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Author Topic: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL  (Read 105811 times)

we fly for your smile

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Re: TMT
« Reply #610 on: February 04, 2012, 02:08:07 PM »

Since life is meaningless and absurd we should find our own values we will live by. One value system suggested by social psychologists, broadly called Terror Management Theory, states that all human meaning is derived out of a fundamental fear of death, whereby values are selected when they allow us to escape the mental reminder of death. Terror management theory (TMT) looks at what researchers claim to be the implicit emotional reactions of people when confronted with the psychological terror of knowing we will eventually die (some believe that awareness of mortality is a trait that is unique to humans). The theory was first developed in the late 1980s by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski, who were graduate students at the University of Kansas at the time. The trio were inspired by the theories of Ernest Becker ("The Denial of Death," 1973), Otto Rank and Freud, on how potent reminders of one's own ultimate death often provoke a belief in some form of mystical transcendence (heaven, reincarnation, spiritualism, etc.) Terror management theory attempts to provide a rationale for the motivational catalysts of human behavior when life is threatened.

TMT in social psychology, states that human behavior is mostly motivated by the fear of mortality. The theory purports to help explain human activity both at the individual and societal level. It is derived from anthropologist Ernest Becker's 1973's "The Denial of Death," in which Becker argues all human action is taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death. The terror of absolute annihilation creates such a profound — albeit subconscious — anxiety in people (called cognitive dissonance) that they spend their lives attempting to make sense of it. On large scales, societies build symbols: laws, religious meaning systems, cultures, and belief systems to explain the significance of life, define what makes certain characteristics, skills, and talents extraordinary, reward others whom they find exemplify certain attributes, and punish or kill others who do not adhere to their cultural worldview. On an individual level, how well someone adheres to a cultural worldview is the same concept as self-esteem; people measure their own worth based on how well they live up to their culture's expectations.

Becker in his book literally says,

Quote

"I'm not an an animal, but an hero!"


According to TMT theorists, symbols that create cultural worldviews are fiercely protected as representations of actual life. The Terror Management Theory posits that when people are reminded of their own deaths, they more readily enforce these symbols, often leading to punitive actions, violence, and war. Experiments have been performed to lend evidence to TMT, primarily carried out by Solomon, Pyszczynski, and Greenberg, seeking to provide proof that mortality salience, or the awareness of one's own death, affects the decision-making of individuals and groups of people.

The theory builds from the assumption that the capability of self-reflection and the consciousness of one's own mortality can be regarded as a continuous source for existential anguish. This "irresolvable paradox" is created from the desire to preserve life and the realization of that impossibility (because life is finite). Humans are aware of the inevitability of their own death. Culture diminishes this psychological terror by providing meaning, organization and continuity to people's lives. Compliance with cultural values enhances one's feeling of security and self-esteem, provided that the individual is capable of living in accordance with whatever particular cultural standards apply to him or her. The belief in the rightness of the cultural values and standards creates the conviction necessary to live a reasonable and meaningful life.

This cultural worldview provides a base of making sense of the world as stable and orderly, a place where one rests their hopes on symbolic immortality (e.g., fame, having children, legacies of wealth or fortune) or literal immortality (e.g., the promise of a life in an afterworld). Our cultural world view is a "symbolic protector" between the reality of life and inevitability of death. Because of this men and women strive to have their cultural worldview confirmed by others, thereby receiving the community's esteem. However, when one's worldview is threatened by the world view of another, it often results in one's self-respect being endangered as well. In such a situation people not only endeavor to deny or devalue the importance of others' world views, but try to controvert the ideas and opinions of others which may, as a consequence, escalate into a conflict (ie. religious holy wars). As a result, mortality salience increases stereotypical thinking and intergroup bias between groups.


While Becker accuses Freud for "being haunted with the death instinct," the ironic thing is that it's him who replaces the Freudian preoccupation with sexuality with the fear of death as the primary motivation in human behavior. (We all know that Freud was very specific when talking about sexuality, and very vague when talking about thanatos).


But I can understand why TMT would make out of the individual the kind of p u s s y it makes out of him - in Western culture we are trained to experience ourselves as separate from each-other, alone, assuming as self evident that other individuals experience the same. It must be, then, that the driving force behind all human behavior is the desire to overcome this sense of aloneness, to feel part of a greater whole, to be liked and accepted by other human beings.


Here it is a related post on this TMT thing:

Quote
Quote
Quote

[...] Freud then went on to outline for Einstein his theory of Eros, the life instinct that "seeks to preserve and unite" and of Thanatos, the death instinct. For Freud, aggression was the manifestation of Thanatos and thus an essential element of human nature. For that reason, he characterized Russian communism as "an illusion trying to make human aggression disappear."


[...]

