Lou Marinoff, who I first met at Davos did the session on Wisdom. Lou is the one who convinced me to learn more about the Soka Gakkai and someone who I've grown to respect a great deal. This was the first organized session with Lou that I'd ever attended and it was truly great.


Here is the outline of the workshop:

  1. The ABSs of Virtue: Aristotle, Budha and Confucius
    • The cardinal virtues: Courage, Temperance, Justice, Wisdom
    • The pace of virtue in the global village
  2. Linkage with Richard Olivier's and Miha Pogacnik's workshops
    • Courage is implicated in leadership
    • Temperance is implicated in creativity
  3. Focus on Justice and Wisdom
    • Justice: doing the right thing at the right time
    • Wisdom: understanding what is right
  4. Eleven ways of being right
    • Main strengths and weaknesses of contending ethical systems

He started out the session by telling us that Plato thought a lot about the definition of what is Good and couldn't answer it. The idea was that if you could figure out what was Good you could determine what was Right. After you could judge what was Right, Justice could be rendered.

Aristotle said that Virtue is the Golden Mean between two extremes. It was all about balance. "Rational" comes from "ratio". The idea was to triangulate from two extremes of vice. For example, Courage is the mean between cowardice and rashness.

Buddha said that Virtue is the practice of the Middle Way. Temperance means neither Abstention nor over-indulgence but rather, moderation.

Confucius said that Virtue is the application of the Tao (the Way), striving for balance and harmony.

Hegel talked about transcendence which means to simultaneously negate and preserve. For instance, someone who is courageous becomes independent of his/her nationality, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc. while at the same time allowing the person not to renounce his/her nationality, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc. This is true of all virtues.

The main philosophical task confronting inhabitants of the global village in the 21st century is to transcend their most lethal, destructive and counter-productive differences. The inculcation of virtues conducive to this end requires global education reform. Such reform is much less costly, and much more longer-lasting than every form of coercion. Neither sovereign governments, nor organized religions, nor academic institutions, are able to bear sufficient responsibility for supporting or implementing global educational reform. this responsibility falls to global business interests, to the WEF, and to the philosophical practitioners on the ground.

Then came the Eleven Way of Being Right.
  1. deontology - rules tell us what is right and wrong
  2. teleology - The end justifies (or sanctifies) the means
  3. virtue ethics - goodness comes from virtues, which are like habits
  4. humanistic existentialism - what we choose to do determines what we value
  5. nihilistic existentialism - "God is dead." And we killed him. So all moral bets are off.
  6. analytic ethics - "Goodness" cannot be defined or analyzed
  7. correlative ethics - every right entails an obligation, and vice-versa
  8. sociobiology - ideas of "right" and "wrong" are motivated by our genes
  9. feminist ethics - women have different moral priorities: e.g. ethics of caring
  10. legal moralism - if it's legal, it's ethical
  11. meta-ethical relativism - each situation has its own unique ethical dimension

  12. We discussed the relative merits and weaknesses of each of these ethical systems. Lou also pointed out that there were MANY more, but these eleven were a good place to start. The idea was to try to get to justice. Justice being defined as doing the right thing at the right time. Lou also pointed out that many people like the notion of doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Turing and other pointed out that this utilitarian method was inherently flawed because one can not maximize a problem for two variables. You could strive to cause the greatest good or strive to affect the greatest number, but not both. Interesting perspective...

    After we had these eleven ways of being right in our heads, we were told to identify a moral dilemma. We broke off into small groups and using these ethical models we tried to argue both for and against our solution to the problem and tried to justify the solution. It was a really interesting exercise and I found that the ability to discuss moral dilemmas with this framework made them MUCH easier to understand.

    If my classes in college had been like this, I wouldn't have dropped out.

9 Comments

No evolutionary game theory?
Did you read Nonzero yet?

What's evolutionary game theory?

I haven't read Nonzero yet. Books are heavy. ;-p

(It is just a game theoretic approach to understanding evolutionary change. Most famous example is John Maynard Smith's evolutionarily stable strategy, esp. as popularlized by Dawkin.)

But! I think that something really important about Aristotle got lost there. While being the mean is a characteristic of virtue, that is not what virtue is -- and actions are not virtuous because they are the mean between two extremes (this is articulated in Book II of the Nichomachean Ethics). It is definitely not "all about" balance.

