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Old 2007-07-28, 14:50   Link #61
khryoleoz
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I don't know, what did the Aztec say?


For the record, I believe that killing people for no reason is wrong. But I'm not so arrogant as to think my belief is enough to make something an Universal Law of the World.
That's another thing I don't quite follow. Why would your belief in killing people for no reason is wrong be your own private fancy in which others may join you in a chorus by mere tangential coincidence? We may differ in how we define the reasons for killing a man. But we're all agreed that at least not all men should be killed, which is the logical conclusion to denying any idea that we must not kill any man without reason. So here we do have a universal law that you just happen to affirm in one way that another would still affirm but in a slightly different way.

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Originally Posted by Davidj View Post
No it doesn't. Personally I prefer to leave "murder" as a legal concept. As for cooperation, the success of those who cooperate over those who don't is sufficient justification.
But why would anyone place greater value to the success that cooperation brings over its alternative? What is the difference between successful and unsuccessful societies when there is no reliable objective framework by which to measure them?
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Old 2007-07-28, 14:51   Link #62
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
To me, the reason they're not evil is that they don't have the ability to distinguish good from evil, let alone to choose one over the other. They may reason out what humans would consider evil, if they're so inclined, but it has no meaning to them, the way it has for us.
I'm not all that fond of the theory that you can only define something as "evil" if they had a choice. For one thing, it assumes anyone has a choice.
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Old 2007-07-28, 15:03   Link #63
khryoleoz
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I'm not all that fond of the theory that you can only define something as "evil" if they had a choice. For one thing, it assumes anyone has a choice.
But they don't even have to have a choice to not be evil. They must simply apprehend what it is and act accordingly, even if evil is all that they are inclined to do. Riful doesn't show she doesn't apprehend it, only that she places no value upon human life aside from dinner.
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Old 2007-07-28, 15:12   Link #64
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Hello?? Wake up please, Don't you see. That we are a big huge step outside of the Topic. What has this discussion to do with Episode 17? Ask an Admin to make other Thread, so for this discussion.... Please this is a Anime. And a Anime in the 17th Episode. An Anime with the name Claymore. An Fiction World, with its own fiction rules.....

*Wake up*..... Let the Anime stuff in your Imagine world. don't drag it into your Own. See the boarder... see the front line, from Imagine and Real Life things...


No hard feelings...
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Old 2007-07-28, 15:24   Link #65
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by khryoleoz View Post
That's another thing I don't quite follow. Why would your belief in killing people for no reason is wrong be your own private fancy in which others may join you in a chorus by mere tangential coincidence?
I hardly claim to be unique. Indeed, one of the reasons I'm against senseless killings is that everyone around me professes to be, too. While it's not totally rational (what if everyone around me jumped off a bridge?) or absolute (I don't care how successful it is, I still say Reality TV is horrible), it does have its weight.

My point is, we're all human beings living in human societies. It's hardly surprising we'd have a few common ideas. Especially if morals is a mechanism evolved to make societies thrive.


Quote:
We may differ in how we define the reasons for killing a man. But we're all agreed that at least not all men should be killed, which is the logical conclusion to denying any idea that we must not kill any man without reason.
"Not all men should be killed" is a much weaker statement than the one I made. You probably meant something else, but damn if I know what.

Quote:
So here we do have a universal law that you just happen to affirm in one way that another would still affirm but in a slightly different way.
Universal law? Hardly. All men believing the earth is flat wouldn't make it so.


Quote:
But why would anyone place greater value to the success that cooperation brings over its alternative? What is the difference between successful and unsuccessful societies when there is no reliable objective framework by which to measure them?
The test of time. While there is a myriad of cooperative societies of assorted forms, are uncooperative societies still around for us to hear about them?
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Old 2007-07-28, 17:15   Link #66
NoSanninWa
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Originally Posted by Seska View Post
Hello?? Wake up please, Don't you see. That we are a big huge step outside of the Topic. What has this discussion to do with Episode 17? Ask an Admin to make other Thread, so for this discussion.... Please this is a Anime. And a Anime in the 17th Episode. An Anime with the name Claymore. An Fiction World, with its own fiction rules.....

*Wake up*..... Let the Anime stuff in your Imagine world. don't drag it into your Own. See the boarder... see the front line, from Imagine and Real Life things...


