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Arquivo para a ‘Information ethics’ Categoria

The Lights of Enlightenment

31 Jan

We still live under the aegis of the Enlightenment, the strong movement of 18th century Europe, its principles seemed to lead to a perfect society speaking of freedom and equality among human beings, wishing to abolish both the powers of realization and the influence of Christian religiosity, Voltaire and Diderot were the most radical thinkers, but you can’t help but feel the influences of Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, David Hume and Montesquieu.

Ernest Cassirer makes one of the important treatises on the Enlightenment, quotes Diderot: “The Author of nature, who will not reward me for having been a man of spirit, will not condemn me to eternal punishment for having been a fool” (apud Cassirer, 1992, p. 224), but the author corrects both the aspect of tolerance, it is necessary to remember the wars between Lutherans and Catholics involving different reigns and the peace of Westphalia, and the aspect now of a free religiosity that “is no longer a gift of a supernatural power, of divine grace; it must spring from the action itself and receive its essential determinations from the action” (Cassirer, p. 225).

The idea also developed by Cassirer of a “pure” intellectualism, on the one hand puts a primacy of thought over pure theoretical speculation and on the other hand seeks to found a religion “in the pure limits of simple reason”, of course without faith, without the mystery (which is part of nature) is no longer religion.

Cartesian insufficiency and reductionism, a strong argument of Cassirer to the Enlightenment, made several philosophers seek roots in Eastern philosophy, Cassirer reminds Leibniz that he had already “quoted Chinese civilization” and in the Persian Letters, Montesquieu makes a comparison between East and West, but it will be Schopenhauer (Upanishad) and Nietzsche (Zaratrusta) who, under these eastern influences, will break with Enlightenment philosophy.

Leibniz is not directly contested, but his disciple Wilhelm Wolff, who “celebrates Confucius as a prophet of great moral purity and places him on a par with Christ” (Cassirer, p.226), will be the target of Voltaire’s irony in his famous “Candido, or optimism” (1759), criticizes the idea of “the best of all possible worlds”.

In the economic aspect, it was important to overcome the philosophy of mercantilism and develop liberal theory (especially Ada, m Smith) on the concept of the economy of nations, but liberalism will develop more broadly with the idea of financial capital by David Ricardo (1772-1823).

The civilizational crisis that we pointed out in last week’s posts (and previous ones, of course), has its roots in the Enlightenment and its ideas of state, religion and freedom, but as Cassirer points out, it is important to “reject the literal meaning of the Bible every time it is mentioned. finds expressed the obligation of an act that contradicts the elementary principles of morality” (p. 228), but in his Treatise on Tolerance (1763), a law of the intellectual world is traced “that reason only exists and subsists if it is recreated day after day” (p. 229).

Cassirer’s development however is that “one cannot decide on their point value apart from their moral efficacy. This is Lessing’s meaning of the apologue of the ring: the ultimate and profound truth of religion is only proved from within” (p. 230).

For these philosophers, only objectivity (the relationship with the external object) is knowledge, and this is achieved in a “transcendence” of the subject in relation to the object, thus there is no sense or value in a moral asceticism, thus for them religion is religion. natural, although they do not have a good relationship with nature.

CASSIRER, Ernest.  (1992) A filosofia do Iluminismo (The Philosophy of the Enlightenment). Trans. Alvaro Cabral. Brazil, Campinas, SP: Editora da Unicamp.

 

 

Human consciousness and machinic sentience

27 Jan

Consciousness involves human spiritual aspects (in the idealist philosophy called subjectivity) and that which makes man have a true ascesis that elevates his character, his attitudes and his morals in a progressive learning scale, where the error is admitted, but corrected in a humane way .

Sentience is the fact that we have a conscious perception of our feelings, it is the ability of beings (humans, because we do not believe that even a sophisticated machine can have this asceticism), and in beings it begins to feel sensations and feelings consciously.

The less we manage to be aware of our feelings, the less we have sentience and the less ability to understand our feelings, the attempt to translate sensations (types of laughter, happiness, sadness, etc. to the machine), will always be subject to algorithms, even that are very sophisticated, and that is why I call it machinic sentience, since machinic consciousness is described in different ways by different authors.