Virture (aretê) meant the same thing for Aristotle as it did for all Greeks: that which causes a thing to be excellent, or to perform its function well (the cannonical example is a knife: sharpness is its virtue and an excellent knife is one that cuts well). So, the virtue(s) of human beings are those behaviours/actions/habits which causes them to perform their function well, or to be excellent. Inquiries into virtue become inquiries into the 'function' or purpose of human beings. (Aristotle's inquiry here is the Politics.)

This makes a difference because it suggests a specific action as the 'main philosophical task' (other than 'transcend differences'): enter into a shared inquiry towards the purposes, desires, goals, aims, etc. of the new global community. If we all aim towards different fundamental ends, transcendance is an empty hope: everyone needs a bedrock and it is unrealistic to expect people to give up their most fundamental beliefs.

But it is not unrealistic to expect them to talk about those things, and perhaps even agree that the purposes we have in common, whatever they are (health? prosperity? sustainability? freedom?), should be given priority.

rheingold mentions robert wright and nonzero in the discussions of swarm intelligence in the latter chapters of smart mobs. though his book "the moral animal" may be more relevant here. "non zero" was very good by the way, and another of his books "three scientists and their gods" has been on my list for a while. good non-fiction writing which reminds me of pollard (botany of desire, a place of my own).

To understand evolutionary game theory, one needs to grasp both the essentials of Jon von Neumann's and Oscar Morgenstern's "Theory of Games and Economic Behavior" and the fundamentals of the neo-Darwinian paradigm (Darwinism plus genetics). That puts one in a position to appreciate John Maynard Smith's evolutionary game theory (EGT). However, applying EGT to human beings is fraught with risks of misconception and falsity -- as Social Darwinism and human sociobiology are similarly afflicted. For example, two eminent scientists, R. Axelrod and W. Hamilton, published a famous paper in Science, (v.211, 1990, pp. 1390-6) supposedly showing how human cooperation "evolved" according to EGT. I subsequently discovered a fatal flaw in their argument, and published a proof that this could not have happened in the way they and the paradigm suggest (see The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, v.41, 1990, pp. 461-72.) In a nutshell, that's why EGT is absent (but not missing) from my outline. Best regards, Lou

MartinSeligman riffed from Wright's ideas...

http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/MartinSeligman

A process that continually selects for more complexity is ultimately aimed at nothing less than omniscience, omnipotence, and goodness.

The best we can do as individuals is to choose to be a small part of furthering this progress (EvolutIon). This is the door through which meaning (MeaningOfLife) that transcends us can enter our lives.

The good life consists in deriving happiness by using your signature strengths every day in the main realms of living.

The meaningful life adds one more component: using these same strengths to forward knowledge, power, or goodness.

