Joe, one of the reasons (not the only reason) you are able to hurt me is because you know that if you are caught, you will definitely be blamed and punished, or you will have to give some kind of reasonable excuse to the authorities. Threats of blame and punishment actually give you the advance justification you need in order to act on your desires.
Joe: No, I can hurt you because I can inflict pain upon you. Blame and punishment don't enter into the equation. And I don't need any justification for hurting you, just as I don't need any justification for going to the circus. If I derive more satisfaction out of punching you in the face than I would by doing anything else, then that's all the justification I need. And, as I pointed out before, I can only assume that my satisfaction will be increased if I know I will not be blamed or suffer any retaliation if I punch you in the face.
peacegirl: Having the desire to hurt me would never be enough to justify what you are contemplating...in the new world, that is. There is no way you could desire to punch me in the face if you knew IN ADVANCE that not only I, but the whole world, would never hold you responsible, never criticize you blame or question you for what we now know is a compulsion beyond your control. You could never get satisfaction out of hurting me under these conditions. But it must be qualified that this would be a first blow, not a retaliatory blow. The author writes:
"In order to hurt another, either deliberately or carelessly, man must be able to derive greater, not less, satisfaction which means that self-preservation demands and justifies this; that he was previously hurt in some way and finds it preferable to strike back ‘an eye for an eye’, which he can also justify, or else he knows absolutely and positively that he would be blamed by the person he hurt and others if they knew."
If you did not have this justification, your conscience would not allow you to go ahead with your actions. Going to the circus hurts no one, so you don't need any justification. It's only when you are contemplating hurting something to hurt another that conscience comes into play.
joe: How do you know I have a conscience? How do you know if anyone else has a conscience? Are you suggesting that Lessans's system only works on people who have a conscience?
peacegirl: Yes, people are born with a conscience. But conscience can either be weakened or strengthened depending on the interaction between the individual and his environment.
It would be insane if we suddenly stopped blaming people. The author explicitly stated that this would make matters worse. People would take everything that is not nailed down. This law of our nature has to be understood and applied worldwide for this to be an impenetrable deterrent. Until the, we must continue to live in a world of judgment, blame, and punishment where police, politicians, and government have to control people's behavior.
Joe: That's fine, I have no problem with that. Clearly, there are a number of steps that we need to work through to get to the promised land. It seems, however, that Lessans is basing a good deal of his philosophy on assumptions about human nature that are, to say the least, idiosyncratic. And if those assumptions are wrong, then wouldn't you have to admit that the philosophic system must be wrong too?
peacegirl: Yes, if his observations (they are not assumptions, sorry) were inaccurate, then his discovery would be wrong. But his observations regarding human nature are not wrong; are not flawed; and they have no loopholes. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
I don't need any affirmation. I came here to share knowledge, that's all. And if you really don't think this author has anything to offer, you can move on to another thread. I don't mind answering your questions, but if you do stay here, I am asking you to stop belittling the author or I will choose, in the direction of greater satisfaction, to ignore you.
Joe: Fair enough.