May it be that "aggression" and "Thanatos" are not necessarily essential elements of human nature, but instead it is the human being that, afraid of the inevitability of one's death and destruction, adopts an aggressive attitude trying to find some "relief" in killing other people -- that is to say, try to reduce one's existential angst by taking an active role instead of waiting passively to die?


something, I guess you're thinking along the lines of the above poster; I'd like to point out though that, as far as Freud is concerned, the "aggressiveness" and "Thanatos" are innate in humans -- that is to say, instinctive -- and humans can not help but "display" them, just like the rest of the universe, after all. You, on the other hand, tend to attribute a great deal of importance to the human consciousness, rendering aggression and the waging of war a "choice" that the humans make consciously.

But after all, that's the whole point, isn't it? 


To be sure, Marcuse worked with Freud's Eros only, disregarding Thanatos - as far as engaging in war and being aggressive "consciously," there's nothing strange or unusual about it (think soldiers in war) - what was being discussed here, I believe, was whether Thanatos is to be called an "instinct" or not ..


So if I get this right, this means killing others (murder) in order not to kill ourselves (suicide) in order to keep up with lack of life meaning and the conscious awareness of our deaths?

And that the deaths of the "other" serves to establish a symbolic immortality buffer for one of the parties? Kind of like the child that is forced to concede its physicality and "trade it in" for a symbolic sense of self (i.e., self-esteem)?

beepster

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Re: GAY SHOWS THE WAY
« Reply #611 on: February 04, 2012, 03:45:49 PM »

[...] All this as a demonstration that human beings really can change, really can overcome the competition and struggle to dominate, the survival of the fittest, that reactionaries have always proclaimed is an eternal part of the human condition. It is needed not only the abolition of class, but equally of the gender system that underlies this, with its masculine specialization in violence, domination of men over women, and institutionalized heterosexuality. Gay men and lesbian women are rebels against the gender system and gender differences altogether. Instead of two radically different types of human being, feminine women and masculine men -- with this distinction involving a very definite relationship of oppression in the bargain -- a post-gender society would enable all human beings to combine the positive aspects attributed at present to one sex or the other alone, and jettison the negative aspects. Love is to be seen as a relationship between equals, rather than between dominant and subordinate.

Even when straight men are allied by common work, kinship or belief, they are still underneath it all enemy brothers; it is legendary how competition over women turns brotherhood into hate. Even when not immediately realized, this potential lurks just beneath the surface, dividing men from one another and thus helping perpetuate the law of violence -- indeed it is the first precondition for masculine hierarchy. [...]


I don't get it - first you are saying that men indeed @ # ! * each other and then that they need to physically experience one another ... am I missing something here?


Sh.Gemal, it's love which really counts, I think - having actual sex is not "mandatory," so to speak, Sh.Gemal.

Cloret

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Re: GAY SHOWS THE WAY
« Reply #612 on: February 06, 2012, 05:07:30 PM »

[...] All this as a demonstration that human beings really can change, really can overcome the competition and struggle to dominate, the survival of the fittest, that reactionaries have always proclaimed is an eternal part of the human condition. It is needed not only the abolition of class, but equally of the gender system that underlies this, with its masculine specialization in violence, domination of men over women, and institutionalized heterosexuality. Gay men and lesbian women are rebels against the gender system and gender differences altogether. Instead of two radically different types of human being, feminine women and masculine men -- with this distinction involving a very definite relationship of oppression in the bargain -- a post-gender society would enable all human beings to combine the positive aspects attributed at present to one sex or the other alone, and jettison the negative aspects. Love is to be seen as a relationship between equals, rather than between dominant and subordinate.

Even when straight men are allied by common work, kinship or belief, they are still underneath it all enemy brothers; it is legendary how competition over women turns brotherhood into hate. Even when not immediately realized, this potential lurks just beneath the surface, dividing men from one another and thus helping perpetuate the law of violence -- indeed it is the first precondition for masculine hierarchy. [...]


I don't get it - first you are saying that men indeed @ # ! * each other and then that they need to physically experience one another ... am I missing something here?


Sh.Gemal, it's love which really counts, I think - having actual sex is not "mandatory," so to speak, Sh.Gemal.


Beepster, today's men all-too-often alienate themselves from one-another, especially physically (not necessarily in all types/levels of hierarchies/-chy) -- while the case with the new human being will be that he will not hesitate to have actual physical sex with his buddies, in addition to having love and compassion feelings for him.

To put it nicely enough in words: "All you need is @ # ! *. Love will eventually follow."
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!

sed cena

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #613 on: February 07, 2012, 04:33:27 PM »

Strange, Soros's education was not in law either ... yet he appears to know a little bit about these issues..

George Soros is the son of the Esperanto writer Teodoro Schwartz. Teodoro (also known as Tivadar) was a Hungarian Jew, who was a prisoner of war during and after World War I and eventually escaped from Russia to rejoin his family in Budapest. The family changed its name in 1936 from Schwartz to Soros, in response to growing anti-semitism with the rise of Fascism.

