Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics. By Reinhold Niebuhr. 1971, USA.

moralman

Man and Society: The art of living together

Though human society has roots which lie deeper in history than the beginning of human life, men have made comparatively but little progress in solving the problem of their aggregate existence. Each century originates a new complexity and each new generation faces a new vexation in it. For all the centuries of experiences, men have not yet learned how to live together without compounding their vices and covering each other “with mud and with blood.” The society in which each man lives is at once the basis for, and the nemesis of, that fullness of life that each man seeks. However, much human ingenuity may increase the treasures which nature provides for the satisfaction of human needs; for man unlike other creatures, is gifted and cursed with an imagination which extends his appetites beyond the requirements of subsistence. Human society will never escape the problem of the equitable distribution of the physical and cultural goods which provide for the preservation and fulfillment of human life. Unfortunately, the conquest of nature, and the consequent increase in nature’s beneficences to man, have not eased, but rather accentuated, the problem of justice. The same technology, which drew the fangs of nature’s enmity of man, also created a society in which the intensity and extent of social cohesion has been greatly increased, and in which power is so unevenly distributed, that justice has become a more difficult achievement. Perhaps it is man’s sorry fate, suffering from ills which have their source in the inadequacies of both nature and human society, that the tools by which he eliminates the former should become the means of increasing the latter. That, at least has been his fate up to the present hour; and it may be that there will be no salvation for the human spirit from the more and more painful burdens of social injustice until the ominous tendency in human history has resulted in perfect tragedy. Human nature is not wanting in certain endowments for the solution of the problem of human society. Man is endowed by nature with organic relations to his fellowmen; and natural impulse prompts him to consider the needs of others even when they compete with their own. With the higher mammals man shares his concern for his offspring; and the long infancy of the child created the basis for an organic social group in the earliest period of human history. Gradually intelligence, imagination, and the necessities of social conflict increased the size of this group. Natural impulse was refined than an immediate family relationship could be made the basis of social solidarity. Since those early days the units of human cooperation have constantly grown in size, and the areas of significant relationships between the units have likewise increased. Nevertheless conflict between the national units remains as a permanent rather than a passing characteristic of their relations to each other; and each national unit finds it increasingly difficult to maintain either peace or or justice within its common life. While it is possible for intelligence to increase the range of benevolent impulse, and thus prompt a human being to consider the needs and rights of other than those to whom he is bound by organic and physical relationship there are definite limits in the capacity of ordinary mortals which makes it impossible for them to grant to others what they claim for themselves. Though educators ever since the eighteenth century have given themselves to the fond illusion that justice through voluntary co-operation waited only upon a more universal or a more adequate educational enterprise, there is good reason to believe that the sentiments of benevolence and social goodwill will never be so pure or powerful and the rational capacity to consider the rights and needs of others in fair competition with our own will never be so fully developed as to create the possibility for the anarchistic millennium which is the social utopia, either explicit or implicit, of all intellectual or religious moralists. All social co-operation on a larger scale than the most intimate social group requires a measure of coercion. While no state can maintain its unity purely by coercion neither can it preserve itself without coercion. Where the factor of mutual consent is strongly developed, and where standardised and approximately fair methods of adjudicating and resolving conflicting interests within an organized group have been established, the coercive factor in social life is frequently covert, and becomes apparent only in moments of crisis and in the group’s policy toward recalcitrant individuals. Yet it is never absent. Divergence of interest, based upon geographic and functional differences within a society, is bound to create different social philosophies and political attitudes which goodwill and intelligence may partly, but never completely, harmonise. Ultimately, unity within an organised social group, or within a federation of such groups, is created by the ability of a dominant group or to impose its will. Politics will, to the end of history, be an area where conscience and power meet, where the ethical and coercive factors of human life will interpenetrate and work out their tentative and uneasy compromises. The democratic method of resolving social conflict, which some romanticists hail as a triumph of the ethical over the coercive factor, is really much more coercive than at first seems apparent.

The democratic method of resolving social conflict, which some romanticists hail as a triumph of the ethical over the coercive factor is really much more coercive than at first seems apparent. The majority has its way, not because the minority believes that the majority is right (few minorities are willing to grant the majority the moral prestige of such a concession), but because the votes of the majority are a symbol of its social strength. Whenever a minority believes that it has some strategic advantage which out weights the power of numbers, and whenever it is sufficiently intent upon its ends, or desperate enough about its position in society, it refuses to accept the dictates of the majority. Military and economic overlords and revolutionary zealots have been traditionally contemptuous of the will of majorities. Recently, Trotsky advised the German communists not to be dismayed by the greater voting strength of the fascists since in the inevitable revolution the power of industrial workers, in charge of the nation’s industrial process, would be found much more significant than the social power of clerks and other petty bourgeoisie who comprised the fascist movement. There are, no doubt, rational and ethical factors in the democratic process. Contending social forces presumably use the forum rather than the battleground to arbitrate their differences in the democratic method, and thus differences in the democratic method, and thus differences are resolved by moral susasion and a rational adjustment of right to rights. If political issues were really abstract questions of social policy upon which unbiased citizens were asked to commit themselves, the business of voting and the debate which precedes the election might actually be regarded as an educational programme in which a social group discovers its common mind.

