Arquivo para a ‘Information ethics’ Categoria

The gap between rich and poor

23 Sep

The most varied studies, we commented on some in this week’s posts, point to a practically stable separation between rich and poor when not growing in some countries, this model can never guarantee sustainable social human development, wars and pandemics increase this gap even more.

The most serious problem that is extreme poverty, we have already analyzed and published in February this year an analysis of global poverty, and also, in another post, the social problem after covid 19.

The sustainability of human economic and social development depends not only on increasing wealth and social production, it is necessary to find a balance where both social mobility of classes and ethnic mobility provide sustainability and overcome inequalities.

The problem of sustainability is not secondary, many models distribute wealth but impoverish the country as a whole, this is because the investment aspects and safer strategies of economic models are only thought of around income distribution, the opposite where there is only an increase without distribution is less sustainable.

For this model, the biblical parable of Lazarus and the Rich man, the poor man who lived on the margins and when the rich see himself condemned, here the parable is valid both personally and socially, asks that he be allowed to warn his relatives of this risk, but says the biblical prophets already said and you didn’t listen, how many people and political actions have already denounced the serious social gap.

For those who don’t know, the biblical parable says (Lk 16:19-24): “At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees: 19 “There was a rich man, who dressed in fine and elegant clothes and held splendid parties every day. A poor man named Lazarus, full of wounds, was on the ground, at the rich man’s door. He wanted to satisfy his hunger with the leftovers that fell from the rich man’s table. And besides, the dogs came to lick their wounds. When the poor man died, the angels took him to Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In the region of the dead, in the midst of torments, the rich man lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham from afar, with Lazarus by his side. Then he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me! Tell Lazarus to wet the tip of his finger to cool my tongue, because I suffer a lot in these flames”. 

The rich man also asked to warn the living relatives, and he was reminded that they had (and have) the prophets.


Be fair in the little things

16 Sep

Money is in history and in life just a symbol of exchanges and goods that must circulate socially so that everyone has a dignified and fair life, dealing with it is something that should be treated with the same respect that people socially deserve.

A fair person is also fair in small things, social injustice does not start with big robberies, they are an indication that those people do or will one day do greater social injustices.

The public sphere is corrupted when those who determine social justice: rulers, judges and legislators have lost the notion and values ​​that small thefts and injustices can lead to big ones and make the whole society corrupt, then everyone will say this is normal.

When these values ​​start to become dubious, it means that morally society as a whole is shrouded in corruption, immorality and a great lack of ethics, everything that is public begins to fall apart and there appear profiteers and opportunists who will make use of public corruption.

The biblical reading (Lk 16,1-13) which speaks of a manager who, seeing that he was going to be fired, starts to negotiate with the debtors of a rich man, and calls the debtors and begins to reduce the debts, so it is not a smart but dishonest administrator.

The parable seems strange if it has not been read to the end, because when he begins to relieve his debts to save himself, he reveals his true character, which was to squander the master’s goods, says the reading in verses Lk 16, 10-11: “Whoever is not faithful in small things will not be faithful in great things either, and if you are not faithful in the use of unjust money, who will entrust you with true good?”.

The true good is nothing other than a full life, not only eternal life for those who believe, but also an earthly life, difficult perhaps, but serene for those who have not included in their daily life, in the “little things”, deviation, the theft and corruption of other people’s things or public goods.

Small vices lead to big ones, and they cannot lead to a full life, but increasingly troubled, more greed and lack of control of consumption and of life itself, it is the bad administrator who squandered the rich man’s goods, that is, we throw the real riches of life outside because of greed and consumerism.





Money, morals and ethics

15 Sep

As we established in the previous post, whatever the form of exchanges, in our current context bank cards, although bitcoin digital money has appeared in this scenario, which is controversial, at the basis of every relationship is the exchange of goods in markets.

So it is not money, but markets that can be corrupted by the practices of setting prices for products, and this is what can be ethical and moral or not, including practices that lead to corruption, favoring exchanges and market positions with some illegal rewards that are paid to people in decision-making positions.

Thus, markets are not limited to distributing goods, they also express and promote certain attitudes in relation to exchanged products: favoring reading in children, auctioning vacancies in educational institutions that are key to high positions and even hiring foreign mercenaries in wars.

Also the payment of professionals for fair values ​​and consistent with the minimum standard of living and what is already a practically global issue: the levels of social security that guarantee everyone a minimum level of income for a healthy and dignified life.

As for moral values, countless examples can also be given, perhaps the clearest is a friend for whom you pay is not the same as a friend for whom you have a free friendship.

The relations of friendship and respect that we maintain towards all other people, whether in our circle or not, whether our political, religious or ethnic preference or not, signify a higher moral value than those values, that money “pays for”.  and for which one has “respect”.