Tivadar liked the new name because it is a palindrome and because it has a meaning. Though the specific meaning is left unstated in Kaufmann's biography, in Hungarian "soros" means "next in line, or designated successor", and in Esperanto it means "will soar". His son George was taught to speak Esperanto from birth and thus is one of the rare native Esperanto speakers. George Soros later said that he "grew up in a Jewish home," and that his parents were "cautious with their religious roots." However, Soros's father was proud of his Jewish roots (which can be seen in his memoir on his experiences during the holocaust, "Masquerade").

Soros was 13 years old when Nazi Germany took military control over its wavering ally Hungary (March 19, 1944), and started exterminating Hungarian Jews in the Holocaust. Soros worked briefly for the Jewish Council, which had been established by the Nazis, to deliver messages to Jewish lawyers being called for deportation. Soros claims he was not aware of the consequence of the messages. To avoid his son being apprehended by the Nazis, his father had Soros spend the summer of 1944 living with a non-Jewish Ministry of Agriculture employee, posing as his godson. In the following year, Soros survived the battle of Budapest, as Soviet and Nazi forces fought house-to-house through the city. Soros first traded currencies during the Hungarian hyperinflation of 1945-1946.

In 1946, Soros escaped the Soviet occupation by participating in an Esperanto youth congress in the West. He (Soros) emigrated to England in 1947 and graduated from the London School of Economics in 1952. While a student of the philosopher Karl Popper, Soros funded himself by taking jobs as a railway porter and a waiter at Quaglino's restaurant where he was told that with hard work he might one day become head waiter. He also worked in a mannequin factory, but was fired for being too slow at putting on the heads. He eventually secured an entry-level position with London merchant bank Singer & Friedlander. In 1956 he moved to the United States, where he worked as an arbitrage trader with F. M. Mayer from 1956 to 1959 and as an analyst with Wertheim and Company from 1959 to 1963. Throughout this time, Soros developed a philosophy of "reflexivity" based on the ideas of Popper. Reflexivity, as used by Soros, is the belief that the action of beholding the valuation of any market by its participants affects said valuation of the market in a procyclical 'virtuous or vicious' circle.


TheDailyBell - Issue 243 • Thursday, April 02, 2009

Soros warns of global depression if G20 fails



If the G20 meeting of world leaders results in nothing but more hot air, billionaire George Soros says all bets are off - the global economy is heading for a huge meltdown. "That could push the world into depression. It's really a make-or-break occasion. That's why it's so important. The chances of a depression are quite high - even if that is averted, the recession will last a long time. Look, we are not going back to where we came from. In that sense it's going to last forever." While most investors are worried about the sorry state of the global markets, Soros finds the economic gloom-and-doom "exhilarating," and reckons a full-blown depression is inevitable. "I have to admit that actually I flourish, I'm more stimulated by the bust," Soros said in an interview with the Times of London. "On the one hand, there's the tremendous human suffering, which is very distressing. On the other hand, to be able to handle the situation is exhilarating." This recession, Soros said, is a "once-in-a-lifetime event," particularly in Britain and the United States.

Dominant Social Theme: A money master is gloomy.

Free-Market Analysis: George Soros sees the G20 meeting as a last gasp. Why are we not surprised? Soros never met a government conclave that he did not want to support, or not in the latter stages of his career anyway. And Soros, who is worth billions, has plenty of credibility. He is accurate about the markets, so shouldn't he know whereof he speaks?

If George says that the G20 is the last best hope of the global economy, then it must be, right? Let us peer a little deeper and examine what Hollywood calls "the back story." Maybe we will find some information not immediately obvious on first glance. Let us, like the Ghost of Christmas Past, travel back in time to gaze with wonder at a young George Soros being tutored at the London School of Economics by no less a free-market genius than FA Hayek himself. Yes, correct, Soros' mentor Karl Popper was best friends with Hayek, the great apprentice of the greatest of all free-market economists, Ludwig von Mises. Soros was thus well aware of Hayek from an early age, and aware of the Austrian School itself (and Mises, etc.), the great free-market, gold-based school of economics. And what did George Soros do when he graduated? Well, he didn't apply Popper's somewhat incomprehensible theories. Heck, no. The secret to Soros' great success, as he progressed throughout his career was very obviously the application of free-market business cycle economics to currency trading. It is quite clear as you look at Soros' trading career that he makes most of his money when the business cycle is heading down -- and that he understands paper-money business cycles -- and their propensity to crash and burn -- as well as anyone. He has literally made billions from his insights -- both now and in the 1990s, when he made his controversial and tremendously profitable bets against the British pound.

In fact he made so much money -- and hurt the pound so badly -- that he was apparently called in for a special audience with the Queen of England. (This is more than a decade ago now.) We would have liked to be a fly on the wall for that one! It must have been a royal version of "scared straight." For immediately, upon removal from the Queen's gaze, Soros began a career of intense governmental activism, suggesting over and over (and funding his newfound beliefs) that the only way to create a stable society was through intense, governmental regulatory activism. Riddles within riddles. At this time, and even earlier, Soros was the author of several absolutely incomprehensible books that attempted to explain his trading strategy in the most arcane and incomprehensible way possible. He made his former mentor Popper look positively simplistic, a very hard thing. But Soros himself is not so hard to figure out - if you examine his background, his free-market knowledge base and examine his trading strategies.