The picture representation in XVII century, um dos primeiros estudos foi do matemático inglês Robert Fludd (1574–1637).

True human consciousness is thus that which allows us to reach levels of asceticism in different ways: altruism, putting ourselves in the other’s shoes, living a just life and appreciating justice, in short, a true spirituality that elevates us as humans, and is also that which is within reach of those who suffer from human injustice and barbarism.

For Christians, what makes us achieve true asceticism is described in the so-called beatitudes (Mt 5,1-12) which speak of the poor, the afflicted, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for justice, those who have the capacity of forgiving and deceitful with the clarity of the desire for peace: “Blessed are those who promote peace, for they will be called children of God”, so in all circumstances that one lives in dark days, it is necessary to promote peace.

The contours of intolerance and violence, not only in the war in Ukraine, but in almost the entire planet should worry those who defend peace.

 

 

Reflections for 2023

27 Dec

I always make a proposal for some readings at the end of the year, sometimes I abandon some and always attach others, due to the duty of the teaching profession and the emergence of new facts, as was the case of the pandemic in 2020 and the war in Ukraine in the last year.

Among others, four books already ordered, which I intend to read in the year 2023 are: “The new Vicky syndrome: why European intellectuals surrender to barbarism” by Theodore Dalrymple (pseudonym of British physician, psychiatrist and essayist Anthony Daniels, 72). years), although 2016 had several successes of the conjuncture, the second book is by Slavov Zizek: “The year we dream dangerously” (2012), the third is about technology, many bizarre things are written about technology and its advances, since we quote Jean Michel Ganascia: “The Myth of the singularity”, now we want to reread Artificial Intelligence from the author of the area but on basic things and on the dilemmas of AI: “Artificial intelligence: a very brief introduction”, basic but knowledgeable of the subject, a deeper reading requires study and specialization in the area.

A book of a spiritual nature could not be missing from the list, the book by Anselm Grum, who is a 77-year-old German Benedictine monk, and many of his books have had an impact on different situations, and now he wants to respond to anxiety, depression and hopelessness that affects a large part of pandemic humanity.

From Dalrymple we already posted about the book “Our culture or what we made of it” where the cultural analysis precedes the economic one and converges with the social one, about Slavov Zikek we had some quotations and we already have some reflections on his updated vision of socialism, but whose aspect of violence is not discarded.

In Zizek’s view, the overcoming of the social state or the welfare state, the state today is the administration of a permanent social crisis, and in this book still to be read, the releases and readings allowed online that I could read, he reveals the appreciation of intellectuals (I would say especially of the current editorial groups and their narratives) for the catastrophe, and I would say in disagreement with Zizek that he is also in this process, only due to the aspect of the use of violence expressed in several of his books, the indicated however shows the renewing aspect and true change that these movements of the 2011 were marked, but they were consumed by the current culture.

Although he has this ideological disagreement with Zizek, his analysis of 2011 should be quite interesting, remember the Arab Spring, the occupation movements like “Occupy Wall Street”, in Tahrir Square, in London and in Athens, there were strong movements, there were dark dreams, and certainly an event that Zizek does not remember, but it is important: the Fukushima catastrophe, the nuclear problem, was on March 11, 2011.

AI have much literature with little foundation ventures into the area, where the biggest problem is neither mystification nor ethical problems, but knowledge of the basic elements and future possibilities of the area, specialist Margaret A. Boden who researches in the area and understands the doubts on the subject, makes a very brief introduction capable of elucidating lay people already confused by the obscure and critical literature on the issue.

Perhaps there is a lack of frazilian, Latin or African literature, a book that I have seen and I have not formed an opinion is: “Guimarães Rosa: Dimensions of the narrative” catches my attention, I am not aware of the authors Maria Célia Leonel and Edna Maria F. dos Santos, I’m going to research, the synopsis looks interesting when approaching authors like Gèrard Genette and Ernest Cassirer, among others.