No hard feelings...
Since the discussion is relevant to the relative morality of Awakened Ones and humans I cannot see it as more than slightly off-topic. The discussion is even periodically returning to the main point which is Riful's morality. I'll just ask everyone to remember that the discussion is about Riful.

Just remember to keep it relevant to Claymore and keep playing nice without rancor and I see no reason to shut down the discussion.
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Old 2007-07-28, 17:28   Link #67
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Originally Posted by NoSanninWa View Post
Since the discussion is relevant to the relative morality of Awakened Ones and humans I cannot see it as more than slightly off-topic. The discussion is even periodically returning to the main point which is Riful's morality. I'll just ask everyone to remember that the discussion is about Riful.

Just remember to keep it relevant to Claymore and keep playing nice without rancor and I see no reason to shut down the discussion.
Sry, i was afraid (cause of my not 100% English skills). That this discussion went a bit over the lines...
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Old 2007-07-28, 18:02   Link #68
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Originally Posted by Seska View Post
Sry, i was afraid (cause of my not 100% English skills). That this discussion went a bit over the lines...
Well, it's enough material to fill a seperate thread, that's for sure
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Old 2007-07-28, 18:42   Link #69
khryoleoz
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I hardly claim to be unique. Indeed, one of the reasons I'm against senseless killings is that everyone around me professes to be, too. While it's not totally rational (what if everyone around me jumped off a bridge?) or absolute (I don't care how successful it is, I still say Reality TV is horrible), it does have its weight.
I can't necessarily see that the reason why you are not unique to having this belief is simply because you have been infected with it by keeping company with others who hold the same. But let's say that were so. Where does that idea come from originally? Surely not by pure reason, because reason only tells us that if we don't set limits upon the killing of men then mankind will become extinct. It doesn't tell us why mankind should not become extinct, and therefore we must exercise limits in dealing death. The crux of the belief is the value it places upon human life. That is why we must not take human life without reason. Then we can argue about those reasons. So if all your thinking simply affirms what is true, you need not ascribe arrogance to your proclamation of it and its universal application.

I agree that Reality TV is horrible. It may be weak reasoning on my part, but I simply don't know how to account for that agreement if we didn't have some objective standard to agree upon. Ensemble musicians play in time because tempo is an objective measurement of pulse, and therefore can be reliably observed. And while there are fringes, outside of that you'll never encounter a group of people around you willingly jump off a bridge...without reason.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
My point is, we're all human beings living in human societies. It's hardly surprising we'd have a few common ideas. Especially if morals is a mechanism evolved to make societies thrive.
This just goes against my intuition, though I don't know how to prove my following point. I think that just as mathematics is a codification of natural phenomenon,
morals is a codification of certain truths about human behavior that can be grasped by the human mind. We didn't create the truth to which morals point to no more than we did what the multiplication table points to. Morals evolve as cultures progress, just as we ended up needing calculus to solve more complex problems. But as I've tried to demonstrate before, the evolution of morals doesn't seem to produce opposite kinds of morality that we can and would expect if there were no standards whatsoever. Instead, we get just slight variations depending upon different social values.


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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
"Not all men should be killed" is a much weaker statement than the one I made. You probably meant something else, but damn if I know what.
It is simply the logical conclusion to all divergent views of the idea that we must not kill men without reason however they may differ in what makes for reasons that are valid.


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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Universal law? Hardly. All men believing the earth is flat wouldn't make it so.
Neither does our denying absolutes eradicate it, especially when our rational thinking tends to verify that it is there.


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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
The test of time. While there is a myriad of cooperative societies of assorted forms, are uncooperative societies still around for us to hear about them?
No. But my question isn't what had become of uncooperative societies. Cooperative societies being more successful at sticking around longer is hardly an answer to why we should value sticking around over some desirable short term effects of uncooperative selfishness that would lead to our not being around anymore. Our instincts for self-preservation only triggers responses to immediate dangers to the self and does not extend to the preservation of our kind, so we can't attribute the whys of what we do for the commonwealth to primitive instinctual responses.

