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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:42 am 
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Will Storm wrote:
Obi,
The point I want to focus on is this:

What is the difference (if any) between using artifacts contrary to their purposes and using true substances contrary to their purposes?

How CAN someone do either of those things?


That is a good question. I'll re-read Feser's books (I've read The Last Superstition, Aquinas is next).


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:45 am 
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Quote:
beng wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
But every time a human uses a human faculty contrary to its purpose, he diminishes his use of reason. Since reason is our specific difference from all other animals, misusing it or misusing things under its direction makes us less human and more dumb animal.


Is this the standard explanation? I prefer the explanation that every time something is used against its final cause it become less of itself, because IMO it's really is the reason why [ie. why using something contrary to its final cause is bad].

I do see the reasoning that using something contrary to its final cause diminish reason. But IMO it's not the ultimate answer. It's not the "right on" answer. The ultimate and "right on" answer is that using something contrary to it's final cause will make that thing less of itself (to the point of becoming a nothing).


Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
There is nothing morally wrong with using an artifact contrary to its purpose (assuming one can even figure how to do such a thing).



If your reply above is directed to what I said above it, then I'm afraid I don't understand what you're getting at.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:08 am 
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Fortunately it wasn't--I was replying to Will with that one.

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:45 am 
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Alright.

Let's try and make this a little simpler.

God creates a rosemary plant. Its final cause (like all of God's creations (i think...)) is to glorify God. Whatever that might mean.
I create a rocking chair. Its final cause (I am using that phrase correctly?) is to make somebody more comfortable by providing gentle rocking and rest from standing.

Is that right?

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:46 pm 
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:brick:

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:43 pm 
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Why is it bad to use things contrary to their purpose?

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:20 pm 
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Will Storm wrote:
Why is it bad to use things contrary to their purpose?


Because it becomes less of itself to a point that it would become a nothing.

A fire is to warm you. If you use it to cool you [let's suppose its do-able] then it has lost its nature.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:15 pm 
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But it seems that I am then affecting the nature of a thing...
That might be ok, but are you comfortable with the extrapolation? That I can use things in a way that will alter their nature?

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Will Storm wrote:
But it seems that I am then affecting the nature of a thing...
That might be ok, but are you comfortable with the extrapolation? That I can use things in a way that will alter their nature?


But you're not altering its nature. You really can't make a fire cool you. By some self-deception you could think that the fire is cooling you but it's actually not.

Btw, thanks to your question now I understand Obi's answer.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Ok. So if it is bad because you are making something less of itself, but you cannot make something less of itself, then how is it bad?

Frankly, beng, I fail to see what you are trying to say. I hope that is not rude. I am just confused I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:05 pm 
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every time a human uses a human faculty contrary to its purpose, he diminishes his use of reason. Since reason is our specific difference from all other animals, misusing it or misusing things under its direction makes us less human and more dumb animal.

I am not sure this is true either, Obi...

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:33 pm 
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Will Storm wrote:
Ok. So if it is bad because you are making something less of itself, but you cannot make something less of itself, then how is it bad?


Objectively you can not make something less of itself as in how the fire will always warm you instead of cool you.

But subjectively you make something less of itself by thinking that the fire could cool you. This is when Obi's explanation [ie. using something contrary to its final cause diminish one's reason] made sense to me.

So the "becoming less of itself" happens in the mind, particularly in the faculty of reason. Because through reason we learn that there is a final cause.



Just as how objectively gay marriage would never be a marriage (because the reproductive organ is used contrary to its final cause). But subjectively some people think that it is a "marriage." By doing this they have diminish their reason. And since reason is what differentiate us from animal, if it [ie. reason] continues to diminish to the point of extinction (just suppose that it could do so, ie. extinct) then the human would become an animal. The proponents of gay marriage, contraception and other things contrary to natural law have become sub-human because by their practice they have little by little diminish their reason (the one separating them from the animal).

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Frankly, beng, I fail to see what you are trying to say. I hope that is not rude. I am just confused I guess.


No offense taken :).


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:51 am 
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Got it. I didn't realize the separation (objective/subjective).

Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:42 am 
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beng wrote:
Objectively you can not make something less of itself as in how the fire will always warm you instead of cool you.

But subjectively you make something less of itself by thinking that the fire could cool you. This is when Obi's explanation [ie. using something contrary to its final cause diminish one's reason] made sense to me.

So the "becoming less of itself" happens in the mind, particularly in the faculty of reason. Because through reason we learn that there is a final cause.



