Re: THEORY: Are commands to believe infelicitous
|From:||Sai Emrys <saizai@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, June 30, 2005, 2:49|
> Eeek. No, no. My life is chaotic enough without the aid of Eris.
Perhaps it's *with* her blessing that it is so? :-P
> IMO, whether or not it is ethical isn't something for debate here
> unless that influences a conculture and through that the language(s)
> of that conculture.
Well, it goes together with "preparatory felicity" for me. Why
wouldn't you ask someone to do something you know they can't do?
Because it's unethical. That's distinct from "because it's
infelicitous", because that is not a reason to do or not do something
(like making that request), whereas ethics is.
But I don't claim my ethics are necessary truths. ;-)
> Okay, so there can be a temporal limit where infelicitous become
Or you have to extend it to whether you're willing to include the
command to *become* capable of doing X, if not currently. At which
point it becomes a question of whether it is *possible* to be capable
of doing X... in which case we've got at least a couple anecdotal
points that it is. :-)
> Yet societies do this all the time. E.g. telling persons that they
> must believe in a particular god or view of that god; telling Gays
> that they must be straight; telling citizens that they must believe
> in justness of this or that war. And these aren't instances of
> persuasive argument, but are backed up by anything from
> ostracization to making a person's life hell-on-earth to death.
Sure. And I consider them to be completely unethical, in addition to
being (rather obbviously) ineffectual. *shrug*
The only plausibly effectual argument I can see is to demonstrate that
one can develop the capability, and then to argue that a) you should
develop it and b) you should implement it.
But I think that's a bit more hardcore metaphysical than most of your
"Be Normal, Or Else" folk are likely to get.
And of course, there's the sidestep - which is what seems to be
actually requested / desired in most cases - which is that it is not
actually a request for belief (or whatever), but a request for
behavior *as if* there is that belief. I.e. to "act straight" etc. And
that, indeed, can be a very effective and convincing argument, as well
as a lot more easily implemented.
> > felicitous; but, with me and not-so-much-with-Joseph, these cases
> > do not form a majority, but rather a very small minority.
> Even though Sai says himself that he can do it?
Muh? I think we're definitely a very small minority...