Last edited by khryoleoz; 2007-07-28 at 19:28.
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Old 2007-07-28, 19:24   Link #70
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by khryoleoz View Post
I can't necessarily see that the reason why you are not unique to having this belief is simply because you have been infected with it by keeping company with others who hold the same. But let's say that were so. Where does that idea come from originally? Surely not by pure reason, because reason only tells us that if we don't set limits upon the killing of men then mankind will become extinct. It doesn't tell us why mankind should not become extinct, and therefore we must exercise limits in dealing death. The crux of the belief is the value it places upon human life. That is why we must not take life without reason. Then we can argue about those reasons.
That belief is an evolutionary advantage. If not for the individual itself, for the society that spawned it. That, I think, is where it comes from. All the rest are just a posteriori rationalisations.


Quote:
So if all your thinking simply affirms what is true, you need not ascribe arrogance to your proclamation of it and its universal application.
To believe something is Absolutely True just because you feel it's true is pure hubris, even if you happen to be right. (Which, as I've been pointing out for pages, isn't necessarily the case here.)

That the feeling is shared by many people makes it only slightly less arrogant.

Quote:
I agree that Reality TV is horrible. It may be weak reasoning on my part, but I simply don't know how to account for that agreement if we didn't have some objective standard by which we come to an agreement.
That is, indeed, weak reasoning. There doesn't need to an objective truth about the worth of reality TV. There only needs to be points of commonality between our subjectivities.

Considering all our similarities, it's not surprising that there are some.

Quote:
Ensemble musicians play in time because tempo is an objective measurement of pulse, and therefore can be reliably observed.
It doesn't mean there needs to be some kind of objective measurement for people to act in concert. See how everyone dresses alike. Do you think there is some objective measurement of elegance?

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And while there are fringes, outside of that you'll never encounter a group of people around you willingly jump off a bridge...without reason.
Fine, nitpicker. What if everybody around me decides to kill all the Jews?


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I don't quite know how to prove this point, but it just goes against my intuition.
Your intuition isn't an argument. By the way, I have no idea what you mean by "this point".

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I think that just as mathematics is a codification of natural phenomenon,
It may have started that way. It may have gone beyond that since then.

Quote:
morals is a codification of certain truths about human behavior that can be grasped by the human mind. We didn't create the truth to which morals point to no more than we did what the multiplication table points to.
Fine. What of Euclid's Fifth Axiom?

Quote:
It evolves as cultures progress, just as we ended up needing calculus to solve more complex problems, but as I've tried to demonstrate before the evolution of morals don't seem to produce opposite kinds of morality, just slight variations depending upon different social values.
Oh? So, would you say that following the Muslim religion, in some rather fundamentalist form, is necessary to being moral? Some societies today seem to think so.

Or maybe you'd prefer fundamentalist Christianism? It's quite popular in some quarters.

Or, oh, what about all those people who think religion doesn't matter one bit?

What's your opinion of capital punishment? Of abortion? Of alcohol? Or marijuana?

Those aren't exactly "cultural details" you can sweep under the rug, you know?

Quote:
It is simply the logical conclusion to all divergent views of the idea that we must not kill men without reason however they may differ in what makes for reasons that are valid.
It's an incredibly weak statement. It means "Even if you kill billions of people, please leave a few alive." How you reached that conclusion and why you thought it worth mentioning, I don't know.



Quote:
Neither does our denying absolutes eradicate it, especially when our rational thinking tends to verify that it is there.
Agreed. Now, show me the rational thinking that verifies the existence of Absolute Morality.


Quote:
No. But my question isn't what had become of uncooperative societies. Cooperative societies being more successful at sticking around longer is hardly an answer to why we should value sticking around over not being around anymore.
I don't see where you're going with that. Self-preservation is a widespread goal. It's one of those consensuses I spoke about earlier. Now, you can reject it if you want, but that makes this whole discussion rather pointless.

So yes, when we say cooperation is "better", in that context, it means it's beneficial to both the societies and the individuals that comprise them. That it'll help them reach the goals of self-preservation, which we just assume they have. Because not doing so would be silly.

We don't mean that it's better in any absolute moral sense.
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Old 2007-07-28, 19:52   Link #71
Kinematics
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf
why should societies interefere when someone is trying to kill another who wants to live?
Continuing the cooperative theme: Person A attempting to kill Person B is a selfish behavior. Person A presumably gets something from the action (revenge, emotional release, money, removal of a rival, etc), however the society as a whole loses the value of what Person B contributes. The vast majority of the time, the value of what Person B could contribute to the society over the course of the rest of their life will outweigh whatever value Person A gains from the murder. Thus it is in the best interest of the society to either prevent the act, or to punish Person A for the act (since doing so acts as a disincentive for other people to mimic the behavior).