 

 

 

 

Between what is said and what is said

13 Dec

In a strong time of narratives, what is said has nothing or little to do with the actual attitudes of men, it applies to politics, culture and religion, so not everyone who wants to help the most humble of actually do, not everyone who claims to be religious is actually connected to the values ​​and divine message, whether of any religion or Christian denomination.

There are very simple things to be identified: a good tree bears good fruit, correct words should indicate an upright life, but the philosophical or theological discourse is often confused and in this case it is necessary to be guided by attitudes that are also simple to observe and that say a lot. : there is no arrogance of temporal power of any kind, from a head of department to governments and constituted authorities, past and recent history is full of these examples.

The reason why we live in a time when truths are not welcome, is more than the construction of narratives and they do not lack human creativity, it is mainly because it is difficult to say that things are going wrong, despite everyone feeling bad. being, there is no lack of false prophets making unrealizable promises, self-help consolations and even those who prescribe happiness like a medicine leaflet.

The civilizing malaise detected by Freud (book from the 1930s) more than just psychological aspects spoke of instinctual impulses (we made some posts about this) and the inadequate outlet for them.

Of course this goes to politics, and from politics to social aspects: economy, health, education and the increasingly serious environmental problem, but the depth of this crisis requires another analysis: war.

As we said a little while ago, the arrogance of the constituted authorities and the rabid collective adhesion, I am not talking about any specific current, but almost all, stimulates hatred and violence, and the path and outlet of this current is none other than the sea of human violence: war.

The positive message in this regard is to do what is a problem, and often not even proclaim it, but to set an example of what is fair and sensible, says popular wisdom: example leads.

 

 

Ukrainian War and Pandemic´s Brazil

12 Dec

 

The war in Ukraine continues in increasingly dramatic situations due to the cold and the Russian strategy of undermining the country’s energy sources, which is a war crime since it hits the entire civilian population and not just the military. , while Ukraine looks to attack military bases now on Russian soil via suicide drones.

The bases attacked were in Engels, in the province of Saratov and Diaguilevo, near Ryazan, only 240 km from Moscow, showing that it has weapons to reach targets on Russian soil.

Russia has an attack in Crimea, while it intensifies defense in the strategic region of Dombass, territory claimed by the Tusso government, the bases for negotiation practically do not exist, since this region is disputed by two countries and there is no possible agreement in this regard.

Russia reiterates that it will not be the first to use chemical weapons, and that it knows the risk of this use, a war of unstoppable humanitarian populations, but both sides have weapons for this, and the very bases that are attacked by Ukraine aim to destroy possible bases of these weapons.

In the middle of winter the martyrdom of the Ukrainian people continues and the calls for peace go unheeded.

Covid 19, although whiter, continues with worrying rates, since it shows no signs of a truce, in Brazil the number of deaths and the moving average of known cases continues to grow slowly.

In the country there seems to be a paralysis of strategy, recommendations for preventive measures and incentives for vaccination, but without responses from society as a whole, or from effective control policies.

 

 

What did they do with the culture?

06 Dec

Theodore Dalrymple, is the pseudonym of the English psychoanalyst Anthony Daniels, who worked in English prisons with highly dangerous criminals, and saw in them not only aspects of poverty and exclusion, but also the development of a culture of tolerance for acts of arrogance, theft and immoralities.

In a book of 26 essays he describes how the cultural media spread this culture (picture inside).

He wrote in one of his works: “For the sentimentalist, there is no criminal, but only an environment that did not give him what he owed”, and so those who said aloud that they suffered a lot in trivial situations of life, that many people go through and this does not mean that they fall into delinquency, of course this does not mean that re-education is not necessary, but preventive education is better than medicine.

It is not an exclusive sector of society, or just an ideological issue as many authors point out, but a matter of cultural influence, especially radio, television and cinema, when everyone starts to justify violence, hatred and cruelty , I remember phrases from the movie Joker that were repeated in a cult tone, for example, “cold, sarcastic and heartless. That’s what I became and I thank society”, the question is which society he chooses: efficiency or solidarity.