Just as how objectively gay marriage would never be a marriage (because the reproductive organ is used contrary to its final cause). But subjectively some people think that it is a "marriage." By doing this they have diminish their reason. And since reason is what differentiate us from animal, if it [ie. reason] continues to diminish to the point of extinction (just suppose that it could do so, ie. extinct) then the human would become an animal. The proponents of gay marriage, contraception and other things contrary to natural law have become sub-human because by their practice they have little by little diminish their reason (the one separating them from the animal).

Does the reaching of incorrect conclusions by the employment of faulty arguments always result in the diminishing of reason, or are there some cases the reasoner can reason incorrectly without diminishing his reason while other cases the reasoner reasons incorrectly and yet does diminish his reason?

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:56 pm 
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jac3510 wrote:
Does the reaching of incorrect conclusions by the employment of faulty arguments always result in the diminishing of reason, or are there some cases the reasoner can reason incorrectly without diminishing his reason while other cases the reasoner reasons incorrectly and yet does diminish his reason?


I would say that ignorance does not diminish reason.

For example, in the time of Galileo it was in accordance with reason to conclude that the sun revolves around the Earth. Those who think so, although they are objectively in error, were not diminishing their reason. For how could they? The best reasoning at the time concluded that the sun revolves around the Earth. If they, at the time, concluded otherwise (ie. the Earth revolves around the sun) they would conclude something that's contrary to reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:19 am 
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I don't know very many people who intentionally use reason incorrectly. Perhaps I'm being too charitable, but most people who are wrong on something (even moral issues) genuintely believe they are correct and that reason and argument is in their favor . . .

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:11 am 
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jac3510 wrote:
I don't know very many people who intentionally use reason incorrectly. Perhaps I'm being too charitable, but most people who are wrong on something (even moral issues) genuintely believe they are correct and that reason and argument is in their favor . . .


I would mostly agree with that. But I think that a lot of people simply FEEL something to be right or are pressured to feel something is right or wrong and so that proclaim it as so without having or knowing a reasonable argument for something to be right or wrong. Especially in politics.

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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:16 am 
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Will Storm wrote:
I would mostly agree with that. But I think that a lot of people simply FEEL something to be right or are pressured to feel something is right or wrong and so that proclaim it as so without having or knowing a reasonable argument for something to be right or wrong. Especially in politics.

Perhaps. Are you saying that people can act on emotions without applying the intellect? It is certainly true that many people don't put their ideas through rigorous testing, and in many cases, that can be for emotional reasons. But is that the same as saying that people have no arguments of any kind for their views (even bad ones they do not recognize as such) and that they are simply acting from emotion?

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Hen-Zee wrote:
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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:03 pm 
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jac3510 wrote:
I don't know very many people who intentionally use reason incorrectly. Perhaps I'm being too charitable, but most people who are wrong on something (even moral issues) genuintely believe they are correct and that reason and argument is in their favor . . .


It can be argued that what pertain to natural law is self evident, hence the name "natural" (at least the first principle but not its derivatives, ie. stealing is a sin, but is recording shows from TV a sin?). Thus the proponent of gay marriage can't really argue in front of God, "I didn't know that it's a sin, God."


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 Post subject: Re: Utility contrary to the designed purpose of created things
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:15 pm 
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beng wrote:
It can be argued that what pertain to natural law is self evident, hence the name "natural" (at least the first principle but not its derivatives, ie. stealing is a sin, but is recording shows from TV a sin?). Thus the proponent of gay marriage can't really argue in front of God, "I didn't know that it's a sin, God."

Hmm...

    A thing can be self-evident in either of two ways: on the one hand, self-evident in itself, though not to us; on the other, self-evident in itself, and to us. A proposition is self-evident because the predicate is included in the essence of the subject, as "Man is an animal," for animal is contained in the essence of man. If, therefore the essence of the predicate and subject be known to all, the proposition will be self-evident to all; as is clear with regard to the first principles of demonstration, the terms of which are common things that no one is ignorant of, such as being and non-being, whole and part, and such like. If, however, there are some to whom the essence of the predicate and subject is unknown, the proposition will be self-evident in itself, but not to those who do not know the meaning of the predicate and subject of the proposition. Therefore, it happens, as Boethius says (Hebdom., the title of which is: "Whether all that is, is good"), "that there are some mental concepts self-evident only to the learned, as that incorporeal substances are not in space." Therefore I say that this proposition, "God exists," of itself is self-evident, for the predicate is the same as the subject, because God is His own existence as will be hereafter shown (Q[3], A[4]). Now because we do not know the essence of God, the proposition is not self-evident to us; but needs to be demonstrated by things that are more known to us, though less known in their nature---namely, by effects. (ST Ia.2.1)

So the proposition "Gay marriage is wrong" is self-evident: in which way, and to you or to all?

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Hen-Zee wrote:
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