It's also in the best interests of any particular individual to discourage such behavior since it reduces the risk that they themselves will be the victim of it. Thus the individuals of the society cooperate in various ways to prevent and/or punish murderous actions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf
And note, you just mentioned "murderer", which in itself implies a moral judgement on your part with respect to the killer.
Just a note: "murder" (as used above) is used to denote intential killing for personal benefit, rather than accidental, or acting on behalf of a legal authority (executioner).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf
Suppose you have a society whose law encourages the killing of human beings. What do you tell those who are about to be killed? "Too bad chump, you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time"?
Such a society (assuming it is a human society) would eventually disintegrate, or have that law changed. It encourages a non-cooperative behavior for personal benefit that will continually reduce the value gained by the society from its individual members. Any other nearby society without such a law would eventually outcompete it.


Quick summary:

Society will form because cooperative behavior generates greater total benefit than selfish individual behavior. 'Society' can be considered as a collective entity composed of at least 2 individuals.
Murder will be considered "wrong" because it reduces the total value of the society. Also, preventing it reduces personal risk, and is thus a net gain for selfish individual behavior as well.
Secondary (not addressed in my posts above): Multiple societies will form because environmental specialization and locational isolation make cooperation more costly than its benefits. Also, competitive elements allow the 'better' societies to develop, and provide a basis for further society creation.

From this point of view (which is, of course, only one of many), ethical frameworks are developed to support the existance of society. Morality in turn is that grouping of actions and behaviors that are either beneficial or detrimental to society. 'Good' actions are those which provide the greatest value for the society as a whole. 'Evil' actions are those that rob the society of net value.

Further, killing individuals of competing societies (eg: wars, Claymore assignments, etc.) can, to a limited extent, be considered a means of reducing the net value of those other societies, and thus increasing the relative value of your own society. However, again, cooperative behavior will usually provide a greater net benefit. The issue with yomas eating humans makes that rather difficult to declare for the Claymore world, however.


Returning to Riful, her actions can be viewed from the perspective of the ethical frameworks of: human society as a whole (where her behavior is considered evil); Claymore society (which mirrors human society, but may view things slightly differently as a whole); yoma society as a whole (where her actions are considered natural and/or good); and the localized society she is a part of (pretty much just her and Dauf at this point, but hoping to recruit others), where her behavior is intended to provide a benefit, but the actuality is at this point uncertain.

Her actions with respect to Isley are that of a competitive society, and should be actions which should improve the value and survival of her own society. Just rolling over and accepting defeat reduces the value of her own society, and would thus be considered a detrimental/evil action. Therefore the 'good' thing for her to do is develop a strategy to improve the long-term survivability and growth of her society. The plan she has (currently) decided on is to recruit new Awakened Ones that will act in a cooperative manner with her in order to strengthen her society. Her reasoning is flawed, however, in thinking that raw strength alone is necessary, and her killing of Katia (who, by awakening, became a member of her society) is evil, in that is reduced the net value of her society.

[Side note: Killing Katia is also necessary from the raw plot perspective in order to not complicate the fight that follows. As such I cannot put the entirety of the blame on Riful, though it was still wrong of her to do so.]

Thus I would say that her planning is considered 'good' for her society, but she is not perfect and still takes evil actions. She herself, however, is not someone I would declare to be inherently evil.

Oh, and followup: This also indicates that I do not believe that yoma/AOs are incapable of distinguishing good from evil. I just think that what is 'good' and 'evil' for them differs from human society in a few points.
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Old 2007-07-28, 20:34   Link #72
khryoleoz
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
That is, indeed, weak reasoning. There doesn't need to an objective truth about the worth of reality TV. There only needs to be points of commonality between our subjectivities.
Then I should have first asked whether you make your judgement upon its quality as a form of entertainment or as an indicator of the state of our moral values today. I maintain my assertion if the latter.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Fine, nitpicker. What if everybody around me decides to kill all the Jews?
Evil as it certainly was, they nonetheless justified it. So it wasn't without reason, however bogus and just wicked.


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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Your intuition isn't an argument. By the way, I have no idea what you mean by "this point".
Sorry, I rephrased the sentence.