I don’t want to give popularity or play the role of the cultural industry that I condemn, and it is the true producer of strange values ​​and without a humanistic perspective, as the psychoanalyst points out in his books, values ​​penetrate society through the selective publishing culture that is highly permissive in values ​​and customs.

True solidarity does not just condemn, there are cases where condemnation is necessary to repress violence and hatred, but education, gives dignity and rebuilds people who have succumbed to a society of efficiency and arrogance, I remember here another successful book, which I read up to the tenth page: “The Subtle art of turning on the f**k” (in English the word also starts with f), yes it is true that there is in the book a cry against perfectionism and the culture of the extremely efficient in photos and texts in the “ media” of social networks, but it is important to remember that the author is American and there this is a general culture and not just in the media.

If last week we posted about the “paths” and the “paths”, we now want to emphasize the micro-culture, the day-to-day with more empathy, more respect and less hate, and if possible more polite.

There is no way to find ways of solidarity and peace in society if the vast majority chose to fight with weapons equal to those that the haters fight.

 

DARLRYMPLE, Theodore (2O07) Our Culture, What’s Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses, 

 

 

The War in Eastern Europe and Covid

05 Dec

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke with President Putin for the first time since September, last Friday (12/02), for more than an hour, but made little progress.

The German leader tried to find a diplomatic path to the war, suggesting a withdrawal of Russian troops from the disputed regions of Ukraine, using the words “as soon as possible”, which indicates a possible escalation in the near future.

The shipment of long-range weapons to Ukraine suggests that an attack on Russian territory is possible, which would represent a new escalation in the war.

Kremlin diplomats conceded to German pressure, and Putin’s response to Schols was: “reconsider your approaches to the context of Ukrainian events” and drew attention to the “destructive line of Western states, including Germany” and therefore rejected the diplomatic negotiation proposals.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Kremlin, told journalists earlier that Putin was open to negotiations aimed at “securing Russian interests”, but it is clear that Moscow is not willing to accept the conditions imposed by the US: “what President Biden said in fact ? He said that negotiations are only possible after Putin leaves Ukraine”, and this hypothesis does not exist for Russia.

War continues to worry humanity and its escalation could lead to a conflict of catastrophic proportions.

Another problem that affects humanity is Covid 19, whose numbers have risen again, although less than the peak of the Pandemic, in Brazil 86 deaths have been recorded in the last week and a moving average of 26 thousand cases.

 

 

Straighten the paths

30 Nov

What is out of kilter In many times of transformation, the confused and decadent environment induces irascible reasoning and temperaments and gives vent to what philosophers called drives or, if we want to simplify, a tendency towards what is easier, more useful and more pleasurable, without worrying about the consequences.

This type of impulse can be what in the English language is called “drive” (to direct) or in German trieb (both in the negative trieben deriva, and positive. Triebende driving force), so it is possible, in a very liberal reading, to see these values ​​as positive, but historically they were signs of decay, as at the height of the Roman Empire or at the end of the Middle Ages, the maladjustment of social morals was clear.

However, in all these times, there have always been political, intellectual and social reactions to this decadence, and with that, history walked and some problems were solved, totally or partially, for example, the Roman Empire died little by little with the liberation of the colonies, already the period of liberalism and anthropocentrism at the end of the Middle Ages, gave rise to economic liberalism that led to the construction of new colonies in Africa and America and with this new forms of political and social decay extended until the French Revolution, for example, and in the English case, the coexistence of the monarchy with the republic.

A new cycle of decadence opens in this second decade of the millennium, with a visible fall in social and moral values, where politics is not a separate case.

Thus appear men and women capable of fighting to revert the historical picture of decay, but without a deep analysis the picture is confused, while ideas could be propagated in smaller circles in previous periods, now they travel the world in a fraction of seconds and invade even closed countries, such as Iran (there is a revolt for women’s rights) and China (where the strict confinement because of Covid provokes protests), but the background is a social reorganization.