AN END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS? 1/9/06 by D. H. M. In accord with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6/25/87 STANLEY ‘congress is responsible for’ Dept. of Defense (DOD) experiments [5] in 1994 is the U.S. Senate Report’s: 1. That the DOD be held accountable for their now 62 years from 1944 MANY “EXPERIMENTS THAT WERE DESIGNED TO HARM”![14] And 2. That the injured subjects should be allowed a still unrealized Judicial redress NOT be prevented as a from 1950 [13] Feres Doctrine “INCIDENT TO SERVICE”![14] YET IN 2006 WHILE GIVEN TO CONVICTED RAPISTS AND MURDERERS [7] STILL WITHHELD ARE A VETERAN’S PRIOR TO SERVICE RIGHTS!! Reported is that these subjects are DOD prevented from recognizing that the “DESIGNED TO HARM” is “associated with their military service”. Which is post-1987 STANLEY duplicated by a few in congress thru the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and underlies their 12/8/88 established and severely restricted US veteran’s court. The Secretary of the VA was made the final authority on revealing questions of law; [15] 511(a). This is proven by the veteran court Chief Judge’s 1994 ‘NO TEETH’,“The court may not review the schedule of ratings for disabilities or the Policies Underlying the Schedule.”![8] After this court’s Final Decision the only U.S. Court then accessible is also issues restricted. There is no “disabilities” heart of the VA process accountability, i.e., for both of the “schedule” omitted “designed to harm” exposing causes and the experimentation results of their certain injury effects!! Accomplished by a few in congress is the capturing of all experimental subjects within a must be completed unaccountable for “designed to harm” greatly extended and justice denied procedure. Thereby, there is no STANLEY Legislative Branch corrective oversight of the Executive Branch (DOD & VA) and prevented is a 6/25/87 STANLEY DOD “INCIDENT” revisiting by the U.S. Supreme Court of the deliberate “TO HARM” policy! The 1973 National Personnel Records Center fire destroyed most of these subject’s service documents. Congress’s 1974 Privacy Act censored all co-subject identity from those that survived. All a very effective for the greater good end justifies the means approval of all past, present and future “DESIGNED TO HARM” “EXPERIMENTS”!
The means by which the Congress’s few no accountability is carried out is well demonstrated by a VA ongoing 15 years negation of one experiment. It arises from their to-date 1957 & 1958 cover up [11] in the available outline of the DOD & VA supporting WRITTEN record. Six months after the 6/25/87 U.S. Supreme Court STANLEY is the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) VA 12/7/87 defective governing “schedule...for” [DOD] “disabilities” retroactive to 23 March 1956 “Diseases of the Ear”. A VA CFR Title 38, Ch. 1, Part 4 “may not review” finessing of the since 1936 jet-engine well known by 1952 to 1956 cause & effects of an 87,381X to 699,051X sound pressure; herein are 78 so harmed.[11] It was in direct disobedience of the DOD Secretary’s 1953 order.[2] The 12/7/87 “schedule” omits the then 1952 known [1] jet-engine certain injury cause and manipulates its “Ear” “disabilities”, e.g., layman rejected as not “competent medical evidence” was the VA ENT Chief’s “symptoms of Menieres disease CLEARLY ARE DOCUMENTED in his service record”! This identified in 1861 “Menieres” is “schedule” omitted and its symptoms misidentified as separate misleading diseases. Ignored were hundreds of other “HEARING ” citations prior to 12/7/87 part of more then 2,838 from 1831!![1, 3 & 16]
VOTE YOUR MEMBERS IN THE U.S. CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR LOVED ONES “DESIGNED TO HARM!!
A PARTIAL SUPPORTING LIST OF REFERENCES:[1] USAF PROJECT 7210 “A COMPILATION OF TURBOJET NOISE DATA”, BOLT BERANEK & NEWMAN, INC. CAMBRIDGE 38, MA. Sound pressure levels for all jet-engines in-service. Conducted at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) DAYTON, OHIO in 1952. 1954 logged in as the 401st report for that year published as REPORT 54-401 July 1956.
[2] Top Secret, Sec. of the DoD 26 February 1953 ‘NO non-consensual, human experiments’ ignored Memo to the Sec.’s of the Army, Navy & Air Force. CC. DoD Joint Chiefs of Staff and the R & D Board; see page 343, “The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code” by George J. Annas & Michael A. Grodin.
[3] The 1953 “Benox Report” by H. W. Ades, Emory Univ. and at least 16 USAF & USN 1949 to 1956 “CURRENT LIST OF MEDICAL LITERATURE” reports on jet-engine subjugation. Added German, British, Russian, Japanese, American films and literature on the from 1936 to 1955 R&D & production of jet & rocket engines with applicable “NOISE” protection are in the public domain.
[5] U.S. SUPREME COURT, JUNE 25, 1987, U.S. V. STANLEY, 107 S. CT. 3054 (483 U.S. PAGE 669). It addresses the ‘congress is responsible for’ the issue of a 1958 DoD non-consensual, human drug trials and other experimentations.
[7] U.S. State Department, “U.S. REPORT UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS JULY 1994, Article 7”.
[8] CHIEF JUDGE AND COLLEAGUE STATEMENTS, COURT OF VETERANS APPEALS, ANNUAL JUDICIAL CONFERENCE, FORT MEYER, VA., 17 & 18 OCTOBER 1994. www.goodnet.com/~heads/nebeker.html
[11] MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION. The veteran’s 21 May 1956 retained include 40 sets of USAF 1952-1956 in-service records with 11 medical exams & the names and serial numbers of 78 injured personnel. With the 1957 and to-date ignored Boston, MA. VA Regional Office Physician’s 6/26/57 “no vestibular function” directly submitted resulting USAF SURGEON HQ AARC, 25 June 1958 “permanently medically disqualified for military service”!
[13] Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135, 146 (1950).
[14] “Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century.” Hearings Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 103rd Congress 2nd Session (December 8, 1994 REPORT 103-97)
[15] “Sec. 511. Decisions of the Secretary; finality.” www.bizbozos.com/US_Code/Title_38.html
[16] “BIBLIOGRAPHY ON HEARING PROTECTION, HEARING CONSERVATION, AND AURAL CARE, HYGIENE AND PHYSIOLOGY.” 2,838 citations from 1831 to 2001. WWW.NONOISE.ORG

