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Ikeepforgetting wrote

One thing which often comes to mind in reading your work is the differences in personal definitions of words, and sometimes words maybe staunchly defined as though these things aren't malleable, more time could sometimes be spent defining the way the word is being used... However this only minor point, as the context tends to be there, such that I can see the point being made.

I enjoyed this essay, I feel this was a less aggressive phrasing of points you have been raising in some of your previous essays, and I hope it gets a more receptive response.


ziq OP wrote (edited )

the differences in personal definitions of words

I always strive to reject other people's authority. This tends to start with words that have been colonized by the collective and used to prop up specific ideology.

The terminology you use when you talk about your ideas should always be clearly defined to the audience. Since I'm always careful to make clear how I'm using the words I explain my ideas with, there really shouldn't be any confusion on behalf of the audience, and there really isn't if they're being honest - they're simply objecting to the ideas behind the words (i.e. they value the authority of morality and don't like to see it maligned).

When Marx used the words he used to describe his ideas, no one tried to tell him he had to make up all new words to talk about the concepts he was presenting. Words will always be malleable depending on who is using them, but the ideas they signify are what's important, and as long as those ideas are clearly presented, it makes no sense for people to object to concepts being explained with pre-existing words that may or may not already have different ideology affixed to them by different groups in different places.

For a century anarchists were against all authority with no exception, until Chomsky decided anarchists were only against illegitimate authority and his language was adopted by the collective consciousness. And now there's been a big push-back against that conception because of my first anarchist essay that rejected his personal definitions of words.

Same thing with "libertarian" and free-market liberals: They hijacked the word and libertarian socialists have been reclaiming it. Words mean different things to different people, but all that should matter is what it means to you when you define it as to present an idea in a more palatable way.

I think the people who get hung up on a word and insist you're not allowed to use it the way you're using it are really just trying to maintain a monopoly on the word so they can continue using it to prop up their ideology without others 'tainting' the word by attaching it to ideas they don't align themselves with.

In this case, I'm rejecting morality and asserting control over my own ethics. Collectivists see morals as valuable and necessary, and ethics as being inseparable from morality, so by calling me illiterate and misguided and flawed, they're really just trying to inflict damage on me for daring to toy with what they perceive as their ideological monopoly on words that make them feel powerful (in this case via the virtue signalling and victim-identity opportunities morality grants them with).


masque wrote (edited )

I fully agree that words are just tools that we should be able to use in whatever way is actually effective for communicating our ideas, rather than adhering to some authority on the "true meaning" of words, but this essay as written is not very clear about whether you're explaining your/post-leftists' use of language, or whether you yourself are making abstract claims about the "true meaning" of these words.

I mean, consider this sentence:

'Moral' is a label applied by people to themselves and their group so they can be perceived as a pure and righteous person capable of doing no 'wrong'.

I guess I could interpret this as a definition of your usage of the word (i.e. when people describe themselves as being "a good person," they're using the concept that you refer to as morality, even if the word they actually say is "ethical" rather than "moral"), but it really reads like a claim about how other people use the word 'moral,' especially since this is the third sentence, before the reader has a lot of context to go on. And if we do read it as a claim about how other people use the word 'moral,' then I think it's a valid objection to say that this doesn't describe the full range of ways in which people use the word.

I feel like some minor changes to the intro would improve it a lot:

The difference in post-leftist thought between morality and ethics is a major misunderstanding leftists have of post-left politics. Most leftists are unaware of, or unable to grasp the distinction.

This makes it clearer that you're about to describe a distinction post-leftists make, instead of almost veering into the territory of telling other people that they are using words "wrong."


CaptainACAB wrote

Alright, so I haven't read the essay yet, but I've had some thoughts in my head for a while based on the title alone that I just need to express.

So I define ethics, presumably in the same way most do, as the study of what is "right" or "wrong" in an individual and/or collective sense. When an individual has a personal sense of "right" or "wrong", they have a conscience; if you have the ability to feel guilt or shame, you have a conscience (doesn't mean you're a "good" person, watch out for that assertion). Following your conscience consistently, you have what is called integrity (this also doesn't not mean you're a "good" person, just a consistent one). When one attempts to externalize their conscience in the form of laws or social mores, it becomes morality (by my definition of it, anyway). This means that "good" and "evil" are subjective and that attempting to quantify even common ideas about them is as ridiculous as saying what food "objectively" tastes the best; consensus doesn't determine truth and trying to play number games with ethical questions is nonsense.

In conclusion, just do whatever you feel like, you were probably going to anyway.


vpn_disconnected wrote

Perfect intro piece to hand-off to others for the “but what about murder???” amoralism 101 chat. Thanks.


anarchofoss wrote

Ethics are tangible and tied to real cause and effect outcomes.

Isn't that just utilitarianism?


RadicalConstructivist wrote (edited )

it sounds more like consequentialism, the belief that the ethical value of an action is based solely on its consequences. Utilitarianism is a type of consequentialism that says that a good or ethical consequence is one that maximises wellbeing or utility for everyone


ziq OP wrote (edited )

beats me, I don't know anything about philosophy