onsdagen den 27:e juli 2011

Ethics, or blissful ignorance?

I disagree with that cynical notion. We know perfectly well that lots of nasty things are going on all the time. The reason why we trust strangers has a lot more to do with a common metaphysics which permeats civil society, a kind of trust which in Zarathushtra's world is "Civilization": For example, a 100 euro-note is actually PHYSICALLY worth about three cents. But we expect others to accept it as worth 100 euros so we BEHAVE as if it is worth 100 euros. Which works. It is precisely when we start behaving according to our KNOWLEDGE that society collapses and falls into paranoia and distrust. Paranoid people are usually right about the facts, what makes them unhealthy is that they think people will behave in accordance with knowledge rather than in accordance with an ETHICS which they sympathize and identify with. Ethics doesn't pay attention to what OTHERS do or think, it starts and ends with the question: "What would I do, what in all of this is me?". Places that obsess Parviz like Auschwitz are precisely places that LACK ETHICS, this results in the absence of asha as principle, replaced by druj (I kill you because I have already killed myself). Nietzsche used the word "ressentiment" for this.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/27 Special Kain

Even sociology and criminology cannot fully explain why people act according to social norms.
Some criminologists argue that it is "blissful ignorance" that keeps people from distrusting their neighbours and fellow citizens. Because people are less friendly and less polite when feeling unobserved. If we knew what happens behind doors, we would be a lot more distrustful.
It is a rather pessimistic and Machiavellian take on human nature: social order (norm conformity) requires "blissful ignorance", people need their fellow human beings as moral police officers, etc.
Isn't this exactly the struggle that Zarathushtra was addressing in The Gathas?

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am
Mi, 27.7.2011:

Yes, consequences are often hard to predict. To practice asha as principle was never easy. But it is the true and proper way to go since everything else is based on faulty assumptions. Yes, situational approaches are often useful but sometimes they infringe negatively on the long-term effects of a society too. For example, when taken to extremes we stop trusting our fellow neighbors and civil society deteroriates. So this has to be taken into account as well. It is a hard but necessary balancing act which decisions to make.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/7/27 Special Kain

I'm not sure if I can follow you here, because the consequences are never easy to predict, unless you're talking about severely disturbed people such as psychopaths who are likely to harm other people. As a criminologist I know some criminals that should be locked away for the rest of their lives, because they are not able to learn and train less harmful behaviours.
The situational approach has taken over criminological thought. If you don't want people to steal bicycles, you invent and use bicycle locks. If you don't want people to rob other citizens at night, you invent and use credit cards and street lamps. So rather than dig deep into a criminal's psychological past you strategically reshape the environment. An open door may tempt a saint! The situational approach works in general prevention as well as in individual prevention, especially since criminals start their careers by seizing little tempting opportunities and refining their skills.

Inga kommentarer: