Author Topic: Ethics of Psychically Influencing Other People  (Read 3978 times)

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December 17, 2015, 08:32:11 PM
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Steve

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So I suggested to Rayn that he start a new thread for discussing the moral/ethics of the project I'm going to be working on, but decided why not just start it myself?

A list of topics where this has already been covered, either more generally, or in a similar-but-different topic

http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,3791.msg49067.html Morals of Sugestive thoughts
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,22512.msg217636.html The Ethics of Forced Love
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,16267.msg174640.html The ethics of Cursing
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,1069.msg14894.html Age and Ethics
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,20655.msg204194.html Is this ethical?
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,20400.msg201843.html Is This Unethical?
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,22973.msg220185.html Ethics of a binding and banishing spell (This one might look familiar, Rayn ;))

And a couple on different-different topics, but still about morals/ethics (more topics found by searching for ethics than morals)
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,19869.msg197625.html Medical ethics and brain regeneration
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,19618.msg196176.html Ethics of Killing
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,20481.msg202776.html A Discussion of Ethics
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,9314.msg103855.html Is there a Ethical Code for the Psionic Practice?
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,18441.msg190182.html Dissolution of Ethics
http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,14478.msg158230.html Ethics in Magick

There's been some discussions about ethics over the years. We don't crowd every single topic with the discussion of ethics because that would just mire *everything* down in the one branch of sociology.

But if anyone wants to start a new discussion, or just throw their 2 cents in, regarding the ethics of psychically working on or influencing people without their knowledge, especially if it ties back to my thread about the project I will be working on, be my guest.


As for me and my project: I do not consider it a breach of any major ethics due to a few simple but important considerations.
For purposes of cross-referencing, my project thread http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,23590.new.html

1) I already influence people purely in the mundane, through psychology, talking with people, body language, influencing lines of communications between people, pushing them to do or not do certain things, and in the sharing or retaining of secrets. However, it's not like I outright control people; I merely enjoy the place I'm currently working at and would like it to remain peaceful between people, so that is the result I strive for in all of the ways that I influence people.

2) I also already psychically influence people, for the same purpose as above. This will be little different except that it would be mostly automated through the use of constructs, and involve more people than I am currently already involving.

3) It's for a good cause, one that the company already sets out in their policy guidelines, so there is no friction there.

4) It will be restricted in it's use to a single set of workings. (In other words, it is not overly ambitious)

5) This is not forcing or even coercing; as I described before it would be more like a tickling of thoughts in the back of their mind with a set of answers to a question they themselves are asking.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 18, 2015, 04:10:36 AM
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Akenu

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Every form of communication with another person is a form of manipulation, but that's not the point. Every person walks some path and for some the manipulation with others is not acceptable while others are ok with it.

There are two major reasons why influencing others seems unethical, belief and fear. Some people believe it is "forbidden" by some entity (God, nature, divine providence, etc) and therefore unacceptable, some people are scared this might happen to them so that's why they are against it.

I think it is a good idea to have a separate thread for ethics to transition some repetitive discussions there.

December 18, 2015, 03:05:49 PM
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Steve

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I pulled these from the main project thread, as they were either about ethics/philosophy or they were enough off topic (or my replies are):

Quote
where people should follow policy in the form of rules just like one should follow laws in a society.
Not even close to the same thing. Going to a job in order to earn money is a CONTRACT that a person enters into. Following the mores of society is much more sketchy because there are so many groups that have different concepts and ideas.

A job is not like society, and following the rules of a job in order to keep getting paid so you can eat food and have shelter and whatnot, is not the same as following the laws of a society, or rather the laws of a nation.

Secondly, as already noted in the opening post of the project page: this is not *pushing* people to do anything. This is THE PERSON THEMSELF realizing they need help, and the network kicking in to give them WHAT THEY WANT in order to help them do their jobs better. Someone who doesn't want to follow the rules won't kick in the network; they'll deal with management regarding contractual obligations in an entirely separate set of circumstances, but that has nothing to do with this.

To reiterate: This will be EXACTLY THE SAME as the person asking for help with a group of other trained staff, and each of the staff giving their input. This is the second best choice, because the best choice would be plopping the book of standard operating procedures down in front of the person and telling them to read up.

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To be frank, I can think of
Congrats, so can I. I decided on this one for a variety of reasons, which I spelled out more than enough of them in the opening post. As for invasive: I don't care. As for ethical: you haven't given one reason to believe that what I'm doing is unethical (the best I can figure out from your posts is that you care that I'm not getting conscious buy-in from the people it will affect).

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My area of expertise is finding practical and workable solutions to problems.
Congrats. Guess what I'm especially good at? Gathering and analyzing information, and also putting that towards practical solutions. The biggest reason people don't listen to me: their own emotions get in the way as they have emotional reactions to stuff rather than logical arguments. I've tried, for a while, taking peoples' emotions into account and decided I just don't care. If people want to fail to implement a solution solely because they're butthurt over something stupid, then fuck them because I have better things to do with my time than help a spoiled brat feel better about problems that they don't really want to fix.


From this thread:

Quote from: Rayn
I have a type of seal that is designed to reject the presence of a particular branch of thoughts and emotions probabilistically.
If it's within yourself, use it as much as you want. No ethics involved. But since we are talking about ethics, you probably mean that this is a seal you can place on others.

In which case, it's the same line of reasoning that all forms of interactions between people involve.

1) Society is a make up of a LOT of individuals, all interacting with each other.
2) All individuals have their own personal beliefs, views, etc. These personal things may come from other people, but once they've been adopted by the individual, they become part of the individual until that individual chooses to change them.
3) The interactions between any group of people eventually comes to the point where a generalized consensus on the rules for "how people are allowed to interact with one another" (hereafter referred to as "social interactions") are generally agreed upon.
4) Where there are schisms between groups who have different ideas for the rules on social interactions, they will create mostly-distinct groups of people (known as cliques, sub-cultures, sub-societies, etc) where like-minded individuals will group together with other like-minded individuals. (Many people can and do belong to multiple groups, as individuals have a variety of beliefs, views, etc, and there are loads of different groups that congregate based on different topics)
5) There will be times and places, sometimes short events and othertimes long term environments, where different-minded individuals do come together and interact with one another, for whatever reasons (usually due to jobs, or overarching cultural events like holiday festivals).
6) Where different groups come together, there will be different views on how the different groups should interact with one another. There will be friction in some places, and there will be transcending camaraderie in other places.

What you're asking about is point 3. Different groups are schismed because of different outlooks, thus leading to different rules within different subcultures. Some people will say that you are perfectly valid in doing whichever thing you want; others will say you are not; all of these people will tell you that you are validated or invalidated based on their own personal beliefs.

Thus, fuck it all I'll do what I choose. And so will you. You're not looking for my buy-in to your actions and ideologies; I'm not looking for your buy-in to mine. Thus, if we disagree on something, it is either because there is miscommunication, or because we just flat out have different views and neither of us are willing to change them for the other person. Hence, we arrive at point 6, because Veritas is a place denoted in point 5.

Next we have the actual actions taken by people of various groups towards others of different groups; in other words, person A from culture X interacts with person B in culture Y, while person C from culture Z looks on. Then it goes from theoretical interactions, to actual actions. And with actual actions comes a whole slew of other considerations, but which basically all boil down to: Might Makes Right (not right as in ethics, but right as in more-fundamental-than-privilege such as "you have a natural right to defend yourself if you're being attacked"; these rights are not given to you by society and called "rights": they are mine and they are yours, inherently).

I have the Might to do something. I will be doing it (I also have reasons for what I'm doing, so it's not merely a whimsical choice to abuse my Might). You disagree with me on what you say are moral/ethical guidelines, so you have the right to make the choice to either attempt to interfere, or just let me do what I do (everyone else who sees this has the same right to make the same choice). You're interfering through communication, which is all well and good; nothing wrong with that. But you could also attempt to interfere through the application of Might as well.