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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Fine. What of Euclid's Fifth Axiom?
I don't know what to do with it. I can't compute how we can have two parallel lines intersected by a line segment yet its two interior angels sum to less than two right angles.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Oh? So, would you say that following the Muslim religion, in some rather fundamentalist form, is necessary to being moral? Some societies today seem to think so.
No, but I'll say that we know of no society that says it can thrive without being moral.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Or maybe you'd prefer fundamentalist Christianism? It's quite popular in some quarters.
Well, not fundamentalists, but I get along with Christians who are generally nice people even though they hold radical views.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Or, oh, what about all those people who think religion doesn't matter one bit?
But many of them hold life sacred and humanity to high esteem as do many Christians. The difference is that one identifies that esteem to be instrinsic, the other extrinsic.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
What's your opinion of capital punishment? Of abortion? Of alcohol? Or marijuana?
Captial punishment kills the convicted guilty. Abortion kills the unplanned. But both get rid of some undesired element. Alcohol and MJ are substances to be used at the consumer's discretion and expense with certain consequences whatever they may be from country to country. Aren't the commonalities between different value sets profound?

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
It's an incredibly weak statement. It means "Even if you kill billions of people, please leave a few alive." How you reached that conclusion and why you thought it worth mentioning, I don't know.
I haven't shown that the conclusion MUST by necessity mean that, although it can as you've spotted. But it just goes to show how even something so simple as "we must not kill other men without reason" is by itself deficient as a moral value when any reason can be given to any count of men. I bring it up because it is still a valid statement and the end conclusion of the belief you espouse (or at least how you expressed it), which however different from another's has as its common denominator that some value is placed upon the lives of those who are not to be killed. I wanted to preempt where there is a point of commonality that exists between yours and other divergent views, in the event we did have to contrast differing societal views about life/death issues.


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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Agreed. Now, show me the rational thinking that verifies the existence of Absolute Morality.
I can't. So I've been exposed. I've been holding back in that I don't believe absolute morality is something that can be verified only by reasoning and pure logic. It is a question of fact, not an argument based upon axiomatic propositions. Unfortunately, I'll bow out of the daunting task of proving it by factual accounts, which I'm ill-prepared to undertake.


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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I don't see where you're going with that. Self-preservation is a widespread goal. It's one of those consensuses I spoke about earlier. Now, you can reject it if you want, but that makes this whole discussion rather pointless.

So yes, when we say cooperation is "better", in that context, it means it's beneficial to both the societies and the individuals that comprise them. That it'll help them reach the goals of self-preservation, which we just assume they have. Because not doing so would be silly.

We don't mean that it's better in any absolute moral sense.
Far from making any concession, I'll just say okay. I've understood where you're coming from.

Last edited by khryoleoz; 2007-07-28 at 23:28.
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Old 2007-07-28, 20:55   Link #73
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Originally Posted by Anh_Min
Quote:
morals is a codification of certain truths about human behavior that can be grasped by the human mind. We didn't create the truth to which morals point to no more than we did what the multiplication table points to.
Fine. What of Euclid's Fifth Axiom?
I find that to be a pessimistic way of looking at reality. We arrive at the rational conclusion that any given theory/postulate/axiom is "true" by majority consensus. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is always true.

You seem to suggest that because there is a possibility, however slim, that a theory/postulate/axiom can be false, we should avoid making such assumptions in the first place. Because making universal assumptions are intellectually arrogant?

Following this line of logic, wouldn't that make any kind of rational thinking "arrogant"? Because to think rationally, we necessarily have to make some assumptions in the first place.

@Kinematics
I am familiar with game theory when applied to co-operative behaviour. In summary, what you have essentially shown is that it is possible to validate one set of ethical behaviour, ie, co-operative behaviour. Consequently, it follows, from game theory, that un-cooperative behaviour is invalid, from a logical/objective perspective. You've gone on to show that this test can be applied to Claymore, youma and Awakened Beings societies as well.

Talking from a purely relative standpoint, why should the results of such a test matter? You revealed the brute fact that is more efficient to co-operate for long-term survival. The philosophical question then follows, "So what?" Why should efficiency matter more than non-efficiency?

I believe that the efficiency of co-operation matters because it is both logical and desirable. We've arrived at the same conclusion, but I've made one more assumption than you. Is it necessary for co-operation to be desirable? Nope. But I do believe that it is easier to convince someone that co-operation is "good", rather than to make him see that it is logical.

