kantian head bang

A debate about Kant ended with a shooting in Rostov

Rostov-on-Don, September 16:
    Police detained a resident of Rostov, who in the course of arguing about the works of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant and their merits, shot his interlocutor in the head with a traumatic weapon, reported the Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Rostov-on-Don on Monday.
    According to the police, the suspect entered a kiosk to shop, striking a conversation with the victim.
    “They began to argue about the works of Immanuel Kant and their merits. A tempestuous debate turned into hand-to-hand combat, whereupon the instigator of the fight drew a traumatic handgun from his pocket and fired several shots at his opponent, then fled the scene,” — reported the statement.
    The police seized a traumatic gun “Wasp” from the detainee. The victim is currently hospitalized, his life is not in danger.

— Dimitri Buyanin, RIA News, 16 September 2013

liberal heroics

From: larvatus
Date: December 9th, 2012 12:27 pm (local)
I deny both the premiss, that liberal societies attribute an equal and unexchangeable value to each person, and the conclusion, that the figure of a hero is categorically improper therein. The former is belied by utilitarian reasoning that undergirds every public policy in modern democracies. As to the latter, we live in a country that made a secular saint of MLK after elevating Ike to its highest elected office. More recent examples can be found here.

From: aptsvet
Date: December 9th, 2012 12:43 pm (local)
The problem actually is more complicated than that. One has to defend a deontological position in a world of limited resources. So whether one wishes it or not, one has to recourse to utilitarian methods. Which does not change the validity of the principle. Even morals is not a suicide pact. Perhaps I will make an additional argument in my next essay.
As to the hero worship, examples do not matter, they are simply a way of pandering — could you direct me to a theoretical work? We live in a society subscribing to liberal principles, it does not mean we live in a liberal society.

From: larvatus
Date: December 9th, 2012 04:21 pm (local)
There is no duty to be a deontologist. Aristotelian virtue ethics is but one viable alternative that leaves plenty of room for heroics of all sorts in a society of your choosing. For Hellenic theory of our common ancestry, you might look into the Bernards: Knox and Williams. Likewise religious ethics, both within and without the Abrahamic lineage. On the moral importance of examples, please see Kant’s kasuistische Fragen.

From: aptsvet
Date: December 10th, 2012 07:13 am (local)
Actually, I do feel a duty to be a deontologist, it does not work any other way. At least where interpersonal relations are concerned. And I don’t believe one can treat ethics as a menu: utility today, virtue tomorrow.
Re heroes: personal moral example is something else; traditionally hero is somebody defending strictly parochial values, hardly compatible with the universalist aspirations of ethics.

From: larvatus
Date: December 10th, 2012 07:39 am (local)
I think some positions of social responsibility morally require a shift in deliberative criteria. The interrogator in charge of a “ticking bomb” scenario would fail his fellow citizens if he were to forgo otherwise blameworthy means of extracting information about defusing it from the terrorist in his custody. This is an instance of the common law doctrine of necessity that depending on circumstances can excuse acts both unlawful and immoral under normal conditions.
The notion that “strictly parochial values” are incompatible with the universalist aspirations of ethics highlights the necessity of Kantian casuistry. Thus: “Vedete come muore un italiano!” Generally speaking, a broad range of preferential treatments for members of one’s tribe, family, nation, or confession can readily pass the law of nature criterion. In this context, Bernard Williams took issue with the impersonal nature of moral systems. According to him, the idea of fairness and impartiality must have a limit, and in justifying one’s partiality in terms of impartial principles, one is in a sense removing the justification one already has — ‘she is my wife’. To specify some principle as to why and when is is permissible to show such partiality is to undermine the reality of oneself as a related and so moral being.

From: aptsvet
Date: December 10th, 2012 08:14 am (local)
On the “ticking bomb” issue: I find Nagel’s argument (in Mortal Questions) more convincing. Whoever tortures another human being and for whatever reason, should not pretend that he acts morally — even though the state ordering such a treatment may have used the best utilitarian logic.
On the second issue I would not dispute your point, I simply would like to emphasize again the term “strictly”. “She is my wife” is a passable argument; “she is my wife and perish the world” isn’t. Samson slaughtering the Philistines with an ass’s mandible doesn’t take their interests into account altogether.