Either way, you don't seem to get that your views of ethics are of no consequence to me, so you continually saying "unethical, unethical, unethical" doesn't matter (especially when you're not being very clear on which parts, in your mind, are unethical, versus which parts are simply poor project design). If you wish to use communication to change my mind, do so with statements like what you said about re-purposing cultural symbols that already exist; that will at least have a chance of influencing my project, as opposed to just saying it's unethical.


Akenu:
Quote from: Akenu
Every form of communication with another person is a form of manipulation
I would say that's a large part of the point. If you're already manipulating one another on one level, and this is not a rhetorical question, then how does it change when you take it to another level? For instance, body language accounts for more manipulation than spoken language does, yet we've developed psychological manipulations based on words as well: why did we bother, and is it any more or less different than the body language manipulations?

I agree with your post, though.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 18, 2015, 06:17:48 PM
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Akenu

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Quote from: Akenu
Every form of communication with another person is a form of manipulation
I would say that's a large part of the point. If you're already manipulating one another on one level, and this is not a rhetorical question, then how does it change when you take it to another level? For instance, body language accounts for more manipulation than spoken language does, yet we've developed psychological manipulations based on words as well: why did we bother, and is it any more or less different than the body language manipulations?

I agree with your post, though.

~Steve

I do not see any difference in that but question is whether you want to have this discussion with me as I do not possess such moral limitations and I don't really care about someone else's free will, either.

December 19, 2015, 09:59:49 AM
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Steve

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Quote from: Akenu
I do not see any difference in that
My apologies, I should have made it more clear. I was agreeing with you, and restating your statement in a different fashion.

Quote from: Akenu
but question is whether you want to have this discussion with me as I do not possess such moral limitations and I don't really care about someone else's free will, either.
The discussion is different than the actions. The discussion of ethics is the same regardless of the specific actions, which is why I seperated it out. If you don't want to discuss ethics, don't :)

~Steve
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 06:42:39 AM by Steve »
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 20, 2015, 04:16:13 AM
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Akenu

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Steve, I knew you were agreeing with me, I just wanted to make clear that majority of people won't identify with our moral codes

December 21, 2015, 06:43:42 PM
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Steve

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Akenu: Okay.

Am I mistaken, or were you going to post more of your thoughts on the matter? (from "but question is whether you want to have this discussion with me as I do not possess such moral limitations and I don't really care about someone else's free will, either.")

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 22, 2015, 02:59:48 AM
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Akenu

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Akenu: Okay.

Am I mistaken, or were you going to post more of your thoughts on the matter? (from "but question is whether you want to have this discussion with me as I do not possess such moral limitations and I don't really care about someone else's free will, either.")

~Steve

When it comes to ethics we can discuss anything from morality up to the concept of karma as mistakenly understood in western occultism or the fact that if you want a truly free will, you need money.

December 22, 2015, 09:38:27 AM
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Steve

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I posted my thoughts on morality (in that it's a construct of social agreement), so if you'd like to comment on that then feel free. Pretty sure the karma topic has been done to death, so not touching that.

Let's talk about the money, as I disagree. Even for those with money, there are still rules to follow (such as, don't murder people, and continually invest your money to make more of it), so they do still have to do certain things regardless of whether they want to or not. I mean, sure, they could say fuck it all and murder someone anyway, but then other people like police and lawyers and judges start getting involved and those people start taking away the free will of the "person with money". Though, I do agree that in a more positive sense, the money absolutely helps people build the future they want, and helps a lot; hard to say that you have free will when you're begging for money to eat, after all. But the money is just a smoke screen in the end. If you need food, then you need food; money can typically get you food, but you can't eat the money (for nutrition). So if I can go my whole life by taking care of my needs in fashions other than by using money, like animals do, then I'm still set :)