He is one of the best free-market traders of all time. And again, with this downturn, he has made literally billions, betting against various currencies. Sooner or later we think he will bet against the US dollar and go out in a blaze of glory having made billions more in a fortnight. Yes, George is surely energized and "exhilarated" as he says. It is his time once again, free-market trader that he is. He is in his glory because he is trading against a business cycle that is at its most accommodating for his style of money-making. But you will not learn that from George Soros! Read his books and you will come away shaking your head and wondering how the guy ever made a dime. Read his political manifestos about the necessity for an activist global government and you will, if you are a free-market thinker, wonder if he understands anything about economies at all. He is all "paper money" all of the time in his public belief structure. But his trading strategies betray an acute understanding of fiat money, of precious metals and the weaknesses of the current Western monetary system.

So the key to Soros is to understand that more than almost anyone, he successfully applies free-market business-cycle analysis (top down, obviously) to currency trading and makes and wins his biggest bets when inflation and fiat-money destructiveness are at their peak. He is a fascinating man, this George Soros. He dissembles insofar as his trading techniques are concerned (they are straight out of Hayek and Mises, though he pretends otherwise) and the powers-that-be apparently scared him so much after his victories over the pound that he set up a series of non-profits to support global government. You know, she scares us, too. We wonder what she told him.

Conclusion: Now you know a little more about free-market thinker George Soros, who made his many billions by applying Austrian business-cycle analysis to the marketplace. (Maybe you don't believe us -- OK, go investigate his background yourself; we think if you have an open mind you will come to conclusions similar to ours.) Like many powerful men, he hides behind obfuscation and his profit-making methods are other than he represents them to be. What are we to do with such clever men who understand the truth but are so circumspect and fearful that they will not speak it?


Everybody knows Soros is a piece of * & ^ % who made a h e l l of a lot of money by destroying several countries' economies - now he's warning about global depression?! How hypocritical is that?!

malachovsky

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Re: TMT
« Reply #614 on: February 08, 2012, 06:46:16 PM »

Since life is meaningless and absurd we should find our own values we will live by. One value system suggested by social psychologists, broadly called Terror Management Theory, states that all human meaning is derived out of a fundamental fear of death, whereby values are selected when they allow us to escape the mental reminder of death. Terror management theory (TMT) looks at what researchers claim to be the implicit emotional reactions of people when confronted with the psychological terror of knowing we will eventually die (some believe that awareness of mortality is a trait that is unique to humans). The theory was first developed in the late 1980s by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski, who were graduate students at the University of Kansas at the time. The trio were inspired by the theories of Ernest Becker ("The Denial of Death," 1973), Otto Rank and Freud, on how potent reminders of one's own ultimate death often provoke a belief in some form of mystical transcendence (heaven, reincarnation, spiritualism, etc.) Terror management theory attempts to provide a rationale for the motivational catalysts of human behavior when life is threatened.

TMT in social psychology, states that human behavior is mostly motivated by the fear of mortality. The theory purports to help explain human activity both at the individual and societal level. It is derived from anthropologist Ernest Becker's 1973's "The Denial of Death," in which Becker argues all human action is taken to ignore or avoid the inevitability of death. The terror of absolute annihilation creates such a profound — albeit subconscious — anxiety in people (called cognitive dissonance) that they spend their lives attempting to make sense of it. On large scales, societies build symbols: laws, religious meaning systems, cultures, and belief systems to explain the significance of life, define what makes certain characteristics, skills, and talents extraordinary, reward others whom they find exemplify certain attributes, and punish or kill others who do not adhere to their cultural worldview. On an individual level, how well someone adheres to a cultural worldview is the same concept as self-esteem; people measure their own worth based on how well they live up to their culture's expectations.

Becker in his book literally says,

Quote

"I'm not an an animal, but an hero!"


According to TMT theorists, symbols that create cultural worldviews are fiercely protected as representations of actual life. The Terror Management Theory posits that when people are reminded of their own deaths, they more readily enforce these symbols, often leading to punitive actions, violence, and war. Experiments have been performed to lend evidence to TMT, primarily carried out by Solomon, Pyszczynski, and Greenberg, seeking to provide proof that mortality salience, or the awareness of one's own death, affects the decision-making of individuals and groups of people.

The theory builds from the assumption that the capability of self-reflection and the consciousness of one's own mortality can be regarded as a continuous source for existential anguish. This "irresolvable paradox" is created from the desire to preserve life and the realization of that impossibility (because life is finite). Humans are aware of the inevitability of their own death. Culture diminishes this psychological terror by providing meaning, organization and continuity to people's lives. Compliance with cultural values enhances one's feeling of security and self-esteem, provided that the individual is capable of living in accordance with whatever particular cultural standards apply to him or her. The belief in the rightness of the cultural values and standards creates the conviction necessary to live a reasonable and meaningful life.

