February 21st, 2017

Kant’s Golden Rule

I saw this a while ago in an article at the LA Times by Melissa Batchelor Warnke:

Philosophy 101 introduces us to Kant’s categorical imperative — the first formulation of which is “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”

If that rule were followed by all politicians and judges, the world would be a different and better place. Won’t happen, though.

[NOTE: The Warnke article is summarized by its title “Stop publishing unverified information, you numbskulls. Donald Trump feeds on your rumors.” It’s a defense of old-fashioned journalism, where hit pieces were more carefully sourced lest they return to bite the news outlet and/or reporter.]

29 Responses to “Kant’s Golden Rule”

  1. Artfldgr Says:

    Immanuel Kant was a real pissant who was very rarely stable,

    Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar who could think you under the table,

    David Hume could out-consume Schopenhauer and Hegel,

    And Wittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.

    There’s nothing Nietzsche couldn’t teach ya ’bout the turning of the wrist,

    Socrates himself was permanently pissed…

    John Stuart Mill, of his own free will, with half a pint of shandy was particularly ill,

    Plato, they say, could stick it away, half a crate of whiskey every day,

    Aristotle, Aristotle was a beggar for the bottle,

    Hobbes was fond of his dram,

    And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart, “I drink therefore I am.”

    Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;

    A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he’s pissed.

  2. Artfldgr Says:

    Of course they are not going to reference the teacher of all this… a summary…

    Press agent, publisher, movie maker, and middleman, German communist and long-time friend of Lenin, he was the mastermind behind covert influence operations..

    His influence message was attractive to American intellectuals. His operational genius provided a message that seduced the intellectuals, without leaving any trace of Soviet involvement.

    The objective of the operations was to bring America down, sooner rather than later, so that communism could replace America’s free enterprise and individualism with a dictatorship of Elites

    He perfected the “Popular Front” operational concept.

    his agents set up multiple organizations with high-minded names and reasons for existence–for example the International Congress Against Fascism and War, and the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League. These fronts gave intellectuals and artists a higher calling–while serving as cover to insert covert influence payloads into the targeted cultures.

    The perceived moral superiority of the influence messages provided members a chance to show “you were a decent human being,” in fact, a better human being. [should sound very familiar!!!]

    He, like most manipulatorsx, despised these members, and called them “Innocents.” I call these Americans “Willing Accomplices.” They were witting, and unwitting, agents of influence They were Willing to imbibe the superior attitude conferred by the high-minded ideals of the fronts. And they were Accomplices to the goal of destroying their country.

    They targeted the most efficient conduits to influence American culture. The press, education and academia, and Hollywood were the fertile recruiting grounds

    The payload was a simple formulation.

    Reduced to its essence the message was:

    “You claim to be an independent-minded idealist. You don’t really understand politics, but you think the little guy is getting a lousy break. You believe in open-mindedness. You are shocked, frightened by what is going on right here in our own country. You’re frightened by the racism, by the oppression of the workingman. You believe in peace. You yearn for international understanding. You hate fascism. You think the capitalist system is corrupt.”

    This subtly anti-American message created a mindset.

    The mindset created a superiority complex among those who adopted it.

    They were smarter, better, more feeling, more caring, more humane, more human, overall better people than the unwashed masses.

    “The purpose … [was] to instill a reflexive loathing of the United States and its people as a prime tropism of left-wing enlightenment.” – Stephen Koch

    The attitude of wise superiority to the American masses, disdain for the racist, sexist, homophobic, foreigner-hating, dead-white-male-worshipping ignoramuses spread quickly throughout the three domains of cultural transmission. First academia rejected traditional America, her people, her founders, and her foundations. The press was next, closely followed by Hollywood.

    The most stunning aspect of the message was its ability to self-propagate.

    Like a fertile flower, once planted and growing, it spread its seeds far and wide, with no need for a gardener to nurture it.

    The payload, so powerful and seductive, once planted in the American intelligentsia, grew and metastisized, like a political cancer, until it burst forth in full flower as Political Correctness (PC) in the 1980s.

    These influence operations outlived every one of the ComIntern officers that recruited the Willing Accomplices, the American agents who carried the influence messages into the heart of our culture. The effects of operations outlived even the USSR, and even communism as a practical political platform

    My comment next…

  3. M J R Says:

    A major feature of lower-case “l” libertarianism is the unwillingness to “will that it should become a universal law,” where “it” is how “I” conduct my own affairs.