From: larvatus
Date: December 10th, 2012 08:46 am (local)
As Saul Kripke might have retorted, whoever tortures another human being for reasons of necessity is acting schmorally. It bears notice that Kant interpreted “fiat iustitia, pereat mundus” as “es herrsche Gerechtigkeit, die Schelme in der Welt mögen auch insgesamt darüber zu Grunde gehen” [let justice reign even if it wipes out all the villains in the world]. Along these lines, slaughtering the Philistines in a just war serves their best legitimate interests in the best possible way.

the right to arms

Agreeing with John Rawls to define civil disobedience as “a public, nonviolent conscientious yet political act contrary to law usually done with the aim of bringing about a change in the law or policies of the government” is not self-interested and is always performed in public, nowise implies that smashing a fleeing intruder’s head cannot qualify as such. If and when the man accused of taking the law into his own hands comes forward to face the consequences of his actions in a court of law, its public proceedings suffice to ground the common interest in the effective means of self-defense, vested in his ostensible infringement of refusal to defer to the state monopoly on the legitimate use of violence.

Sesquipedalian persiflage ahead!

last refuge, first duty

larvatus to aptsvet in regard of his reading of Kant:
Kant has no problems with recognizing and enforcing categorical obligations between parties in a contractual relationship. This principle applies in equal force to contractual relationships in marriage and citizenship, q.v. Die Metaphysik der Sitten 277 and 315. In other words, under the Categorical Imperative, patriotic duties have a similar footing with marital fidelity.

Concerning these passages, I think, first, that Kant should not have included family into the orbit of ethics – this is something that was already obvious to Jesus. Second, his ideas concerning obligations toward the state do not fit into his system as a whole. If ‘thou shalt not kill’ is universal law, how is it compatible with patriotic duties Continue reading last refuge, first duty

изменник родины

Здесь полагаются памятка и анекдот. Вот Вам памятка:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
—U.S. Naturalization Oath

Так что насчёт “нас” и “их”, у меня с Вами общая система координат. А вот и анекдот:

Для разрядки, так сказать, напряга, пожалуйста, анекдотик. Вернее, не анекдотик, а быль. Но быль до того невероятную, что она, паскудина, сама себя осознает вдруг легендарной и берет кликуху Анекдот, чтобы таким хитромудрым способом продлить на какое-то время свою жизнь. Да и само время, гражданин Гуров, само наше анекдотическое времечко недаром окрестили не столько вожди, сколько их плюгавые шестерки из поэтов и композиторов, временем легендарным.
    Короче говоря, приводят к Будённому перебежчика. Белого. Так, мол, и так, Семён Михайлович, постиг я в мгновение ока происходящее, дошла до меня безысходность белого движения. Чуять начинаю за три версты красоту ваших кавалерийских идей, возьмите к себе воевать. Хорошо. Переодели, переобули, дали красавца-гнедого. Повоевал немного белый, но вдруг показалось ему, что снова постиг он в мгновенье ока происходящее и слинял к Деникину. Мужественно явился и говорит Самому: так, мол, и так, ошибся я. Будённый — полное говно, вокруг него мерзкий плебс, большей вони и совершенней лжи, чем советская власть, вообразить себе невозможно, и лучше уж, ваше превосходительство, смерть в наших безысходных рядах, чем торжество в смрадном каре обманутых маньяками плебеев. Простите великодушно. Время у нас смутное, возможен, согласитесь, поиск душой верного пути. Деникин не стал дискутировать на эту тему. Он отдал дважды перебежчика обратно Будённому. Белый стал втолковывать этой тупой усатой мандавше, что он не подлец, а человек ищущий, и наконец, в последней попытке спасти шкуру, брякнул что-то насчет раздвоения личности. Будённый вынимает саблю, пробует отточку клинка на коготище и врезает красно-белому по темечку. До самой жопы его расколол, а дальше тот сам рассыпался. “Мы—большевики,—говорит Будённый,—проблему раздвоения личности решаем по-своему: сабелькой!”
—Юз Алешковский, «Рука (Повествование палача)»

Это к вопросу о паспорте, как о “средстве передвижения”. Continue reading изменник родины