This cultural worldview provides a base of making sense of the world as stable and orderly, a place where one rests their hopes on symbolic immortality (e.g., fame, having children, legacies of wealth or fortune) or literal immortality (e.g., the promise of a life in an afterworld). Our cultural world view is a "symbolic protector" between the reality of life and inevitability of death. Because of this men and women strive to have their cultural worldview confirmed by others, thereby receiving the community's esteem. However, when one's worldview is threatened by the world view of another, it often results in one's self-respect being endangered as well. In such a situation people not only endeavor to deny or devalue the importance of others' world views, but try to controvert the ideas and opinions of others which may, as a consequence, escalate into a conflict (ie. religious holy wars). As a result, mortality salience increases stereotypical thinking and intergroup bias between groups.


While Becker accuses Freud for "being haunted with the death instinct," the ironic thing is that it's him who replaces the Freudian preoccupation with sexuality with the fear of death as the primary motivation in human behavior. (We all know that Freud was very specific when talking about sexuality, and very vague when talking about thanatos).


But I can understand why TMT would make out of the individual the kind of p u s s y it makes out of him - in Western culture we are trained to experience ourselves as separate from each-other, alone, assuming as self evident that other individuals experience the same. It must be, then, that the driving force behind all human behavior is the desire to overcome this sense of aloneness, to feel part of a greater whole, to be liked and accepted by other human beings.


Here it is a related post on this TMT thing:

Quote
Quote
Quote

[...] Freud then went on to outline for Einstein his theory of Eros, the life instinct that "seeks to preserve and unite" and of Thanatos, the death instinct. For Freud, aggression was the manifestation of Thanatos and thus an essential element of human nature. For that reason, he characterized Russian communism as "an illusion trying to make human aggression disappear."


[...]

May it be that "aggression" and "Thanatos" are not necessarily essential elements of human nature, but instead it is the human being that, afraid of the inevitability of one's death and destruction, adopts an aggressive attitude trying to find some "relief" in killing other people -- that is to say, try to reduce one's existential angst by taking an active role instead of waiting passively to die?


something, I guess you're thinking along the lines of the above poster; I'd like to point out though that, as far as Freud is concerned, the "aggressiveness" and "Thanatos" are innate in humans -- that is to say, instinctive -- and humans can not help but "display" them, just like the rest of the universe, after all. You, on the other hand, tend to attribute a great deal of importance to the human consciousness, rendering aggression and the waging of war a "choice" that the humans make consciously.

But after all, that's the whole point, isn't it? 


To be sure, Marcuse worked with Freud's Eros only, disregarding Thanatos - as far as engaging in war and being aggressive "consciously," there's nothing strange or unusual about it (think soldiers in war) - what was being discussed here, I believe, was whether Thanatos is to be called an "instinct" or not ..


So if I get this right, this means killing others (murder) in order not to kill ourselves (suicide) in order to keep up with lack of life meaning and the conscious awareness of our deaths?

And that the deaths of the "other" serves to establish a symbolic immortality buffer for one of the parties? Kind of like the child that is forced to concede its physicality and "trade it in" for a symbolic sense of self (i.e., self-esteem)?

I researched a bit where does all this TMT thing comes from - it looks like from existential philosophers like Sartre, Camus and the like. Now, I have not read Sartre/Camus - I simply came upon a piece quoted by one of your fellow posters on this board. Take a look at it and draw your own judgment, as to whether such a piece deserves being printed (in book form) or not - maybe it's just me, but I find it very odd to read about a guy who "feels his mouth full of his tongue" - I am sure he's missing something - and truth-be-told, in the "hood" where I live, he'd get that right advice off-prompt, if yanno what I mean!


Existence is undoubtedly problematic and disturbing. In one weekend strip, in Sartre's "Peanuts," Schulz succinctly describes the horror of discovering one's own existence in the world:

Quote

Linus: I'm aware of my tongue ... It's an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up ... I can't help it ... I can't put it out of my mind ... I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren't thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth ...

Sartre devoted an entire book to this experience – his 1938 novel "Nausea" in which his character Roquentin is alarmed to discover his own actuality. But Linus sums the point up very well in a few frames.


Country Day

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #615 on: February 10, 2012, 06:14:22 PM »

I am sure there's an ethical issue here. I don't doubt that there are many of you out there who might think there's not; I was discussing the other day this other scenario with a few people and, to my astonishment, most of them thought there's nothing wrong with it: Here it is:

X serves as a diplomatic officer of the Dominican Republic in Spain. He's being transfered to the US, in New York City to serve as an officer for his country. The CIA and FBI conduct surveillance of his activities while he's in NYC and find out he frequents gay bars and has promiscuous homosexual sex with many men. They take pictures of him to serve as evidence of his homosexuality. He is approached to become an agent for the CIA, otherwise his country authorities would be provided with the above-mentioned proof of his homosexuality. In his country being overtly homosexual is a bar to employment in the diplomatic service. Is it ethical for the CIA to do such a thing? Well, all of the people I was having the discussion said "yes," except for two of us.