Speak Low, Phoenix, the movie, 2014. Vocalist, Nina Hoss.

Khilafat and Swaraj or self rule for Muslims and Hindus with the guidance of MK Gandhi.

The self-rule struggle from the 1920s onwards saw Congress adopt Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s policy of nonviolence and civil resistance, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s constitutional struggle for the rights of minorities in India, and several other campaigns. Activists Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh preached armed revolution to achieve self-rule. Poets and writers such as Rabindranath Tagore  Feminists such as Sarojini Naidu. In the Conference of London, (12–24 February 1920), following World War I, leaders of Britain, France, and Italy met to discuss the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire and the negotiation of agreements that would become the Treaty of Sèvres. Under the leadership of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of France Alexandre Millerand, and Prime Minister of Italy Francesco Saverio Nitti, the allied powers reached agreements that would form the basis of their arguments at the San Remo conference. The self-rule struggle from the 1920s onwards saw Congress adopt Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s policy of nonviolence and civil resistance, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s constitutional struggle for the rights of minorities in India, and several other campaigns. Activists Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh preached armed revolution to achieve self-rule. Poets and writers such as Rabindranath Tagore Feminists such as Sarojini Naidu. In the Conference of London, (12–24 February 1920), following World War I, leaders of Britain, France, and Italy met to discuss the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire and the negotiation of agreements that would become the Treaty of Sèvres. Under the leadership of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of France Alexandre Millerand, and Prime Minister of Italy Francesco Saverio Nitti, the allied powers reached agreements that would form the basis of their arguments at the San Remo conference

The Treaty of Sèvres (10 August 1920) was one of a series of treaties that the nations constituting the Central Powers signed subsequent to their defeat in World War. The treaty was signed on 10 August 1920, in an exhibition room at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres porcelain factory in Sèvres, France.

The Sèvres treaty marked the beginning of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, and its ultimate annihilation. The terms it stipulated included the renunciation of all non-Turkish territory that was part of the Ottoman Empire and their cession to the Allied administration. Notably, the ceding of Eastern Mediterranean land allowed the creation of, amongst others, the British Mandate of Palestine and the French Mandate of Syria.

Russia was not a participant because it had negotiated the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Ottoman Empire in 1918. In that treaty, at the insistence of the Grand Vizier Talat Pasha, the Ottoman Empire regained the lands Russia had captured in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878)

that the nations constituting the Central Powers signed subsequent to their defeat in World War I. The treaty was signed on 10 August 1920, in an exhibition room at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres porcelain factory in Sèvres, France.

The Sèvres treaty marked the beginning of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, and its ultimate annihilation. The terms it stipulated included the renunciation of all non-Turkish territory that was part of the Ottoman Empire and their cession to the Allied administration. Notably, the ceding of Eastern Mediterranean land allowed the creation of, amongst others, the British Mandate of Palestine and the French Mandate of Syria. Russia was not a participant because it had negotiated the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Ottoman Empire in 1918. In that treaty, at the insistence of the Grand Vizier Talat Pasha, the Ottoman Empire regained the lands Russia had captured in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878.)

Why the study of science leads increased moral behavior in society. Fact or Fiction?

Can Scientific Belief Make People More Moral?

science moralsIs science ethically neutral, or can it supplant religion in providing a moral compass? On a series of studies finding that exposure to science (either in one’s personal background or merely by being asked to think about science momentarily) made college students more likely to divide up money fairly, more likely to express interest in positive behaviors such as volunteering and donating blood, and more likely to strongly condemn a date rapist in a hypothetical story:

No studies to date [had] directly investigated the links between exposure to science and moral or prosocial behaviors.

Across four studies, both naturalistic measures of science exposure and experimental primes of science led to increased adherence to moral norms and more morally normative behaviors across domains.

Thinking about science leads individuals to endorse more stringent moral norms and exhibit more morally normative behavior. These studies are the first of their kind to systematically and empirically test the relationship between science and morality.

We contend that there is a lay image or notion of “science” that is associated with concepts of rationality, impartiality, fairness, technological progress, and ultimately, the idea that we are to use these rational tools for the mutual benefit of all people in society.

 

 

Can Scientific Belief Make People More Moral?

Why moral law and prosperity can never be connected.

To rid man of lust, moral law as defined in the Constitution is based on all conduct, merit and possession as being under the divine guidance of God. This is the American national anthem, “Thy liberty in Law.”

Ecclesiastes 1: Vanity of Vanities

Ecclesiastes
OR, THE PREACHER
1
All Is Vanity
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full: unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
The Experience of the Preacher
12 ¶ I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16 ¶ I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. 1 Kgs. 4.29-31
17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.