Byung Chul Han explains that where respect is gone, the public sphere goes into decline, and this is the root of the deep civilizational crisis they are experiencing, the social, economic and political effects are just a consequence, when laws must prevent disrespect is sign of decadence and serious crisis in the public sphere.


Doctors are for the sick

12 Sep

Number of cases and studies of studies falling for a perception that the pandemic would have come to an end, it is from a certain number of studies as in cases, but as much as studies of studies scientists continue to advance in future treatments

Diseases were little known and medicine at the time was too expensive to have no purchasing power, even the fact that a paralytic was placed in the presence of Jesus descending through the ceiling, has a mistaken interpretation, they would not let him pass.

It is a fact that we already have chairs and seats in the queues for elders, pregnant women and the sick, but there is still a mentality of the community of the pure, the saints or the perfect, after all, efficiency cannot come from those who are not physically prepared for it.

This was how the pandemic was dealt with, many said that the sick isolate themselves and society will continue its rhythm, but what we saw was society as a whole losing its rhythm, and the result of this pressure gradually turned into many psychic diseases. , even for those who made them.

Treating and working with imperfection, illness and purity is only to promote the social integration of people, the idea of ​​being a “model” for others is a Kantian idea of ​​ethics, which can lead to an ethics and a partial view of sociability and what is imperfect.

In terms of religious culture, it leads to isolation, the formation of a bubble in which values ​​are reaffirmed, but many are excluded and are not invited to participate and live with differences, this is one of the main religious paradigms that Jesus broke in his time.

Talking to women, leaving space for children, healing lepers and cripples broke the Pharisaic concept of what was considered “unclean”, went against sinners and the sick.

It is true that the blind cannot guide the blind, but doctors are for the sick, says the biblical passage (Lk 15:1-3): “At that time, publicans and sinners came to Jesus to listen to him. The Pharisees, however, and the teachers of the Law criticized Jesus. “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” , then Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep and then the prodigal son.

The Pharisaic mentality not only does not cure the sick, it becomes a social disease itself.



The idolatry of perfection

07 Sep

Myths and idols were created precisely to divert the understanding of human nature, they change according to the contexts and the evolution of languages, but they have always been present in the history of humanity and thus they themselves must have human considerations.

Nietzsche warned us about the risks of living fed by idols (or ideas, which for him were synonymous), showed that by dominating our mind and conditioning our thinking, feeling and acting in the world, we become strict with our life and that of others, claimed to be a monstrous force, as a myth it can be said that its maximum expression is Narcissus (image) and this led to sameness, the lack of originality and diversity, the demand for the same.

In the name of some idealism, and in modernity it itself became a philosophy after Kant, people are capable of hurting and reaching the other who is outside their model, and even not allowing to build in life what they allowed themselves to be conquered by Is it over there.

The model of efficiency, productivity and social rigor is also a model of perfection.

This happens because the idealist model formulates that there is an ideal model to follow and reality is always imperfect and thus they prefer to follow the perfection of ideas and reach the absurdity of submitting others to their model of perfection, they believe that there is a top to be hit.

So it is not possible to formulate a human model to be followed, of course it is possible if we understand human imperfection as part of a process of hominization and civilization in which all other humans must have the same possibility of living and sharing the common environment.

Edgar Morin called this “planetary citizenship”, many political and religious models speak of solidarity, of rejection of hatred, but it is necessary to observe if they do not build something that excludes.

Today is the day of the Brazilian nation, so diverse and rich in races and ethnicities, any model that does not support the other is the type of idolatry of perfection that must be rejected, does not lead to solidarity.

Spinozian Ethics, a strong counterpoint to idealist ethics, formulated that reality is always equal to perfection, because perfection only makes sense when it is reality not something imagined or thought, so perfection is reality to the same extent that reality is perfect.

Without love and respect for the Other, for diversity and tolerance, every ideal model is imperfect.