It is even possible that we will need to appeal to either logic and morality, if not both, to convince rational beings to behave in a certain way. After all, it is an observable fact that some rational people can behave irrationally, so logic alone doesn't work all the time.

=========

Ultimately, all this discussion about whether absolute morality exists rather obfuscates my key concern as a rational being. What is the usefulness in knowing that different values and opinions exist? That is valid knowledge, certainly, but what good is that knowledge if I subsequently find myself unable to act on it, because of the opinion that any action I take -- based on my assumptions -- is "arrogant"?

Anyways, my apologies for butting in again even though I said I wouldn't. While there certainly seems to be enough material for a new thread, I suggest that we don't create one, because from Episode 18 onwards, we Claymore fans would be discussing other stuff already.

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2007-07-28 at 22:14.
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Old 2007-07-28, 21:13   Link #74
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Wow this anime is good enough to provoke such debate.
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Old 2007-07-28, 21:50   Link #75
Davidj
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Originally Posted by khryoleoz View Post
But they don't even have to have a choice to not be evil. They must simply apprehend what it is and act accordingly, even if evil is all that they are inclined to do. Riful doesn't show she doesn't apprehend it, only that she places no value upon human life aside from dinner.
She also places no value upon AO and yoma life or suffering apart from the utility and amusement value that her pawns possess to her. And her idea of amusement is usually watching them suffer.
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Old 2007-07-28, 23:17   Link #76
Kinematics
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I must say, this is a fun discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf
I believe that the efficiency of co-operation matters because it is both logical and desirable. We've arrived at the same conclusion, but I've made one more assumption than you. Is it necessary for co-operation to be desirable? Nope. But I do believe that it is easier to convince someone that co-operation is "good", rather than to make him see that it is logical.
A bit of a redundant reply since you already stated that you're making one additional assumption, but: I don't think the cooperation itself needs to be desirable, because the results of cooperation are desirable (ie: they fulfill the desires of the self-interested parties involved). Usually when I see someone getting convinced to cooperate, the motivation used is the benefits that they will gain from cooperating, rather than trying to convince them that the cooperation itself is 'good'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf
It is even possible that we will need to appeal to either logic and morality, if not both, to convince rational beings to behave in a certain way. After all, it is an observable fact that some rational people can behave irrationally, so logic alone doesn't work all the time.
Quite so. The position that cooperation is more efficient is just a mathematical description of the results, maximizing the benefit of each individual involved. To understand that reasoning, you need to understand the mathematics for it, and most people today wouldn't understand that math. Almost no one in a medieval setting would. So instead people construct 'moral' guidelines that are the result of experiential data ("It worked for my granddad and it worked for my dad, so it'll work for me.") and inductive reasoning.

Non-cooperative behavior exists because of the limited ability of any individual to see all the results of their behavior, who instead rely only on the immediate here-and-now benefit of the action. This also helps explain the need for an ethical rule system, to make sure everyone understands the types of behavior that are best for the entire society, rather than having to continually re-discover those results.


My overall view on morality: The morals we have are due to who and what we are, and the natural laws that govern our existance. There is no truly absolute, intrinsic morality in the universe the way that, say, math is absolutely intrinsic. However, for a given type of society there does exist some set of optimal behaviors which may generally be considered an absolute set of moral rules (dependant, however, on everyone always acting rationally, which cannot be assumed). There are also some subsets of ethics which are likely to be nearly universal (as far as I can imagine for variations on the existance of life) since they are in some ways describable as mathematical optimizations.

However I do remember one sci-fi short story that described a world in which non-cooperative behavior was the norm due to an overabundance of natural resources in an Eden-like environment. With no scarcity of food, and no need for shelter from the elements, along with the resultant massive overpopulation, there was never a need for the native inhabitants to cooperate to achieve anything, and thus no need for 'society' to develop. While the author never really explored the aspect of the ethics of murder within that species, from my sketchy memory of the story, one member of the species killing another was considered inconsequential.


In any case...

Riful is part of a fairly new society - Awakened Ones - which doesn't have a strong enough history to truly know what will be most beneficial for it as a whole in the long run. Its moral requirements are different from humans', and yomas don't appear to have developed a strong enough cooperative society to disseminate any such system. As such she has to come up with her own rationalizations based on what she has experienced and knows about the relative positions of each of the groups involved in their respective roles. Those conclusions are what she explains to Jean in their little dialogue.