FLIGHT LINE JET AIRCRAFT MECHANICS AT TYNDALL AFB, PANAMA CITY FLA. 1952 to 1956.
LAST NAME, FIRST NAME, AIR FORCE SERIAL NO.
APPLEYARD, WILLIAM L. 13 449 079 HURLEY, DAVID W. 12 404 241
BATES, JOE H. 15 494 516 IENSE, WILLIAM A. 15 479 741
BAVIS, HARRY G. 12 415 270 IRVIN, JAMES E. 16 418 669
BERRY, DENNIE 15 258 543 JANDRON, PAUL J. 21 301 262
BERSTRON, ELLERY D. 13 435 283 JONES, GLEN R. 14 461 286
BERTRAND, ROBERT E. 11 255 125 JONES JR., BOBBY 17 360 722
BONASERA, JOSEPH E. 15 483 745 JUNG, WESLEY E. 16 411 227
BONE, J. E. 14 472 383 JUSTICE, HERMAN M. 14 452 967
BRITTAIN, THOMAS W. 13 447 599 KEAN, RONALD B. 13 445 705
BUMPUS, JOE E. 23 029 079 KELLY, HAROLD R. 14 472 958
CADRETTE, EUCLID J. 12 413 469 KELLY JR., GERALD L. 13 432 309
CARNEY, JOHN F. 12 413 399 LARKOWSKI, GERALD G. 17 355 455
CLARK JR., CHESTER H. 14 466 073 LEWIS JR., FRANKLIN 13 435 401
CODORI, JOSEPH B. 13 448 426 LOCKIEY, REGINAID E. 13 438 068
COUNCIL JR., JAMES I. 14 462 043 LOGSDON, ELMO W. 15 482 662
CRISWELL, WILLIAM G. 17 354 196 LONG, EARL T. 13 434 463
DONALDSON, WILLIAM A. 14 461 332 LOVE, JERRY K. 14 462 527
DUESLER, JOHN H. 12 414 601 LYCAN, EDWARD S. 19 441 063
DUNBAR, LEROY W. 34 020 071 MARSHALL, DAVID H. 11 253 490
EWTON, JAMES E. 14 453 187 MORGAN, WARNER L. 14 456 816
FLENING, JACK E. 15 480 635 MULLINS, JIMMY A. 13 512 596
FRITZ, JOHN A. C. 24 640 937 MURPHEY, TALMADGE G. 14 462 360
GILIAM, JAT T. 15 482 630 MURRAY, WILLIE E. 14 456 355
GOMES JR., MANUEL F. 11 252 770 MUSGRAVE, PAUL I. 17 358 441
GONES, LEAMON 14 459 715 OGBORN, GLENN 14 438 675
GORE, WILLIAM R. 14 459 603 OTTLEY, FRANKLIN D. 19 410 160
GREEN, LEVI D. 12 413 297 RATHJEN, CHARLES 28 211 946
GUILA, MIKE J. 15 483 564 REID, BILLY G. 14 424 319
GUNSLAUS, DAVID W. 16 413 282 RICHARDSON, JAMES W. 13 429 058
HANDLIN, JAMES F. 17 360 724 SANDELL, PHILLIP R. 19 425 133
HARDING, JERRY L. 14 464 740 SEXTON, FRED B. 14 469 919
HARTER, JOHN E. 17 367 990 SHUMATE, RICHARD W. 13 428 826
HENDON, JAMES 18 420 423 VOLLENTINE, DONALD R. 12 415 279
HENDON, JAMES H. 18 420 425 WALLER, GLENN R. 17 317 517
HIGNUTT, JESSE L. 13 434 703 WHITE, SAMUEL L. 14 472 413
HILL, RAY S. 14 451 229 WOOD, LEONARD F. 14 387 094
HINSON, BERT L. 14 474 204 ZIEGLER, CARL P. 11 266 421
HIRSH, DONALD H. 27 963 906
HODGE, JAMES F. 18 420 379
HOWARD, ROY W. 14 451 324
HOWARTH, WALLACE R. 23 821 884