Between affliction and peace, the infinite and the eternal

01 Sep

Many seek happiness at any price, so we reflect empathy early in the week, then reflect on the anguish and distress that are axes of growth and suffering, but it is they that understandably lead us to real happiness, built peace.
Kierkegaard’s “Concept of Anguish” (1884) shows multiple forms: the anguish of freedom or nothingness, there is a personal choice of this that the author calls the choice of oneself, the anguish of goodness and obstinacy, the anguish of sexuality, that of tomorrow and that of the finite, it is prior to faith.
At this point it is possible to link to a phenomenological view, and still to link it to the interpretation of the biblical passage of man’s fall into sin (Genesis 3), ignoring the Enlightenment / Idealist culture, which is the anguish of freedom or choice that occupies a essential role for the Self.
According to Kierkegaard man is called, as spirit (addition and mind), to place the relation between the elements that characterize him structurally, likewise those that can conflict with each other (body and soul, temporality and eternity), choosing a form of existence among the innumerable ones historically presented to him, here the phenomenology.
Although innumerable, Kierkegaard pedagogically lists some choices that are choices in three life styles (or “stages”): the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious, is reductive but interesting.
The openness I see (in it is only existence but could be essence as Being) is that anguish is therefore “nothingness” that each person in his indeterminacy “is” at the moment of establishing synthesis to the point of being. give yourself an “identity”, a controversial theme in idealism, here that I think is possible to connect it to Heidegger’s “being in the world”, although different concepts.
Contrary to the fall the biblical passages of the New Testament could be placed on the beatitudes in Mt 5: 1-12, we highlight two that were dealt with in these days, verses 4 and 5: “Blessed are the afflicted, for they shall be comforted, blessed. the meek, for they shall possess the earth, ”and verse 9,” Blessed are they that bring peace, for they shall be called the children of God.”
But Kierkegaard’s fundamental help is on the question of identity, definitions as being-in-itself and being-in-the-world, and the concept of the eternal which is a launch into the “infinite.”


The position of power and symmetry

25 Aug

As we elaborated in the previous post, power is always a hierarchical position and so the final decision and the instruments of oppression are the positions only of those who occupy the highest positions in the hierarchy and what remains at the base of the pyramid is rebellion or resignation.

If power is necessary, it is up to those in the post to exercise it with discernment and generosity, the ideal would be that they were in fact at the service, but with rare exceptions, most use the post, and in general all those who who sophism with power.

The Platonic and Aristotelian model assumed that the polis could be governed by those who were well prepared and for this they created instruments for the formation of the citizen of the polis, the politician par excellence.

The evolution of this model reached the Enlightenment, and practically all current models (there are some exceptions in Africa and in Asian countries) this is the model of power of most nations, by force, by vote or by what Byung Chul Han called psychopolitics, deceiving peoples.

But it is important to remember that there is power disseminated throughout the social structure, and also that there are networks (they may or may not use media) and through them each one can exercise their action for a better, more symmetrical world with greater reciprocity between co-citizens.

Sloterdijk created the model of co-immunity, but they presuppose that some “evil” always prevails, something like the “discontent of humanity”, what we call here the civilizational crisis, the absence of a real model to oppose the prevailing dictatorial models. or on an increasing scale, there is a return to the crises of the beginning of the century, precisely because there was no opposition to the root of the model: the Enlightenment and the idealist.

The economic reasons are consequences and not the root of these models, as Edgar Morin intended when emphasizing that there is no way to change without changing the roots of thought, Heidegger also says that abandoning the revolution in thought is not allowing real change in society, and that it is basically the reason why we reverted to the theses before the first war, that is, we repeated history.

Symmetry, reciprocity, understanding of human diversity and respect for it are almost always ignored by the models of the beginning of the last century, returning to them is nothing but a foreshadowing of a greater tragedy: the civilizational crisis with deeper roots than the previous ones. .

Who will suffer the most will be the base of the pyramid of power, but the volume of military power can lead to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, only solidarity, fraternity and reciprocity can avoid and redirect this crisis.





Power and violence

24 Aug

Historically, peaceful peoples or peoples with little defense structure were dominated by imperialist peoples, often justified by social values ​​or noble causes, but the practice in the end is domination, developed by Max Weber.

In recent history, the ideas of the “sovereign” by Hobbes and the “prince” by Machiavelli started the idea of ​​the State even in the period when there were kings (in England and other countries there are still), and later they were reworked by Kant and Hegel, where the concepts of city-state and citizenship from classical antiquity have been recovered and updated, but this is the idea of ​​modern power.

The idea of ​​democracy in the American sense of the word was developed by Alexis de Tocqueville, which is at the same time a compliment to the American model, but has gaps in interpretation that allow for a critical analysis.

The idea that all power emanates from the people, despite being an ideal model in the broadest sense of the word, is really the final project of idealism, but Sloterdijk notes that the model of “human domestication” has failed, there are two wars in the so-called “advanced” countries. ” and one lurking.

The most recent analyses, which deal with the “de facto” power present in forms of domination and ideological control of populations (ideology here in a broad sense) depart from Michel Foucault’s analysis that there are disparate, heterogeneous and constantly changing forms of how this power is exercised, so it is everywhere and not in an institution or in someone, where it develops the concepts of biopower and micropower.

Byung Chul Han, disciple and in line with Peter Sloterdijk, develops the most advanced form that we have today, which is psychopower, not only through the control of news and fake news, but especially through the relationships that develop socially where there is no reciprocity, what what Chul Han calls “symmetry”.

He says there is no symmetry in any form of power or in communication (so all communication is a form of domination and power), there is only symmetry where there is “respect”. and so the most “violent” form of politics today is to disrespect the adversary in various ways.