She understands the value of cooperation, but only among those within a specifically defined set: strong Awakened Ones. That is because her goal (the benefit she will gain from said cooperation) is fighting a war against a competitive society (Isley). Because of the limited scope of her goal, the 'value' of her actions is not as universally applicable, and detrimental to associated societies (Claymores and humans), which leads to an overall conclusion that her actions are evil.

In addition, up until this point she has had no need to examine the overall benefits of cooperation with a society comprised of food, or a society that is inherently antagonistic towards her. If you're an immortal being with godlike power, what is there, really, for you to desire? What can possibly be done that would add value (health, wealth, survivability) to your existance? As she admitted, up until now she has done very little besides eat and sleep. In order for her to value a cooperative relationship, there has to be something that she desires. At the moment, we have seen possible evidence of two such things: something to keep her from being bored, and friends.

Of course, gaining cooperation with the other societies would require them to overlook the whole "eating humans" thing (an 'evil' (detrimental) behavior for those societies). The only ones she can expect to act in a cooperative manner within her society are other Awakened Ones. Thus her "recruitment".


Overall conclusion: Riful's actions are currently more evil than good due to the limited scope of her goals and (not entirely her fault) the unlikeliness of cooperation being given by alternate societies. That does not, however, make her inherently evil, or incapable of developing more cooperative, 'good' behavior.
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Old 2007-07-28, 23:35   Link #77
khryoleoz
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I'll take that overall conclusion of yours as a satisfactory response to that provocative idea that "this whole 'evil' thing is nonsense".

That said, while the action scenes outperformed the manga, it is a bitter disappointment that much of the more substantive insights provided by Riful were watered down or even omitted. She didn't give an account of her routine activities and what roused her to take up the fight. She didn't complain about the actions of Easley and "that thing". Even Priscilla was reduced to that "one-horned woman".
Spoiler:
Clare's reaction seemed dumbed down as a result.

Jean's awakened form was...beautiful however. And wearing Clare's cloak not wearing anything...um, down there, was quite suggestive if not provocative. Hot! I'd have to rate the episode a 9.

Last edited by khryoleoz; 2007-07-28 at 23:57.
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Old 2007-07-29, 02:54   Link #78
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khryoleoz View Post
Then I should have first asked whether you make your judgement upon its quality as a form of entertainment or as an indicator of the state of our moral values today. I maintain my assertion if the latter.
I don't see how that's relevant.

Quote:
Evil as it certainly was, they nonetheless justified it. So it wasn't without reason, however bogus and just wicked.
Not my point. My point was that "everyone is doing it, so I'll do it too", isn't entirely rational. Unless you consider genocide to be rational, I suppose, which I don't.

And now that I think of it, massive collective suicides aren't unheard of, either.

Quote:
I don't know what to do with it. I can't compute how we can have two parallel lines intersected by a line segment yet its two interior angels sum to less than two right angles.
The point is, there isn't an "Absolute Mathematics" derived directly from reality. You're going to have to make some choices. It's the same with morality, except that choices are generally less conscious.


Quote:
No, but I'll say that we know of no society that says it can thrive without being moral.

Well, not fundamentalists, but I get along with Christians who are generally nice people even though they hold radical views.

But many of them hold life sacred and humanity to high esteem as do many Christians. The difference is that one identifies that esteem to be instrinsic, the other extrinsic.


Captial punishment kills the convicted guilty. Abortion kills the unplanned. But both get rid of some undesired element. Alcohol and MJ are substances to be used at the consumer's discretion and expense with certain consequences whatever they may be from country to country. Aren't the commonalities between different value sets profound?
Not my point. You said moral systems, while having cultural differences, aren't contradictory. I disagreed.


Quote:
I haven't shown that the conclusion MUST by necessity mean that, although it can as you've spotted. But it just goes to show how even something so simple as "we must not kill other men without reason" is by itself deficient as a moral value when any reason can be given to any count of men. I bring it up because it is still a valid statement and the end conclusion of the belief you espouse (or at least how you expressed it), which however different from another's has as its common denominator that some value is placed upon the lives of those who are not to be killed. I wanted to preempt where there is a point of commonality that exists between yours and other divergent views, in the event we did have to contrast differing societal views about life/death issues.
I have more exacting standards when it comes to "reasons". For me, you can't just call anything a "reason".

And I never said that creed was the whole of my morality, either. But, whatever. It doesn't matter.

