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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 03:22 AM

6. The Golden Rule is surprisingly more resilient than one would think.

Check out the argument and counter-argument (toward the end- "Criticisms," etc.) here, involving the classic "masochist":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

Kant, as usual, has the best criticism, oddly enough as related to his categorical imperative, which may be an even better rule but slightly less practical in implementation as a matter of determination of standards. In other words, it's easier to figure what a particular individual or group of individuals would have done to them than to determine what is the empirical "best" thing to do given an entire situation. The Golden Rule is just a more practical guide than Kant.

Though your argument is a bit different. I think a good response to your argument- that there are simply bad people with a lot of power who don't deserve such consideration out there- is that those who you are talking about don't have a very realistic expectation of being treated well, given that they are already treating people badly (against the way those people would reasonably wish to be treated, and deservedly so) and encouraging others to treat others badly (through the media). I think your argument, essentially, is the classic going beyond "I wish to be treated as a human being" to "I wish to be treated as a king," which is not encompassed by the Golden Rule. I.e., I agree that, even given the Golden Rule, such people don't deserve the consideration of empathy, though one must be VERY careful in making such a judgment. There is an inherent "reasonable person" imbedded in the principle ("how I would wish to be treated"- which does not allow for circumstances where the judge is so "special" in their privileges), but, on a one-to-one basis, it may come about that the humanity of the idea still lies true.

Humans are different than systems.

Just be careful in your judgment.

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coti Dec 2012 OP
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