This is everyday violence, that it advances to its cruelest form which is war is nothing but a consequence, so violence begins in the actions of psychic violence in everyday life.

As Chul-Han establishes: “power is an asymmetrical relationship. It grounds a hierarchical relationship” (HAN, 2019, p. 18) and it is the basis of all social and political violence, a power that is truly democratic must re-elaborate the symmetry or reciprocity between citizens and the state.

Han, Byung Chul. (2019) No enxame (In the swarm). Brazil, Petrópolis: Ed. Vozes.



Political, educational and moral virtue

18 Aug

The three distinct phases of the Greek polis can be simplified in the political arete practiced by the sophists and which justified only the rhetorical capacity (something close to today’s narratives), the educational areté, the Platonic ideal that means a good relationship between nature and education. , but here we are interested in moral areté, the overcoming between the antagonisms of passion and reason.

We give in to the passions, so politics is a kind of twist, the passions are all free and so there is no opposition to the contradictory impulses of the soul, and these forms already existed in the classical period, but they were believed to be “domesticated” using a term from Sloterdijk.

The domestication project failed, Sloterdijk’s finding that it predates the pandemic and the war was already present and scandalized philosophers who soon refuted it under serious accusations.

There is no more room for moral virtue, even theft and verbal and “symbolic” violence already seem to be liberated, any attempt to build a solid morality is fought on the contrary.

So it’s not about the war that is the apex of this moral barbarism, killing has justifications as insane as it seems, it has twisted and even fatalists who say it was inevitable, at the limit, we hope they don’t say the erosion of civilization is also inevitable , after all, defending life is the last moral appeal we have left and even he seemed in crisis with the pandemic.

Public morality, use of public goods as a service to the community, social morality, use of empathy and tolerance as forms of dialogue and public relationship, direct opposition and contradictory, are all moral principles that seem to be in recess.

What are the sociability, representativeness and policy proposals put on the table, just the denial of moral values, disregard for public affairs and a vague defense of what public goods and the interests of the most fragile population are in fact? at the limit of security.

Cabinet speeches are dissociated from reality, demagoguery and populism are the great instruments of political propaganda, the seriousness of what is proposed does not give in to the slightest examination of the reality of the facts, and talking about fake news should be addressed to practically everyone. .

The campaign has just begun and from the non-dialogue present in the speeches, we can only think that morality has succumbed to lying moralism and fallacious populism.



The origin and crisis of humanism

17 Aug

The two wars and the current tension Russia x Ukraine and China x Taiwan, which are nothing but the tension now between two types of colonial systems, capitalist imperialism and ideological imperialism, which is not just Marxist or communist, because this requires a discussion on the topic.

His proposal, according to Sloterdijk himself, were well understood by the participants, however in the reaction of the philosophers there was a “fascist” content in them, which is the genetic selection of humanity, or the induction of this change.

I also had this reaction in a first reading, in my case the criticism of Heidegger’s “Letters on Humanism”, one of the central themes that it addresses, in addition to the questioning it makes of the conception of humanism, its great contribution is in understanding the ontic relationship ontological, inverting Heidegger’s precedence of the ontological over the ontic.

In practice it means a revision of the clearing motif, as the incorporation of its natural history over the social one (Sloterdijk, 1999, p. 61), means that there is a natural dimension on the ontological.

Personally, I prefer not to submit one dimension to another, I say that they cooperate, something similar to what Henri Bergson wrote in his “Creative Evolution” (1907), but adhering to the mystical, and it is clear that this depends on a cosmovision with some religious background.

Sloterdijk’s review of Plato’s “Politics” (Sloterdijk, 1999, p. 47-56) develops the origins of humanism in Antiquity, in his view, linked to the exercise of an inhibition, that of the habit of reading capable of pacifying, to tame, to develop patience, in opposition to the frenetic amusements of the “uninhibited homo inhumanus”.

The Platonic metaphor supposes that these different natures are found in Being, that is, they are ontological, and as raw material to form the Greek citizen (the politician), there is the artifice of separating them in order to have the desired configuration for their function. in the polis.

It must be remembered that the Greeks also already spoke of areté, the exercise of virtue, to use Sloterdijk’s term “a life of exercises”, but the German philosopher’s view is that this project fails, and in our analysis that includes the mystic , means that there is an abandonment of areté.

Thus, I am not making a blind defense of Sloterdijk here, I only note that his criticism of humanism is to this “peacemaking” project of man, hence why the “rules of the human park”, his suggestion of ontic nature, do not necessarily mean manipulation. genetics.

Behind this question is the question whether man is good or bad, as the Enlightenment contractualists did when defining the role of the state, so Sloterdijk’s question proceeds.