Properly trained and used magic could allow for truly Free Will, as a capable enough magician should be able to Will their overall Life in the direction/shape they want it to go. For instance, I want peace, so I shrouded about a fairly totalitarian blanket of peace over my life. Now, even those short outbursts when I want conflict, they don't occur in the real world (not talking about arguments here on Veritas). Things go quite smoothly; I don't have much to worry about, and now have been spending a lot of time wondering what I should do with my life. See the world? Get into the emerging renewable energy market in order to help the future of humanity? Rework the overall education systems, and social views that go with them, around the world so as to produce more intelligent people over all? (And so many more possibilities) It's hard to consider when I start looking at a potential path and realize there are already people who are doing these things, and they already have the specialized training to tackle the issues, whereas I would need to spend a few years learning what I'd need to. Unless I took on a more managerial role, but I hate that. But then, none of this has to do with morality and ethics.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 22, 2015, 04:01:57 PM
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Akenu

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@Steve: Well, you got it partially right with the money. It's true you cannot run around murdering people whether you are rich or not, but on the other side if all the money you earn is just enough to assure your survival, then it is slavery. I would say a free person earns enough money not only for survival, but also for his/her hobbies and also for the savings. I would say only a free person can have the free will, on the other side a slave of the system cannot be free.

Anyway, just to make it clear, I do agree with your post and all its points :).

December 23, 2015, 02:33:50 PM
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Steve

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I would say nobody is truly free, because we're all slaves to the universe itself. We were not born of our own Will, and most of us will not die by our own Will, and instead will die because the universe has been set up in such a way that living things such as us die. Even for the span of our lives, our time is dictated to us mostly by our needs, and even after we meet our needs we only think we have "free will" but instead we have "free time after having satiated our various needs for the moment, with which we can do any other random thing that we want eventhough we don't really know what to do with that time until we (almost arbitrarily) decide on what to do with it".

On the other hand, then we have the question of whether free will is defined only by the positive choices we make in what we want to do, or does it include the limitations placed upon us by external factors such as bears and bullets and winter and time? For instance, I may *want* to drive to the store, but if my car won't budge in the snow and ice, and it's literally too cold to walk, then what's my "free will" worth?

Or, to tie this back to ethics, what if I want to shoot (and kill) someone, but they want to live? Who has Free Will: only the one who succeeded?

EDIT: And then to tie this back to psychic influences: what if I want someone to trip and fall in order to embarrass them in front of certain people? Is it "my" free will to do such things to others as though they are objects, no different than it is my free will to pick up a cup? (I think we'd both agree that it is my free will, as I am creating an active "force" that influences reality according to my will/choices/plans)

~Steve
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 02:37:56 PM by Steve »
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 23, 2015, 07:28:00 PM
Reply #11

Steve

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Okay, done editing now.

Quote from: Rayn
That says nothing of your ability to make a decision to go to the store; rather, it says something of your ability to actualize it. The ability to actualize such a thing would thus be your power(I am using these concepts in a conventional Metaphysical sense), so that says something of your power and not so much your decisions.
But see, that's the problem. You've started with two basic assumptions, 1) that this has to do with metaphysical power, and 2) that it has to do with actualization.

Yet the mundane world talks about free will as well, and the mundane people do not have metaphysical power to actualize their intentions via magic, and so they must utilize mundane methods in order to actualize their intentions. So, because a mundane person cannot "guarantee" the outcome via magic, it's hard or impossible for them to assume that the results of their efforts need automatically be included in the definition of free will. ("Actualization" is just a fancy word for "Well, I tried and I just so happened to have succeeded." Failure to actualize means "I tried, but failed." Refusing to attempt to actualize in the first place means "I didn't even try.")

Quote
Also, your argument is illogical, because it presupposes that if something is finite, it is determined; however, that is an unproven assumption within that reasoning.
I do not presuppose that.

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You say that we were not always here so we are born(that implies a degree of being finite) and we die(this also implies finite)
Yes and yes. Both easily noted by looking at the real world.