A veteran's court may not focus. 24 FEBRUARY 2006. ‘Congress is responsible for’ Dept. of Defense (DOD) human experiments is a 5 to 4 U.S. SUPREME COURT 6/25/87 STANLEY decision![1] A 1994 U.S. Senate response [2] is: 1. That the DOD should be held accountable for their now 62 years from 1944 MANY preplanned “EXPERIMENTS THAT WERE DESIGNED TO HARM”! And 2. That the injured subjects be allowed a Judicial redress NOT be prevented as a from 1950 “INCIDENT TO SERVICE”.[3] YET IN 2006 WHILE GIVEN TO CONVICTED RAPISTS & MURDERERS [4] STILL WITHHELD ARE THOSE RIGHTS THAT A LOVED ONE HAD PRIOR TO SERVICE!! Reported is these subjects are DOD prevented from recognizing that the experimentation “TO HARM” is “associated with their military service”. As post-STANLEY duplicated by a few in congress through the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (DVA) military disabilities and lower level U.S. Courts procedure. This is demonstrated by their giving to the Secretary of the DVA the final authority on questions of law; 511(a)![5] A result is their 12/8/88 established severely restricted US veteran’s court. Which is verified by its Chief Judge’s 1994, “The court may not review the schedule of ratings for disabilities or the Policies Underlying the Schedule.”[6] Starting with the DOD premeditated injuries through the entire process there are no specific “disabilities” criteria for: 1. The “schedule” omitted exposing “to harm” policy causes with their What, How, Where & When! 2. Its not identified each of the many experiment’s missing then known original disabilities that underlie the resultant “to harm” protection. And 3. The overlooked 62 years of updated disability effects lessons learned! This key revealing evidence is missing for medical diagnostic, disability and treatment purposes! It is not addressed within the 1st level local DVA Regional Office and at the 2nd level Board of Veterans Appeals. Then the Chief Judge’s stated no judicial review at the 3d. level veteran’s U.S. Court. After this court’s Final Decision the 4th level only U.S. Court then accessible is also issues restricted! The 1973 National Personnel Records Center fire destroyed most of these subject’s service documents. Congress’s 1974 Privacy Act censored the names of all witnesses from those that survived. Prevented is an INDEPENDENT checks and balances revisiting by the U.S. Supreme Court of the 6/25/87 STANLEY DOD “INCIDENT” as the deliberate “DESIGNED TO HARM”! A few in congress have captured all experimental subjects within a greatly extended must be completed unaccountable for “to harm” cause & effects 62 years destroyed and missing evidence process. A justice denied end justifies the means approval of their use as past, present and NOW future in-service guinea pigs. PLEASE VOTE YOUR MEMBERS IN THE U.S. CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THESE SIXTY TWO (62) YEARS OF “DESIGNED TO HARM” EXPERIMENTATIONS!!
REFERENCES:
[1] U.S. SUPREME COURT, JUNE 25, 1987, U.S. V. STANLEY, 107 S. CT. 3054 (483 U.S. PAGE 669). It addresses the ‘congress is responsible’ for the issue of a 1958 DoD non-consensual, human drug trials and other experimentations.
[2] “Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century.” Hearings Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 103rd Congress 2nd Session (December 8, 1994 REPORT 103-97)
[3] Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135, 146 (1950).
[4] U.S. State Department, “U.S. REPORT UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS JULY 1994, Article 7”.
[5] www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode38/uscsec3800000511----000-.html “United States Code (USC) Title 38, 511. Decisions of the Secretary; finality.”
[6] CHIEF JUDGE AND COLLEAGUE STATEMENTS, COURT OF VETERANS APPEALS, ANNUAL JUDICIAL CONFERENCE, FORT MEYER, VA., 17 & 18 OCTOBER 1994.

Leave a comment

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Business and the Economy category.

Books is the previous category.

Computer and Network Risks is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index.

Monthly Archives