    I live according to my best conscience, and I believe it would be more than dandy if others did the same — that is, act according to *my* best conscience [smile] — but no, I do not favor “that rule [being] followed by all politicians and judges,” unless they are acting of their own free will and are *not* busy-body-ingly imposing their will on everyone else.

    Okay, I do believe I know what is the intent of that Kant statement. It’s a nice sentiment. But people have got to be free agents, obeying a somewhat less exalted maxim: your right to swing your fists wildly ends where my nose begins.

    And a little beyond that, actually. The devil’s in the details.

  4. Artfldgr Says:

    Everything your talking about now comes from the above… EVERYTHING…

    the innocents have such a high minded disdain that has no other matching, that they think the people they hate are so stupid they can keep lying and not get caught.

    they are so bad, the people running things cant reign in the monster they created last century over 60 years ago

    IF you study what created this and what changed it, with names, places, participants and more, references in these discussions would go back 70 years, not to last election

    you can search and find tons of references on this website for The Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, and the boss, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels

    But Goebbels is not the inventor, nor is he all that great. he learned from people BEFORE him, and from the people that made his leadership possible.

    he stands as an icon that erases the real names and peopel who Goebbels had studied and learned from.

    he came up with how to use people, fund them, twist them, get them all ginned up running for the entrances to be a part of a fire they think burns a different direction, and more.

    to quote another author [its translated from spanish]

    In both liberal and socialist environments Dr. Goebbels is often cited as the master of political propaganda tending to change the perception of the masses over reality. Even in a cultural context as limited as the Ecuadorian who know something about the subject remember the Propaganda Minister of the Hitlerian Reich, although often have never read half a line of his writings or the transcription of his speeches. On the other hand almost nobody knows anything about Willi Münzenberg, one of the key pieces in the spread of Marxism, as practiced by Stalin. It is possible to attempt a reflection on this subject, whose relevance is obvious because we are submerged and almost drowned in an ocean of political messages from power.

    Münzenberg used two basic means to achieve his aim of massifying the sympathies towards Soviet communism: the written press and associations. From a working class, he knew firsthand his party-mates, almost all of them from the white-collar proletariat, knew of his intellectual poses, knew that they boasted of culture and of living up to the times. That is why his work was aimed at winning those kind of people, allergic to not being considered progressive and intellectual. In addition to publishing newspapers of enormous circulation (they had to be bought even if they were not fully understood) and attractive books filled with well-hidden lies, Münzenberg founded several associations of an international character, such as the “League against Imperialism” (1927). Members were responsible for defending Stalinist politics by word of mouth, meetings, the local press, etc.

    Both geniuses of the propaganda acted with cold perception of the reality and the characteristics of its public, never worried in using the lie, the deceit, the insult, the direct or indirect disqualification.

    Until today they remain as the masters of the “dezinformaziya”, the art of disfiguring reality to adapt it to the orders of the bosses.

    its impossible to comment meaningfully about the current level of disiformatzia without understanding its inventors and makers.. who and what they learned and how the people today, are mere shadows.

    todays operatives all over infected with the desease are much like todays hippies compared to the ones in the 70s… todays pale in all but surface affectations, and are missing all substance.

    well, todays innocents fighting for a new nation, are the same idiots as before, but now they are leading each other, and without measure, so they have overplayed to the point of ridiculousness.

    the useful idiots, the innocents, the fronts, are all in full view, and we have been dsicussing them, albeit with different terms so we dont associate that with the past. but its the same old same old under new names…

    but if you go back and read, you will see why things are this way, as it was all that willi embued america with and what we discuss daily, the self loathing that woudl welcome a revolution.

    its here…
    are you ready?

  5. Ray Says:

    The media long ago turned themselves into PRAVDA for the democrats. They aren’t about to stop publishing fake news as long as it is anti Trump.

  6. Artfldgr Says:

    Enjoy, i havent had time to post much

    Gramscian damage | Armed and Dangerous
    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=260

    Americans have never really understood ideological warfare.

    Our gut-level assumption is that everybody in the world really wants the same comfortable material success we have. We use “extremist” as a negative epithet. Even the few fanatics and revolutionary idealists we have, whatever their political flavor, expect everybody else to behave like a bourgeois.
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    By contrast, ideological and memetic warfare has been a favored tactic for all of America’s three great adversaries of the last hundred years — Nazis, Communists, and Islamists.