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where this is how things were set up(this implies something teleological and determined)
Not at all. This is merely an observation of the real world, much like observing gravity. Observing that something happens does not mean that it was set up for the very purpose of happening that way. We are born, and we die. This is the way that the universe is set up, not necessarily because that's the purpose, but because that's the reality. Teleological has to do with reasons for things, not mechanics of things. I'm talking about the mechanics of things.

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where our will in this is not relevant in whether we are born or die.
I think the first is fairly easy to prove; I did not have a choice in whether I was born. The second will be a matter for when I die, and will be determined based on how I die, whether by my own choice or not. Ie, if I put a gun to my own head then I've used my own will, but if I die of old age then it is not my will that made me die, and instead the mechanics of (not "the reason for") the universe.

Quote
You have not proven the third point
Third point.. third point...

The one about "so that says something of your power and not so much your decisions"?
Since the first point you made was "rather, it says something of your ability to actualize it"
and the second was " The ability to actualize such a thing would thus be your power(I am using these concepts in a conventional Metaphysical sense)"

Unless you grouped all that together in a single point, in which case point three would be the statement right before the statement about the third point:
"You say that we were not always here so we are born(that implies a degree of being finite) and we die(this also implies finite) where this is how things were set up(this implies something teleological and determined) where our will in this is not relevant in whether we are born or die."

In which case, no I didn't "prove" it, just like I didn't prove much of what I said, as I was providing arguments rather than proofs. But, as I said in this point, the proof is pretty much universally available to anyone who wants to look and see that we are born not by our own choice, and whether we die by our own choice or not is partially a matter of choice (if you're mulling it over, but get hit by a bus, then you didn't really enact your own will). But I never said anything about the mechanics of how things are set up being the reason for why things are set up the way they are; that's your argument, not mine.

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We cannot say versus having free will, we only have free time.
Well, actually I can say that, and I did. And I will expound upon that a bit more, since you seem to have confused "Free Will" with "Will".

If I am "free" from jail, it means I have no shackles holding me down, I am not in a jail cell, I don't have guards and other inmates telling me what to do, and restricting me from doing what I want to do. It means I am "free" to make my own decisions about how I want to go about my daily life and do whatever I want to do. Yet, we're not "free" from the universe because we have inherent shackles that are a part of our physiological condition, such as our need to eat. If we attempt to enact our "free" will by refusing to eat, I'm pretty sure we could agree that at least 99.999999% of the humans on the planet would die. Thus, it's not much of a "free" will if it automatically leads to our destruction. Thus, we are not free. Thus, we do not have "free will", but we do have "will", in the sense that I can still refuse to eat.

Unless, of course, you want to disengage the making of one's choices and actions from the results of one's choices and actions. In which case "free will" is just the ability to try, rather than the ability to succeed. (Ie, disassemble "actualization")

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This is not even how it physically works, for your brain is not a determined thing. The chemical processes in the genetic and cellular interactions are stochastic and thus nondeterministic.
On the other hand, if that were true, then how are 99% of humans created according to the genetic programming? If it were purely unpredicable due to certain random variables, then humans wouldn't have a fairly easily recognizable form.

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It seems like you have contradicted yourself in that you are arguing that being finite takes away from free will(which it does not)
Seems like, but not quite. As I explained with the jail explanation, being finite in itself is not what takes away free will; being shackled does. We could, in the big picture, equate shackles to finite, and if we did that then we would indeed find that being finite detracts from a "big picture" concept of Free Will, in that I cannot Will myself to live forever in whatever form I desire. Thus, limitations, thus shackles, thus not so much free to do entirely as we please, even if we still have a pretty large sandbox within which we can do lots of different things.