This is a very curious hypo - one that unfortunately can not work in practice - the only way it could work is in the form of one-shot deal.

Saction8

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #616 on: February 13, 2012, 04:47:24 PM »

You've got to be kidding us, lawn! You obviously don't have the slightest idea what does it feel like t o kill. Here it is how researchers have described the whole process:

Concern about Being Able to Kill. Holmes' research indicates that one of the soldier's first emotional responses to killing is a concern as to whether, at the moment of truth, he will be able to kill the enemy or will "freeze up" and "let his buddies down." [...]

The Killing Stage: "Without even thinking." Usually killing in combat is completed in the heat of the moment, and for the modern, properly conditioned soldier, killing in such a circumstance is most often completed reflexively, without conscious thought. Being unable to kill is a very common experience. If on the battlefield the soldier finds himself unable to kill, he can either begin to rationalize what has occurred, or he can become fixated and traumatized by his inability to kill.

The Exhilaration Stage: "I had a Feeling of the Most Intense Satisfaction." The adrenaline of combat can be greatly increased by another high: the high of killing. What hunter of marksman has not felt a thrill of pleasure and satisfaction upon dropping his target? In combat this thrill can be greatly magnified and can be especially prevalent when the kill is completed at medium to long range. Fighter pilots, by their nature, and due to the long range of their kills, appear to be particularly susceptible to such killing addiction. For some combatants the lure of exhilaration may become more than a passing occurrence. A few may become fixated in the exhilaration stage and never feel remorse. 

The Remorse Stage: A Collage of Pain and Horror. The tremendous and intense remorse and revulsion associated with a close-range kill is expressed in these words:

Quote
"... my experience, was one of revulsion and disgust... I dropped my weapon and cried... There was so much blood... I vomited... And I cried... I felt remorse and shame. I can remember whispering foolishly, "I'm sorry" and then just throwing up."

Whether the killer denies his remorse, deals with it, or is overwhelmed by it, it is nevertheless there, almost always. The killer's remorse is real, it is common, it is intense, and it is something that he must deal with for the rest of his life.

The Rationalization and Acceptance Stage: "It Took All the Rationalization I Could Muster." The next personal-kill response stage is a lifelong process in which the killer attempts to rationalize and accept what he has done. This process may never truly be completed. The killer never completely leaves all remorse and guilt beyond, but he can usually come to accept that what he has done was necessary and right. In personal accounts of those who have killed one may notice the use of specific words. At first, for instance, use of words such as "he" "him" and "his" shows the recognition of the killer's humanity. But then the enemy's weapon is noted, the rationalization process begins, and "he" becomes "the body" and ultimately the "gook." Once the process begins, irrational and irrelevant supporting evidence is gathered, and the possession of, say, U.S.-made shoes and a watch becomes a cause for depersonalization rather than identification.


So basically you are saying that there is this resistance to the whole thing and that even if they overcome it, it comes back to haunt them? Not sure if I am getting you here


administrator, when you say, "this resistance to the whole thing," don't you think you are being a bit too casual about such a serious thing as killing? Of course there is resistance, and then guilt haunting people for their entire lives, in case they overcome the resistance and actually kill someone.


Dashi - take the posts made here with a grain of salt - don't overanalyze, or even believe the info on a subject is accurate.

pobis

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #617 on: February 14, 2012, 06:01:28 PM »

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There is this inherent insecurity about the consequences of your actions (related to the absurdity of the world), and to the fact that, in experiencing your freedom, you also realize that you will be fully responsible for these consequences; there is no thing in you (your genes, for instance) that acts and that you can "blame" if something goes wrong. Of course, most of us only have short and shallow encounters with this kind of dread, as not every choice is perceived as having dreadful possible consequences (and, it can be claimed, our lives would be unbearable if every choice facilitated dread), but that doesn't change the fact that freedom remains a condition of every action.

Sartre calls it "bad faith" when you deny the concept of free will by lying to yourself about your self and freedom. This can take many forms, from convincing yourself that some form of determinism is true, to a sort of "mimicry" where you act as "you should." How "one" should act is often determined by an image one has of how one such as oneself (say, a bank manager) acts. This image usually corresponds to some sort of social norm. This does not mean that all acting in accordance with social norms is bad faith: The main point is the attitude you takes to your own freedom, and the extent to which you act in accordance with this freedom. A sign of bad faith can be something like the denial of responsibility for something you have done on the grounds that you just did "as one does" or that your genes determined you to do as you did. Lying to yourself might appear impossible or contradictory. Sartre denies the subconscious the power to do this, and he claims that the person who is lying to himself has to be aware that he is lying - that he isn't determined, or this "thing" he makes himself out to be.

