etc.). As for honour killings, everyone considers adultery wrong, some consider it relatively minor, others consider it so terrible that the offender should be killed. But their moral judgement is coming from the same place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
All the literature I've ever seen has always leaned towards nature. Psychopaths are born that way, though the psychopaths we know of (the ones in prison), tend to have more dysfunctional backgrounds and are worse at melding into the rest of society. For what it's worth, brainscans seems to indicate it's physical in nature.
Then you and I have read very different things, everything I have read suggests a combination of factors including both genetic predisposition and developmental causes, and tbh it doesn't take more than a few seconds to find many articles and journals on the topic that goes both ways. It's a question that modern science do not yet have a clear answer to, except for you it seems.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
If Morality was entirely nurture, then why are there no societies that lack codes of behaviour and "morality". If it was entirely based on nurture, then many societies would exist lacking in any morality we can identify with. And yet, most societies are moral in similar ways to our own.
Why? just because they CAN be different, doesn't mean they SHOULD be, or WILL. Especially when certain values lends itself better to survival than others, whether through more stability or adaptability. A society that allows and encourages its members to casually kill one another is not likely to survive for long, and the complete lack of any value would just mean pure anarchy, which definitely would not survive for long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Psychopaths cannot understand others.
we're just arguing semantics here. Psychopaths cannot understand others emotions, because they're incapable of feeling them, but that doesn't mean they don't know the concept or what it's supposed to be, without which they would be unable to blend into society. Don't know if you realize this, but the current estimate is that 1% of the general population are psychopaths. That means there are over 70 millions psychopaths on the planet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
TOur brains are wired towards morality, but given this, it is entirely possible for our wiring to be messed up by genetic or birth defects.
Here's a shocker for you: your brain isn't completely wired when you're born, the neural network continues to wire itself through early childhood development stages and beyond with feedback and experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Expressions of morality are too similar across cultures and time for us not to have been born with it
correlation = causation for you then, lol.
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Old 2012-08-26, 15:41   Link #219
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
you keep repeating this statement as fact, without anything to back up such claim.
Everything else is I write is backing it up. I believe it is a self-evident truth.

Consider a mother and her child. As a rule mothers will always feed and look after their child by instinct, even though it does not in any way directly benefit them. This is because of their moral sense. If they did not, they would feel guilt. It doesn't matter how they are raised, such maternal instincts always kick in.

Even cats and dogs have such a morality, albeit far less complex then humans.
Quote:
Why? just because they CAN be different, doesn't mean they SHOULD be, or WILL. Especially when certain values lends itself better to survival than others, whether through more stability or adaptability. A society that allows and encourages its members to casually kill one another is not likely to survive for long, and the complete lack of any value would just mean pure anarchy, which definitely would not survive for long.
Put it this way. The specifics of what exactly is moral and what isn't varies widely. But everyone feels guilt, everyone feels shame, everyone feels embarrassment and everyone feels empathy. These are not taught, there are as innate to us as the ability to feel hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, happy, sad and to feel love and hate. We are all born with the ability to feel these emotions(or develop them at puberty), and our possession of these leads us to feel a moral sense.

When we see another man suffering, our natural empathy kicks in, most of us cannot shut it off. That empathy leads us to suffer with the person. If we choose to help we will naturally feel a sense of satisfaction, as we will feel relief with that person. If we choose to ignore them, the suffering will fester within us, and we will feel guilt and shame. This is Morality, and it lies at the core of the human condition.

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We're just arguing semantics here. Psychopaths cannot understand others emotions, because they're incapable of feeling them, but that doesn't mean they don't know the concept or what it's supposed to be, without which they would be unable to blend into society. Don't know if you realize this, but the current estimate is that 1% of the general population are psychopaths. That means there are over 70 millions psychopaths on the planet.
Indeed, because a psychopath can't feel empathy, guilt, shame, love, or any emotion more complicated then pleasure and pain, then there is no real reason for him to help others, and he is also free to enjoy the suffering of others without feeling any of the guilt more normal people would have. That is why a psychopath is completely lacking in morality. Because of the lack of these fundamental emotions, the Psychopath lacks all moral sense.
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correlation = causation for you then, lol.
There are some things that are too coincidental for us not be born with it. The easiest thing to point out here is Incest. The average person cannot perceive the long term problems that incest results in (many of the birth deformities do not occur unless it occurs in consecutive generations), and yet all cultures throughout the world consider incest to be abhorrent. This is because we are all born with an inbuilt block on incest, which leads us to feel that it is disgusting, and the morality flows from there.

The same goes for things like empathy and love, these are things we are born with, or develop without fail at puberty. That is why I say morality is fundamental to being human. Morality is one of the building blocks of our psychology, it can be morphed by the society we live in, but it's always there, and certain moralistic attitudes (like the desire to help a nearby person in need) are universal. The only way to override it is for the person to train themselves into thinking the other person isn't human, and that is quite a hard thing, especially when they're screaming in pain and crying for help.
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Old 2012-08-26, 16:28   Link #220
Vexx
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I think the word "moral" is too overloaded with meaning, since as Don examples, it doesn't even mean "good" (since it could result in witch burnings, faux honor killings, etc).
Moral codes lead to mixed results, one reason I think the proposition that "morality is absolute" (or even tied to religion) fails.

I can see the points being made by Ledgem/Don and Gundam/Kyp depending on the context so what I'm getting out of this is that a 'win/win' path is going to be torturous no matter what. I refuse to relinquish the right or tools to defend myself but I don't know a good route to *prevent* "broken people" from exploding on the public. Actually, I know some routes but they involve expenditures in mental health care and potentially dangerous definitions of "normal". I've watched the "punish the bully victim" instead of "stop the bully" programs too often in K-12 to be really confident of public policy making on the matter.
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