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all the while stating we still can randomly do things(again, you conflated decisions with carrying out those decisions, for willfully thinking about getting a glass of water is a willful act though you might not actually ever get the water)
Herein, I would disagree with two things: 1) As I stated before, whether one includes the results in the definition is a matter of definition (and you yourself "conflated decisions with carrying out those decisions" when you brought in the word "actualization"), and 2) While one could say that having a thought is itself an act, I would disagree here because the way I am using the concept of "action" in this topic is for the express purpose of attempting "to fulfill a choice", or "to actualize one's Will". So somewhere else I might agree that having a thought is an act in itself, but for this topic I'm defining willful actions to be actual actions, not merely thoughts of such (because thinking about getting a glass of water isn't going to quench your thirst, and is therefore, in reference to "actualization", entirely useless on its own).

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I have found arguing ethics in a strictly philosophical sense to be a dead end, and, instead, I prefer to argue it from an empirical stance. For example, in a failed state(in the sense of a dystopian government), there is a high amount of violence.
So you're arguing backwards, from results to reasons, rather than forwards. I counter with Machiavelli: "In judging policies we should consider the results that have been achieved through them rather than the means by which they have been executed." Machiavelli holds one of the major camps in this issue, but there are others.

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In societies where that is not the case, senseless violence and murder are not as prevalent. From this, we can make empirical observations and derive a code of ethics(we should not go around murdering people for no reason, because it makes for an unstable society where humans as a whole are not likely to survive in such a state).   
The problem being that most codes of ethics aren't done that way. Most codes of ethics are formulated by many many interactions between individuals, where each individual in the interaction has a desired outcome, and they utilize various forms of communications and forces to figure out which is the resultant path "here and now", and over the course of many of these events "a" (actually several) "ill-defined but still fairly concrete" code of ethics emerges that defines a society (where the society is the group of people who are interacting). Very much a grass roots series of events rather than a top down enforced decision. Even now, as we talk, we are defining ethical interactions within this society, as are the people who remain silent.

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That makes no sense. The problem is that you have conflated the internal volition and decision to do something with the ability to actually go about doing it in the real world.
How does that not make sense? You yourself defined exactly that as "actualization". I'm not saying that's the "right answer" to the question of ethics, but have pointed it out as one of the major camps in the discussion. It does make sense, however, and you've already agreed elsewhere that it makes sense. As above, without the action to accompany the thought, of what value is the thought in itself? What good is it to think "I'm thirsty. I need water" if you never get off your ass and get some water?

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This means that if a person lacks power to protect their life, that does not imply they did not have free will to decide that they wanted to live.
According to some it does, especially if they attempted to enact their Will to live, yet failed. They obviously didn't have the "Freedom" to live, thus lack of "free" will. They still enacted their will, but whether that will is free or not could indeed be defined entirely on whether it succeeded. Though I'm not saying it is that way; I'm merely noting that is one major possibility that cannot be so easily discounted, due to the various possible definitions of various words used in the debate.

Yes, it yet again comes down to linguistics in this case, because there is no physical object of "Free Will" or "Freedom" or "Will" that can be taken into a laboratory, cut into pieces, studied with all sorts of fancy cutting edge technologies, and have a definitive answer be brought back. Thus, we do the only thing we can do, which is argue over it because it is just words (and the thoughts that go with them, before anyone becomes a smart ass).

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The issue I have with fatalistic and deterministic sounding ideologies is that it implies a  mitigation of personal responsibility which is ethically problematic.
I don't believe there's anything in the topic of "define free will as including the results" that has anything to do with personal responsibility in regards to ethics. Will and Ethics are not the same topic.

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The brains that produce our physical consciousness are stochastic yet dynamical systems that are not deterministic
And yet... scientists can poke around in the brain and cause people to have all sorts of weird experiences and sensations... And there is the theory regarding "keep tracing every action to smaller and smaller effects, and eventually you'll see that it is all deterministic, even if the resultant determinations would be mind-bogglingly loaded with factors" (though, I disagree with this theory myself, it is still popular among some).

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and finite boundaries do not imply determined configurations within those boundaries
I absolutely agree with this. Unless you're using it to mean something else.

