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Thread: Human dignity governed by

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    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just_me View Post
    Is human dignity governed by the adherence to a regiment of morale standards or is it through respect for the sovereignty of an individuals existence?
    I would argue that the question should be put in the other direction: are moral standards grounded in some kind of human dignity we all possess in varying degrees or in a radical lack of dignity that equalizes us as individuals?

    There is not much about being human that dignifies us. A sober examination of what it means to be alive as a human is enough to reveal dignity as a stretch of the imagination. I don't have a duty to avoid harming you because you radiate some inherent dignity that acts as a repellent to deserving harm, I can't harm you because I have no more or less value than you; I have no grounds whatsoever to assert my interests as superior to yours in some way, since we are both worthless beings without dignity. We are morally untouchable to one another based on our shared value as humans, which is zero.

    Moral theories that rise to prominence conceal this reality, and start from the unquestioned assumption that we are imbued with some kind of positive essence, some more than others as it often turns out, and this not only separates us from other living things but is why humans ought never to take their own lives, and should always try to leave behind progeny. I don't agree with either of these conclusions because I don't think the premise of human dignity has been established, and as such, suicide strikes me as no less moral than continuing to exist if all else is equal, and choosing to procreate strikes me as unconscionably cruel and manipulative.

  2. Top | #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by just_me View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post

    This post is one big false dichotomy. The social nature of humans is in no way incompatible with the idea that each person should allowed ultimate authority/power/decision over their own physical person.

    In fact, without this concept there no basic for any kind of ethics or morals other than the completely arbitrary decree of some unquestionable authority.

    The very notion of "harm" rests upon the assumption that the person being "harmed" does like prefer and consent to the effects the action has upon them.

    We can and should have ethics that are not merely based in arbitrary authority, thus we can and should recognize individual sovereignty, with the logically imposed internal limit being that if a person's actions infringe upon the sovereignty of another that this person losese their right to control their own actions (e.g., they go to jail).

    What this means for social interactions is simply that they must be negotiated and consensual rather than enacted via force.

    Where did you get any of that from the op?
    The false dichotomy I responded to is in bilby's response, not your OP.

  3. Top | #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by just_me View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post

    This post is one big false dichotomy. The social nature of humans is in no way incompatible with the idea that each person should allowed ultimate authority/power/decision over their own physical person.

    In fact, without this concept there no basic for any kind of ethics or morals other than the completely arbitrary decree of some unquestionable authority.

    The very notion of "harm" rests upon the assumption that the person being "harmed" does like prefer and consent to the effects the action has upon them.

    We can and should have ethics that are not merely based in arbitrary authority, thus we can and should recognize individual sovereignty, with the logically imposed internal limit being that if a person's actions infringe upon the sovereignty of another that this person losese their right to control their own actions (e.g., they go to jail).

    What this means for social interactions is simply that they must be negotiated and consensual rather than enacted via force.

    Where did you get any of that from the op?
    The false dichotomy I responded to is in bilby's response, not your OP.
    My apologies. I stand corrected.
    HE WHOEVER FIGHTS MONSTERS SHOULD SEE TO IT THAT IN THE PROCESS HE DOES NOT BECOME A MONSTER. AND IF YOU GAZE LONG ENOUGH INTO THE ABYSS, THE ABYSS GAZES INTO YOU.

    Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Super Moderator Torin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just_me View Post
    Is human dignity governed by the adherence to a regiment of morale standards or is it through respect for the sovereignty of an individuals existence?
    What do you mean by "human dignity?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by just_me View Post
    Is human dignity governed by the adherence to a regiment of morale standards or is it through respect for the sovereignty of an individuals existence?
    What do you mean by "human dignity?"
    The sence of self worth and the worth you place on fellow human beings without prior knowledge of anything that would effect your opinion of that person as an individual.
    HE WHOEVER FIGHTS MONSTERS SHOULD SEE TO IT THAT IN THE PROCESS HE DOES NOT BECOME A MONSTER. AND IF YOU GAZE LONG ENOUGH INTO THE ABYSS, THE ABYSS GAZES INTO YOU.

    Friedrich Nietzsche

  6. Top | #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    The very notion of "harm" rests upon the assumption that the person being "harmed" does like, prefer and consent to the effects the action has upon them.

    .
    I just wanted to provide more rationale for this central assumption of my prior post. There are no objective physical consequences of any action that imply moral wrongness. If I punch you in the face, there are objective physical effects. But if you wanted me to do that then my action is perfectly moral, while if you did not want me to do that then the exact same objective physical results of my action become immoral. The entire moral determination lies in the concept of consent by the affected party which in turn lies in the concept of personal autonomy and "sovereignty" over one's physical person. If I don't recognize your sovereignty over your body, then your consent is irrelevant to what I do to your body, and then nothing I do can be immoral, unless morality is defined by whatever some third party decrees is allowed based upon the assumption that they are granted total authority (aka sovereignty) over all people.

    So, either there is no morality (and thus no possibility of and organized society or civilization) or there is morality based upon one of two possible assumptions 1) each person has sovereignty over themselves, 2) some authority has sovereignty over all.

  7. Top | #17
    Super Moderator Torin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just_me View Post
    The sence of self worth and the worth you place on fellow human beings without prior knowledge of anything that would effect your opinion of that person as an individual.
    Self worth is the moral component of self esteem, the part of your self esteem that evaluates whether you're a morally good person. (The other component of self esteem is self confidence, which is your evaluation of your ability to accomplish things.)

    As far as other people, I think there's an obligation to grant people a degree of "default respect" prior to knowing anything about them in particular, because in my experience most people do have some degree of moral virtue. This can go up or down as you learn more about a person.

    So I'd say that human dignity (as you have defined it) is based on a person's volitional adherence to morality.

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