    All three put substantial effort into cultivating American proxies to influence U.S. domestic policy and foreign policy in favorable directions. Yes, the Nazis did this, through organizations like the “German-American Bund” that was outlawed when World War II went hot. Today, the Islamists are having some success at manipulating our politics through fairly transparent front organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
    /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

    book recomendations

    Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture
    By Jack Cashill
    In their persuit of the larger truth (Pravda), they scorned any petty factuyal truth (istina), that stood in its way. The man who broutgh this new system of power, the so called “lying for the truth” to the west was an unlikely german communist named Willi munzenberg. A sort of roughneck publisher, munzenberg had a instinctive feel for the power of the media, and persuaded lenin to let him apply it.

    -=-=-=-=-

    Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals
    Double Lives explores the subterranean role of Stalin’s propaganda agents. Ernest Hemingway, Lillian Hellman, André Malraux, Maxim Gorky, and Andre Gide are among a host of great writers who were the targets of Soviet propaganda toward intellectuals. The book describes the key role played by Willi Münzenberg in recruiting and manipulating them

    -=-=-=-=-

    Weimar in Exile: The Antifascist Emigration in Europe and America / By Jean-Michel Palmier

    -=-=-=-=-

    Willi Munzenberg, the League Against Imperialism, and the Comintern, 1925-1933, Volume 2
    A study of intrigue, power struggles and personal ambitions, this book outlines the communist ideology and strategy of eminent activists like Munzenberg, Nehru and Einstein.”

    -=-=-=-=-

    The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willi Münzenberg, Moscow’s Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West
    by Sean McMeekin

    /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ articles:
    Communism of the Rich and Famous – NYTimes.com

    Books of The Times – Distracting People From Stalin’s Acts – NYTimes

    The Cultural Cold War – The New York Times

  7. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Kant’s categorical imperative is a reformulation of the Golden Rule combined with a wish that it might be mandatory.

  8. parker Says:

    parker’s rule: Any post by neoneocon that prompts long, multiple comments by artfldger, is a post to avoid. There is no there, there.

  9. Griffin Says:

    Griffin’s rule: Any blog comment of more than three paragraphs with multiple outside links and excerpts I won’t read.

  10. Zigzag Says:

    Parker. You are a good family man and a doubtless a decent all-round guy despite your obvious inability to pick an election winner before the fact.

    However, stick to being a farm boy. This stuff is above your intellectual pay grade.

    The Dodger is sui generis, but he’s more often right than not. You’re simply not equipped to grok him.

    Sounds mean, but you dish it out, you have to take it too.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain; M J R:

    As far as I know, the rule contains no wish that it be mandatory, just that everyone be logical enough and moral enough to apply it.

    From the Wiki entry for “categorical imperative” (a rather long and involved entry, I might add):

    The result of these two considerations is that we must will maxims that can be at the same time universal, but which do not impinge on the freedom of ourselves nor of others. A universal maxim, however, could only have this form if it were a maxim that each subject by himself endorsed. Because it cannot be something which externally constrains each subject’s activity, it must be a constraint that each subject has set for himself. This leads to the concept of self-legislation. Each subject must through his own use of reason will maxims which have the form of universality, but do not impinge on the freedom of others: thus each subject must will maxims that could be universally self-legisted.

    It’s been a long time since I studied Kant, to say the least.

  12. DNW Says:

    Well, far be it from me to go out of my way to defend Parker, who still plans on inviting me down by the riverside at dawn to pursue a point of honor when he gets around to it .

    But, given that one has to figure out what in the 4:11 posting is quoted and what is not by doing a text search; given, that the comment is not about deontological ethics, even tangentially, but about Willi Whatshisname, and, is apparently a copy and paste job taken from of a Breitbart article written some years ago; Parker’s exasperated comment looks founded enough to me.

    What is particularly intellectual about artfulldeguerre’s post in this instance, also escapes me. It certainly is not about philosophy or even ethical philosophy, per se.

    That said, I understand that many find his lectures to be … informational … on occasion.

    I suppose his point here, eventually, is that we swim like fishes an a sea of deliberately instituted cultural marxist propaganda we hardly notice; one installed by someone we have hardly heard of … It having nonetheless evolved into the default position among the information peddling class.

    And thus any mention of categorical imperatives, as if relevant to the question at hand – i.e., untruthful “news” – is doomed to be futile; or maybe even otiose from the start.

    Or maybe not.

    If the theme of the rigged game set by a hidden hand, the futility of effort, and the doom in store for all, is not the one he is promoting here, this time, I will be as pleased as anyone else. Maybe more-so.

  13. DNW Says:

    “It’s been a long time since I studied Kant, to say the least.”

    As far as I have been able to determine, no one has been able to explain just what the imperative for accepting the imperative is.