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rather, it implies that the boundaries are exhaustive of whatever is inside them.
Potentially so. If I have a 6 sided die and roll it 1 million times, theoretically each side should come up at least once. But then, statistically, there should be runs, eventually, of dice rolls which did not include one or more sides. But a six sided die has the potential to roll any of the six sides within its limits, but is not required to roll any specific one of them (determinism bad, except in the case of double-slit experiments >_>), and cannot roll a 7, is what I think you're mostly getting at.

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Without an additional postulation, we can say that something can randomly be any given thing in those boundaries.
If you're talking Schrodinger's cat style experiment, where we've purposefully put everything in a box and we don't know what's happening because we remain willfully ignorant, then sure, I can agree to that.

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If what is in the finite box are all the possible choices you could make, it says nothing of what choice you are determined to make.
I agree. Unless the box includes requirements for choices you will make (we are, for instance, genetically programmed to mate. even if a single individual may choose to forgo this, over the course of the species we will mate). But that talks about actions, rather than ethics.

~Steve
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 07:53:10 PM by Steve »
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 24, 2015, 07:08:05 PM
Reply #12

Steve

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So first thing's first. In response to this:
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For some crazy reason, it keeps slipping your mind when you speak to me that I have a genetics degree.

This. (only the 10 seconds until it fades to black)
https://youtu.be/it7W8Gm_oK4?t=63


Next, you're right. I feel so stupid now. How could I have ever forgotten that the literal definition of stochastic is "we can't be arsed"? Oh well, doesn't matter much anyway, because I'm giving you this point. You win it. I was only taking pot shots for the fun of it anyway.

And lastly, I need to apologize. For all the times I tell you to post which version of a definition you're using, I missed it when you actually did so. You said the classical definition of metaphysics. I missed that because I was tired, and because I saw a bunch of words like "actualize" and "metaphysical" and "your power" together and I thought you meant the definition of metaphysical that we normally use on this site. My bad. My first assumption was totally wrong.

The second assumption was not so much wrong. You still thought it has to do with actualization. And you said actualization had to do with the results. And if you're trying to say that actualization has nothing to do with the decision, then what the hell is a person actualizing? (Although, it turns out I did go a little bit overboard in my reply. You used the term three times, and I used it 15 times in response. hah, whoops)

But then none of that matters either anyway because that's a discussion about will, rather than a discussion of the ethics of psyhically manipulating people. Would you care to discuss the ethics in a thread created for the very purpose of not derailing a different thread with the topic of ethics?

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If your intention was to simply say that this is how the universe exists without any intelligent creation, then that is acceptable.
I did not say that, but nor did I say or imply that it has anything to do with intelligent design. What I said had nothing to do with any of that at all.

A set up is just how you find something before you start messing with it. Our bodies are genetically designed to die. It's been like that since long before we knew what genetics were. It's the way of things, completely regardless of intelligent design or complete accident or adaptation of species. And it is very, very observable even without knowledge of genetics.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 26, 2015, 10:57:48 PM
Reply #13

Steve

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No, I did not say they have nothing to do with one another. I said that a person's will and decisions are not the same as the power to actualize something.
Okay, so we both agree that the decisions are not the same as the results of those decisions.

However:
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Machines produce actualized things all of the time; however, machines have no intrinsic consciousness from which to say they have any kind of will
There are two slightly different concepts of actualization put in play here. When we say that the universe actualized something, such as a lightning bolt appearing, we do not assume there is intent or consciousness behind it. But when humans do so, such as programming the machine, we assume that there is a conscious will or decision or intent behind it because human existence tends to be conflated with consciousness. Do we agree on that?

If we both do agree on that, then what else have I said in the past posts that you disagree with?

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however, energy and power are not decisions. To conflate these two
I do not conflate them. However, I do see a pretty simple process at play when it comes to human manifestation:

Human decision to actualize X -> effort to actualize X -> X actualized.

Without the decision at the beginning, we have the following instead:

Effort to actualize ?? -> ??