[...] Sartre indeed derides those who act out roles: bourgeoisie with their comfortable sense of 'duty', homosexuals who pretend to be heterosexuals, peeping Toms who get caught in the act of spying and, most famously of all, waiters who rush about. All of these, he says, are slaves to other people's perceptions - 'the Other'. They are exhibiting mauvaise foi -- 'bad faith'. He emphasizes what is not over what is, the latter being a rather humdrum sort of affair consisting of the kind of things that scientists examine, while the 'what is not' is really much more interesting. [...] And hence, we come back to our own natures, our own 'essences'. We exist, yes, but how do we 'define ourselves'? It is here that the waiter comes in:

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His movement is quick and forward, a little too precise, a little too rapid. He comes toward the patrons with a step a little too quick. He bends forward a little too eagerly; his voice, his eyes express an interest a little too solicitous for the order of the customer. Finally there he returns, trying to imitate in his walk the inflexible stiffness of some kind of automaton while carrying his tray with the recklessness of a tight-rope walker by putting it in a perpetually unstable, perpetually broken equilibrium which he perpetually re-establishes by a light movement of the hand and arm

This spotlight on 'consciousness' is what made Sartre's name. But, curiously enough [...] his lifelong intellectual confidante and companion Simone de Beauvoir, also describes various kinds of consciousness, in passages ranging from wandering through an empty theater (the stage, the walls, the chairs, unable to come alive until there is an audience) [...] As well as this one:

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It's impossible to believe that other people are conscious beings, aware of their own inward feelings, as we ourselves are aware of our own," said Françoise. "To me, it's terrifying when we grasp that. We get the impression of no longer being anything but a fragment of someone else's mind."

[...] Now who's showing bad faith? Sartre or the waiter?

[...] Truly it is itself a philosophical tale. On the one hand there is the well-known plot of Sartre the womanizer who denies the dutiful Beauvoir the marriage in order to preserve his 'existential freedom'. On the other, and much less known, is the factual history recorded in their letters to one another. This records that, in 1930, Sartre proposed marriage to Beauvoir. She was aghast at this, both for the conventionality of the proposal, and for the conventionality of Sartre's assumptions, and it was she who insisted instead that if they were to spend their years together she wanted to be able to continue to have other relationships (with both male and female lovers).

[...] back to the waiter. Now I've observed waiters too. They often need to perform tasks quickly, for a practical reason, not an optional one related to their 'false consciousness'. The job is skilled -- demanding more than demeaning [...]


That's what happens when people sit all day long in a coffee shop - they would, of course, have nothing else to do but watch waiters come and go!

entitatitivity

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #618 on: February 14, 2012, 07:40:25 PM »

I am sure there's an ethical issue here. I don't doubt that there are many of you out there who might think there's not; I was discussing the other day this other scenario with a few people and, to my astonishment, most of them thought there's nothing wrong with it: Here it is:

X serves as a diplomatic officer of the Dominican Republic in Spain. He's being transfered to the US, in New York City to serve as an officer for his country. The CIA and FBI conduct surveillance of his activities while he's in NYC and find out he frequents gay bars and has promiscuous homosexual sex with many men. They take pictures of him to serve as evidence of his homosexuality. He is approached to become an agent for the CIA, otherwise his country authorities would be provided with the above-mentioned proof of his homosexuality. In his country being overtly homosexual is a bar to employment in the diplomatic service. Is it ethical for the CIA to do such a thing? Well, all of the people I was having the discussion said "yes," except for two of us.


This is a very curious hypo - one that unfortunately can not work in practice - the only way it could work is in the form of one-shot deal.


I just do not get it how an experienced diplomatic officer who's is not the first time to serve (the hypo mentions he's been before in Spain) can get so easily compromised when having sex with other men - sure, he's from the Dominican Republic, probably not trained and the like, but it still strikes me as odd that he'd be actually photographed in the actual process (of having sex)! I mean, with the curtains and blinds, and all kinds of things you have in there available?! (I wouldn't think he'd have sex out there in an open public area, where a few shots could easily be taken)

Metodi

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #619 on: February 16, 2012, 05:05:00 PM »

[...] In this country everyone is so uptight about sex - I remember some years ago when Jay Leno commented on how the video games industry changed the ratings of the game "Grand Theft Auto" to an adult-only rating after pressure from media watch dog groups and politicians because the game had hidden sexual content. Politicians felt the sex would have a negative effect on the children.

Apparently, a game when you're stealing cars and killing cops is okay - it's the sex we're worried about.


I wouldn't expect someone like Jay Leno to be surprised of such - I mean, when you consider the world a jungle, a competitive place where for every a winner there's a loser, would you think this culture will promote loving each-other and fully expressing yourself sexually?! I'd guess not! Very thoughtful of you, 2 young 2, to have made your post next to L Liberti's.

For the sake of truth, the INfamous Bell Curve has a very direct connection to Social Darwinism and the eugenics movement. The book "The Bell Curve," for instance, is perhaps one of the most controversial books of all time. Written by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the book uses empirical statistical analysis to reach conclusion of intelligence gap in American society. Two of the most controversial conclusions reached by the author are the relationships between low measured intelligence and anti-social behavior and the observed relationship between low African-American test scores, when compared to Asians or whites, and genetic factors in intelligence abilities.