    If any smartass mentions Godel or recursion in response, you lose all your commenting privileges.

  14. Sergey Says:

    Kant’s “Golden Rule” hardly applicable beyond Western civilization. His “universal moral law” turned to be not so universal as he believed. Even in Southern Europe its applicability is problematic. It is an ultimate expression of Protestant illusion that all humans were created equal in the mold of Protestants, which simply is not so.

  15. Sergey Says:

    “Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems,” Huntington had written in The Clash of Civilizations. “It is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous.”

  16. Sergey Says:

    The problem with Kantian rationalism and moralism is that he ascribed to moral and reason the powers they actually do not posses. A person always can dismiss both at a whim, as Dostoevsky has shown. The only firm foundation of moral is theological, which is demonstrably irrational. You either accept God’s Commandments, or you don’t. In the latter case, everything is permissible. This is the unavoidable logical conclusion, also asserted by Dostoevsky.

  17. DNW Says:

    Sergey Says:
    February 22nd, 2017 at 5:05 am

    The problem with Kantian rationalism and moralism is that he ascribed to moral and reason the powers they actually do not posses. A person always can dismiss both at a whim, as Dostoevsky has shown. The only firm foundation of moral is theological, which is demonstrably irrational. You either accept God’s Commandments, or you don’t. In the latter case, everything is permissible. This is the unavoidable logical conclusion, also asserted by Dostoevsky.

    Neo has mentioned and advanced the same dynamic and author, if not conclusion, before.

    I think that rationality can take us some way toward avoiding these two alternatives; and that is if you can accept teleology as rational, in the first place.

    Now I don’t think that an intrinsic telos applying to well-functioning members of a defined class, is that difficult a concept to defend: even if the telos is an a posteriori and “evolved” development.

    The problem comes in, in the universalizing process, the defining of the class and its membership. And there, with the monogenesis axiom adopted originally from religion, or revelation, one is confronted with the necessity of either declaring certain members of the class as bad specimens or dysfunctional in some way, or enlarging the connotation circle of the definition until the denotations have nothing significant in common.

    It’s at that point that progressives start blathering on about Wittgenstein, as if family resemblances are a solution, rather than a strategy for sidestepping the issue.

  18. Sergey Says:

    For those who tend to dismiss Dostoevsky logic as a peculiar pathology of Russian culture of 19 century I recommend an excellent novel by Donna Tartt “The Secret History” placed in 1970-s Vermont college which closely repeats the plot of Dostoevsky’s “Demons” and leads to the same conclusions. Its heroes, American liberal arts students of classical Greek philology, behave almost identical to St.-Petersburg students described in “Demons” a century before.

  19. DNW Says:

    Sergey Says:
    February 22nd, 2017 at 11:37 am

    For those who tend to dismiss Dostoevsky logic as a peculiar pathology of Russian culture of 19 century I recommend an excellent novel by Donna Tartt “The Secret History” placed in 1970-s Vermont college which closely repeats the plot of Dostoevsky’s “Demons” and leads to the same conclusions. Its heroes, American liberal arts students of classical Greek philology, behave almost identical to St.-Petersburg students described in “Demons” a century before.”

    Greek philology.

    Brings to mind the Melian dialogue which has been mentioned here many times before.

    Not precisely the same but the formulation of some critical propositions anticipates the theme; albeit in a political context.

    “Of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a law of their nature wherever they can rule they will … if you were as strong as we are, would do as we do. So much for the gods …”

  20. Ymarsakar Says:

    Immanuel Kant was a real pissant who was very rarely stable,

    That is some stronk irony there, Art. Just, wow.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    They aren’t about to stop publishing fake news as long as it is anti Trump.

    Foolish mortals still think the media tells the truth about Bush II or on issues not relating to anti Trum, I see.

    What a lovely fairy tale. I once believed journalists wrote down the truth, perhaps 1% of the time. How wrong that ended up being.

    However, stick to being a farm boy. This stuff is above your intellectual pay grade.

    Which is why this here place has me, and parker can rest easy.

    The Golden Rule needed a modification, which is consistent with Jesus of Nazareth’s transformation. It’s a hierarchy problem. Do unto inferiors what you would have your superiors do unto you. In other words, everything you do and judge, to condemn humans to life or death, is recorded in the divine realms. None of it is unprocessed or unseen. Everything a human does to those under them, to include even the animals, will be brought up in the trial.

    As for Kant, his mistake is in deifying reasons and human laws to the same level as divine laws and divine power. Humans are too weak to hold that accountability and title.