And then this begs the question, what is being actualized? The decision is needed on the part of the human to start the process. (This does not apply to the universe, because the universe is a big bundle of workings according to the various "rules" of the universe, and whatever original event(s) set it all in motion. The difference between humans and the universe is that humans have the ability to break that chain of events that only follow the rules, and do something (almost) entirely random instead, or just plain follow a different set of rules than what should have been predetermined purely by the mechanics of the universe instead) Yet, I also understand that the decision is not the same as the result. After all, I could decide to get up and drink a glass of water, but then never do so.

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Without a sound grounding in biochemistry; however, it is difficult to appreciate this, though.
No, it's pretty easy to appreciate this without such a background. Physicists have to appreciate similar concepts when talking about materials and architecture, for instance. Just putting a bunch of molecules together doesn't make for a working sky scraper. Hell, anyone who's tried to build anything more complex than a paper airplane should be able to appreciate the basic concept of "increasingly increasing" (compounding, exponential, whatever) complexity as more factors are added.

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You're the one who brought up will.
Actually, Akenu brought it up originally. And if we had kept discussing for a long period, I'd have suggested that we could create a different thread about that too.

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Conversations about ethics are really conversations about what we should or should not do; therefore, ethical choices are predicated by and contingent on what we will and will not do.
Yet conversations about will and free will, but which ignore ethics, can also be had. Which is what we're doing now, since we're not talking about situations that people find ethical. Plus, there's that more specific aspect of the influencing others, and then the third issue of doing so psychically.

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If our choices are already determined, then what we will and will not do is determined. Since things are predicated on this, I would say it is important.
"If I have made a choice to do something, then it should already be deteremined that I will probably attempt to bring that choice to fruition."
Seems fairly obvious. But that discusses nothing about ethics. It just discusses Will. Making choices is a part of ethics, but it is hardly the same as ethics, anymore so than a discussion about making choices is the same as a discussion about art or music or mathematics.

So how do we tie it back into a discussion of the ethics of psychically influencing other people? Just saying "we have free will, so that's our discussion of ethics" isn't really cutting it.

For instance! Is it okay to psychically influence another person by making them think more positively about themself so that they'll be happier in life? Well, that answer actually has less to do with psychic influences than one would think, because it can be generalized back to general ethics regarding when and how it is acceptable for one person to influece another (having to do with multiple factors such as 1) relationship between people, 2) conscious buy-in of recipient, 3) degrees of help and/or harm to recipient, 4) emotional responses of interested 3rd party people/groups who are watching, 5) emotional responses of disinterested 3rd party people/groups who are watching, 6) how society at large might be affected, etc). It's largely the same question as whether it is okay to yell at a person and say lots of mean things to their face in order to make them feel worse about themselves. So that's not really much of a helpful discussion to the specific issue of metaphysics.

What is helpful is a specific discussion about how psychic influence differs from normal influence, and that's mostly in the "awareness of being influenced" of affected individuals. Yet, I could then also point out, as I have before, that I can and do influence other people using purely mundane methods without affected people being aware of it. So is a discussion of awareness anything new to the topic? Not really.

So are we at the point where a discussion of the ethics of psychially influencing people is really just a smoke screen for a more generic discussion about ethics? Or can you think of any specific aspects that relate purely to the topic of magic and not to the topic of the mundane?

How about the difference between internal versus external influences? All mundane influences are inherently external to the recipient, whereas psychic influences can bypass that and directly influence another person. Is that worth discussing (beyond the mechanics of it, alone)?

Or is there any other part of the ethics that you'd like to discuss, even if it can be discussed in the more general mundane category as well?

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 27, 2015, 03:09:20 AM
Reply #14

Akenu

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@Steve: I brought up the free will for a different reason. If person is a slave of a system, who cares that you modify his day? There isn't anything valuable he would be doing otherwise anyway, unless, of course, you make it so.

@Rayn: Silly Rayn, it's called generic degree, silly Rayn :D