These controversial conclusions can be tied to Darwin's theory of evolution. Written in Darwin's "The Origin of Species,"

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"With animals having separated sexes there will be in most cases a struggle between the male for possession of the females. The most vigorous individuals, or those which have the most successfully struggled with their conditions of life, well generally leave most progeny. But success will often depends on having special weapons or means of defense, or on the charms of the males; against slightest advantage will lead to victory"

is one of the many quotes by Darwin which could be use to explain the conclusions reached by Herrnstein and Murray. Or in Stephen Jay Gould's words, "The Bell Curve" rests on two distinctly different but sequential arguments, which together encompass the classic corpus of biological determinism as a social philosophy - in other words, Social Darwinism.

Social Darwinism holds that Darwin's theory of evolution can be applied to the development of human social institutions. It first become popular in late 19th century and continued until end of World War II. The application of the term to 19th and 20th century modes of thought, however, generally did not occur until after the publication of American historian Richard Hofstadter's "Social Darwinism in American Thought" in 1944, which codified the concept in the sense it is generally used today.

Social Darwinism is often linked to eugenics, and is the backbone of Herrnstein & Murray's arguments, according to which humans are separated not only by race and class, but also by IQ - this being the central theme of the arguments brought forth by these authors. This argument may deviate from the original 19th century theory of Social Darwinism; however, its use of statistical analysis of IQ is the central thought of 20th century Social Darwinism. The conclusions of the authors suggest people who have high IQ would be more "successful in life" and people with low IQ will encounter more problems in life such as unemployment, divorce, crime, and poverty. Using Social Darwinism, survival of the fittest (or should we, more appropriately, say, survival of the unfittest, the fat lazy a s s e s?) and other laws of evolution can be applied to human society; hence, it can be understood, that the people with high IQ be successful in life therefore have a easier time passing on their "good" gene to the next generation because they have a easier time finding a partner. On other hand, the people with low IQ, often exert anti-social behavior, hence have problems finding and supporting a partner, therefore would have problem passing their gene to the next generation.

They maintain that

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"It is time for America once again to try living with inequality, as life is lived: understanding that each human being has strengths and weaknesses, qualities we admire and qualities we do not admire, competencies and incompetencies, assets and debits; that the success of each human life is not measured externally but internally; that all of the rewards we can confer on each other, the most precious is a place as a valued fellow citizen."

This idea is the 20th century Social Darwinism. This idea is also the idea behind eugenic movements and research which was not unpopular during the time.


Hitler believed humans were animals to whom the genetics laws, learned from livestock breeding, could be applied. The Nazis believed that instead of permitting natural forces and chance to control evolution, they must direct the process to advance the human race. The first step to achieve this goal was to isolate the ‘inferior races’ in order to prevent them from further contaminating the ‘Aryan’ gene pool. The widespread public support for this policy was a result of the belief, common in the educated classes, in the conclusion that certain races were genetically inferior as was scientifically 'proven' by Darwinism. The Nazis believed that they were simply applying facts, proven by science, to produce a superior race of humans as part of their plan for a better world: 'The business of the corporate state was eugenics or artificial selection — politics as applied biology'.

Some may argue the connection between "The Bell Curve" and Social Darwinist eugenic movements of the time. But many facts show strong connection between the two. Firstly, as early as 1971, Herrnstein published an article in a prestigious US magazine, 'Atlantic Monthly', and can be quoted "the tendency to be unemployed may run in the genes of a family about as certainly as bad teeth do now.... As the wealth and complexity of human society grow, there will be precipitated out of the mass of humanity a low-capacity residue that may be unable to master the common occupations..." Secondly, Herrnstein's political stance is very conservative; "It is hard to argue that the "class struggle" can be resolved by a redistribution of wealth and capital, if it should turn out that something more than economics distinguishes the contending classes." Thirdly, quoted from an ABC New Report transcript, "Ever since 1937, the 'Pioneer Fund' has promoted the study of racial purity as a an ideal. Over the past 10 years, according to public documents, the 'Pioneer Fund' contributed $3.5 million to researchers cited in "The Bell Curve."

Finally, Herrnstein is found to be connected with the journal 'Mankind Quarterly', which is owned by Roger Pearson for the last 25 years. Pearson was a leader of the pro-fascist Northern League, which included a number of former Nazi SS officials, and a member of the World Anti-Communist League, described by former member Geoffrey Stewart-Smith as a collection of Nazis, fascists, anti-Semites, and vicious racists. These facts suggest strong ties between the authors and ideas of "The Bell Curve" with Social Darwinism movement of the time. "The Bell Curve" brought the theories of Social Darwinism into the public. It introduced the mass population to the idea IQ, something heritable, being the main determining factor for success in life, and it did it in a "scientific" way which help the idea to be accepted by the public.