In a small colony of Judea, in a period of many false prophets and rebellions against the Roman Empire, there was a religious figure called John the Baptist, who challenged the powers and governors, Herodes feared him not because he had an army or because the people followed him, but for the harsh words he had.

The lessons of John the Baptist are valid for our time: straighten the paths and level the hills, that is, seek straight paths that help open minds and forces to social reorganization.

 

Folly and messy house

29 Nov

In addition to the war in Eastern Europe, a possible return of the pandemic, human common sense seems to be out of fashion, days are confusing, even the dates of the week and the end of the year, traditionally more festive and calm, seem to give in to an atmosphere of foolishness and protest, due to the sporting event that involves at least 32 nations: The World Cup.

Although the house is in disarray, all the political rage seems to have gone to football, in fact politics looks like football with organized supporters destabilizing social life and removing authorities from their status quo, the judge who lowers himself to the fool, the president who rebels with the power it represents, new land invasion movements and calls for more authoritarianism in the midst of an evident crisis of authority.

Although the fan threw the LGBTQIA+ flag on the lawn, he was also protesting the war in Ukraine and the oppression of Iranian women (see the picture).

The Cup already had a protest from an Islamic country that did not sing its own anthem, a fan who invaded the field to protest against gender inequality and even a request for the selection to be expelled from the World Cup, the player is injured and the fans themselves celebrates, finally, wisdom seems to be out of kilter.

After all, a sport is fun, it does involve passion, but it is only within its limits, and cultural diversity must also be respected, as well as the right to protest within the limits of the demonstration.

The important analysis is that none of these facts should be taken out of context, an isolated fact or just the manifestation of minority groups, the house is in disarray, there is something dark in the air.

There are isolated and muffled voices that ask for a return to the axis and the solution of problems that are serious, yes, but they cannot be solved with foolishness, a messy house requires care in tidying up every corner, cleaning every hidden object or left aside, and let that sport is what it is in essence, a peaceful way to compete and bring joy to balanced national hearts and sentiments.

 

 

New high in cases of Covid 19

21 Nov

Up for eight days, according to Uol’s website, with an average of 235% compared to two weeks ago, the regions with the highest growth in Brazil are the Southeast with 333%, the Northeast with 228%, the North with 170% , the South with 160% and the Midwest with 93%, the numbers worry researchers, such as the Fiocruz Foundation.

Data from the foundation of Boletim Infogripe 45/2022 state that 47% of cases of respiratory diseases are due to Covid 19, and in a note on Saturday (11/19) it notes that new infections of covid 19 have skyrocketed across the country, the most The detailed data indicate that respectable infections were 10.3%, 3% for influenza A, 0.3% for influenza B, 24.2% for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and 47% for Sars-Cov-2, among the deaths the presence of the same micro-organisms of the positive cases was 4.1% for influenza A, 0.01% for influenza B, and 1.4% for RSV while 83.6% for Sars-Cov-2 which is alertly, since even the number of deaths is still not great, the percentage is higher than the cases of respiratory viral infections.

The raw data are more than 600 daily deaths in recent days and the moving average reaching 15,500 cases, which characterizes the continuity of the pandemic process.

Sanitary restrictions are still partial, as it is a festive period it is possible that there is a higher tolerance limit, which is worrying, because even though commercial spaces remain open, it is almost politically impossible for them to close, care could be greater with hygiene and prevention with masks and alcohol gel, it is a fact that the population is tired, but it is preferable than going to death.

Government bodies need to take urgent measures, the current political crisis cannot prevent the pandemic from having new tragedies and the virus circulating more widely.

As we always do an analysis of the war in Eastern Europe, due to the seriousness and possibility of extending the war to the entire planet, we make a brief analysis of the retreat of the Russian forces at the same time that they try to undermine the country’s air defense and energy capacity, a since the cold has already started there and heating is vital for human life in Europe.

The damage caused by the missile that was launched towards Poland, with strong indications that it was launched from Ukrainian soil, diplomatically weakens Ukraine and makes the West rethink military and financial aid in the country, the war will have dramatic contours in winter terms humanitarian.