    One of the outcomes of the Crucifixion, is what exactly is being repaid and why does it cause suffering. Humans (and others) transgressed against the aOmega sometime ago. That transgression is like breaking the law of the US, and there’s no expiration date. A hero is someone who gladly receives the punishment for breaking their own rules. A villain will gladly demand and beg for mercy, but when they are in power, they will ignore the rules and mercy.

    In other words, the aOmega found a way to inflict the punishment on someone that is like himself, in such a fashion that it removed the judgment against the other ones in existence. To the extent that it can be said that God inflicted the punishment on himself that was due for us, but that had little to do with the Garden of Eden problem or the Tower of Babel. And it doesn’t guarantee that free will won’t condemn a human soul to Lucifer’s hold either.

    There is a punishment recorded in the records that was so dire Michael was said to tremble at the thought of it.

    The only firm foundation of moral is theological, which is demonstrably irrational. You either accept God’s Commandments, or you don’t. In the latter case, everything is permissible. This is the unavoidable logical conclusion, also asserted by Dostoevsky.

    A human can believe they can fly, they just need to take a trip off a mountain or building. Thus the foundation of theology is whether it is true or not, but that truth cannot be ascertained using human methods. The best people can do is to die, and then wait for the final judgment.

    A divine court and law either exists, or it doesn’t. If it does exist, then it doesn’t matter what humans believe. After all, Putin can believe killing Trum is good and that he will get away with it, but reality may disagree.

    As for being irrational, those who are capable of accepting the wisdom of the divine can ask for knowledge and the explanation behind the commandments. If they are capable of understanding it and if they deserve the favor, they will be given a hint.

    Divine level entities, unlike human kings, have infinite time and attention.

  22. parker Says:

    Zigzag,

    There is no argument, no argument at all. I am an old farm boy and a family man. And I am definitely not an ‘intellectual”. I am a salt of the earth, common sense man. I have plowed the earth, bent my back to grow the fruit of the earth, raised my children well, and been faithful to Mrs parker for 48 years.

    When it comes down to putting food on the table, building anything, keeping the electricity flowing, etc, etc, etc, or defending life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness; the last thing needed is an ‘intellectual’.

    Yes, it is well above my pay grade to parse the nano particles of Kant. However, if I gave you a Geiger Counter could you find a few grams of yellow cake in your apartment?

  23. parker Says:

    And Ziggy,

    It seems much about what it takes to keep you fed, safe and secure, is far beyond your pay grade.

    There is a term to describe people like you; but I will not type it beyond the color of the horse….

    (google it)

    That said I truly wish you well. Just don’t knock on my door when you are thirsty or hungry.If that comes to pass you will come to realize what a simpleton I am. It will be a very short lesson about your snobbery. It will take less than a nano second.

    Sheesh, I am way beyond would be intellectuals lecurting me about my ignorance. I could be crude in response but momma taught me to not be.

  24. parker Says:

    Zigzag,

    I forgot, excuse me, that artfldger is not a genius. He does possess a lot of info in his troubled head, No doubt about that. But he does not possess the ability to fitler that information to present it in a calculated, well thought out manner. He is on the spectrum… I will leave it to you to discover what spectrum.

  25. Sergey Says:

    “As for Kant, his mistake is in deifying reasons and human laws to the same level as divine laws and divine power. Humans are too weak to hold that accountability and title.”
    Absolutely true!

  26. Sergey Says:

    This mistake is rather widespread and is the root of all social utopism, including Marxism and modern Progressivism. Intellectual and moral arrogance put above tradition and common sense. This danger is especially acute for educated persons, so easily taking their successes in sciences and math as a proof of competence in matters of moral and religion, that are well above competence of any individual. Two quotes illustrate this thesis: “There are things so stupid that only intellectual can believe them” (Orwell); “Understanding of quantum physics is a children play compared to understanding of children play” (Niels Bohr).

  27. Sergey Says:

    “It seems much about what it takes to keep you fed, safe and secure, is far beyond your pay grade.”
    To his excuse, much about what it takes to keep one fed, safe and secure, is far beyond pay grade of every mortal.

  28. Sergey Says:

    “Foolish mortals still think the media tells the truth about Bush II or on issues not relating to anti Trump, I see.”
    Most modern journalists are postmodernists. They do not believe that such thing as truth actually exists. So they just do not care.

  29. parker Says:

    Sergey,

    No, I possess the skills and knowledge to keep me an mine fed and secure. Its a family tradition.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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