So, yes, there is the common point among maybe all moral systems that there is some value in some human lives. Hardly a big statement. Or surprising, considering the fact that morals were evolved by human beings living in human societies.


Quote:
I can't. So I've been exposed. I've been holding back in that I don't believe absolute morality is something that can be verified only by reasoning and pure logic. It is a question of fact, not an argument based upon axiomatic propositions. Unfortunately, I'll bow out of the daunting task of proving it by factual accounts, which I'm ill-prepared to undertake.
I've never heard of a "fact" proving the existence of Absolute Morality. Or Absolute Beauty. Or Absolute Holiness...


Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I find that to be a pessimistic way of looking at reality. We arrive at the rational conclusion that any given theory/postulate/axiom is "true" by majority consensus. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is always true.

You seem to suggest that because there is a possibility, however slim, that a theory/postulate/axiom can be false, we should avoid making such assumptions in the first place. Because making universal assumptions are intellectually arrogant?

Following this line of logic, wouldn't that make any kind of rational thinking "arrogant"? Because to think rationally, we necessarily have to make some assumptions in the first place.
It's ok to make assumptions, as long as you remember they're assumptions. It's also ok to not be entirely rational, just like, well, everybody.



Kinematics: Maybe having Duph hit new AB isn't completely gratuitous. Rites of passages aren't rare, so they must provide something. I guess they get rid of those who are unable to pull their own weight, or unwilling to make sacrifices for the tribe.

Also, maybe AB have an instinct to follow those who've beaten them. And that would be what she counts on to make them her "friends", despite the torture thing.

But I agree that she's placed the bar too high. At this rate, gaining new members is going to be difficult.
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Old 2007-07-29, 05:26   Link #79
Gavrielo
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Join Date: Jun 2007
The long morality debates are getting on my nerves now -.-, sorry but please request for a morality thread instead of posting it here, I just want to read opinions about the episode not your opinions if AOs are good or evil or comparing Claymore to RL.
Since Riful didn't even say anything about AOs being good or evil in the episode I'm treating it as offtopic.
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Old 2007-07-29, 12:30   Link #80
Tempest35
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Che, I think that the Morality issue in Claymore deserves its own thread by now as well, seeing the vigorous debates that go on about it are turning away some other people from commenting on the episode itself. Although the stuff about 'absolute morality' and such can be turned down. Since few people believe that an absolute morality exists in the RL, how can one be applied to an anime world, much less Claymore...

And people love Riful for being what she is - an 80+ year old, cute-as-anything loli Awakened with an IQ of 180 who can turn into a tentacle monster.
So what's with the discussion about her morality issues? SHE'S BORED AND EASLEY'S PICKING A FIGHT SO SHE WANTS TO FIGHT/PLAY TOO!! Duff's obviously not enough so she wants more people on her side whom she can trust and become friends with. She's a being ruled by desires now - no morals apply to her now. If they did, she wouldn't have killed Awakened Katea back in ep 15.

Morality is a belief system and as such, all aspects of a particular belief system cannot be rationally explained. It's an ideal - a code to live by - a way of life. Can anyone here explain what a belief is? Then anyone can see that even though a fact can be absolute (Murder is wrong/bad/evil), there are just some people who don't believe that. Does that mean that it is no longer an absolute just because a bunch of ignorants choose not to abide by it?
There is an absolute morality in the world. Don't ask me to prove it to you because I'm not doing your work for you. You can make all the conjectures and assumptions you want but an absolute doesn't have to prove itself - it just is. Whether you believe it or not - that's your problem - not its problem.

Discover the absolute morality that you can believe in for yourself. If someone can show you a better path and 'prove' through actions and words that are acceptable to you, that doesn't make you stupid for believing such in the first place. Convert - learn - grow - become better - that's what makes a human a human. Don't be afraid of being 'disproven' - being 'ignorant' might be bad, but it is better than being both 'ignorant' and 'stubborn'.

NSW and to any other mods, if the above needs to be edited/cut in any way, go ahead and do so. I don't care if I incur any points for this one, but some aspects of the morality issue/discussion were getting ridiculous in my opinion.

Anyway, congrats to Clare and Jean are in order, Jean espcially. I still can't really believe that she held on for so freaking long. I'd love to see her backstory and how did she achieve such a strong willpower. That and she looks sooo much better in the anime than in the manga.
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