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#470626 - 02/29/12 03:31 AM Law of the Jungle, Might Makes Right
Labyrinthine Online

CoS Member

Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 536
Loc: America
As Satanists, we realize the truth of the morality of nature:

The universe is neutral and uncaring; there are no divine rewards or punishments for earthly deeds.

Nature is inherently violent; things need to feed off of other things, and destroy or kill other things, in order to survive and prosper.

In human conflicts, whoever is stronger wins; he destroys his enemy and lives to fight another day. This is the way it works regardless of who was morally right, in the usual sense of morality.

This we can altogether say is the Law of the Jungle.

As a Satanist, I know that's how the universe works, and I play accordingly. (In many more detailed manners of social interaction and personal advancement there's no need to elaborate on here.)

But now, do I want to live in a human society which goes by a philosophy of "might makes right, anything goes, Law of the Jungle"?

I will say simply, "no," but with qualifications.

"No" because such a society doesn't help my own survival much, it hinders it. As a rational social animal, I want to live in a society which has mechanisms (police, courts, armies,) to protect my freedom.

Sure, in a state of nature, and when it REALLY comes down to it all I can rely on is myself to survive against attackers and natural disasters, but why would I want to live day in and day out in constant fear for my life?

I will personally take steps to protect myself with a firearm and some common-sense "street smarts," but as really an extension of this, I will also politically support a government and society which punishes criminals for me as a deterrent against crime, and provides disaster relief services, among other useful social constructs to protect me against dangers.

I even go so far as to support government policie which help my own survival and well-being in the form of safety regulations and national health insurance.

Is this breaking the "Law of the Jungle?"

No. It's still recognizing it as fundamentally true, empirically of nature, while putting plans in place to protect ME. It's pragmatic survival.

Now those qualifications I talked about;

I don't want everyone to survive and get a basic income just because they have a pulse.

Criminals and drug-addicts I can immediately single out as being undeserving of most, if not all, (depending on some specifics of crimes) social protections.

I still want Lex Talionis implemented in law and punishment.

In economic matters, I do generally want companies which fail to fail; creative destruction, better ones will take their place.

My point here is that while the universe is uncaring and one needs to know it and act on it, it also behooves one to put in place certain social constructs to protect one's freedom and well-being.

(The specifics of this are of course endlessly debated in the political sphere, I have my specific views on political issues which will of course differ from the next Satainst. The principle is just SOME sort of security put together by government, which may vary in reach and specific areas.)

I don't want to be wiped out by ever plague and war that stabilizes populations; I want to live long and prosper no matter what.

You can see from this why it should be upsetting to a Satanist to hear stories of people harmed by incompetent or corrupt hospital staff, police officers, and bureaucrats of all sorts; it bodes badly for the individual Satanist. Yes; be prepared personally, ultimately you're reponsible for yourself...but having a completely assholy, boastfully "UNCARING" attitude towards people dying or being treated wrongfully due largely to the failings of professionals paid to serve them is foolhardy.

You never know when you might get hit by any number of idiot drunk drivers, or falsely accused of crimes yourself.

Professional effectiveness and justice in society are valuable to all, including me, therefore I do care.

Another thing too; might does not make right in any kind of real morality.

If someone robbed you, or raped you, you'd never consider it right just on account of the perpetrator being bigger than you; you'd consider it wrong on account of it being wrong.

"Might is Right" is true in that the victor gets the spoils, and this must always be remembered, but it is not morality in any useful sense. It is a useful phrase for the nature of reality on the most inhuman level, before we start putting our own hierarchy of values of justice onto actions and objects.

Objective morality does exist, independent of any god or divine creation, and is discoverable by scientific inquiry; ethics. Still, nothing bad happens kharmically or when you die because of what you did morally, but morality can be discovered.

I'm going off on a tangent there though; my point here was that it's foolish to want the Law of the Jungle to apply freely to oneself.

Cheat it! wink

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#470647 - 02/29/12 12:13 PM Re: Law of the Jungle, Might Makes Right [Re: Labyrinthine]
LordofDarkness Offline
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Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 757
Loc: Tennessee, U.S.
Interesting point of view.
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#470649 - 02/29/12 01:29 PM Re: Law of the Jungle, Might Makes Right [Re: LordofDarkness]
Labyrinthine Online

CoS Member

Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 536
Loc: America
I welcome critiques, including especially harsh ones.


Edited by Labyrinthine (02/29/12 05:50 PM)

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#470955 - 03/05/12 11:37 AM Re: Law of the Jungle, Might Makes Right [Re: Labyrinthine]
Riddles Offline


Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 82
Loc: Maryland
Originally Posted By: Labyrinthine
"might makes right, anything goes, Law of the Jungle"


I've certainly never equated "might is right" with "anything goes."

Originally Posted By: Labyrinthine
I will personally take steps to protect myself with a firearm and some common-sense "street smarts," but as really an extension of this, I will also politically support a government and society which punishes criminals for me as a deterrent against crime, and provides disaster relief services, among other useful social constructs to protect me against dangers.


Agreed.

Originally Posted By: Labyrinthine
In human conflicts, whoever is stronger wins


Yes, but I think "stronger" should be used in a very liberal sense. Survival of the fittest does not necessarily mean survival of the physically strongest. Physical strength is only one factor. A strong intellect and strong cunning can go a long way, especially for our species.

Also, merely accepting the whole "might is right" mentality does not make one mighty, although merely recognizing the importance of social dominance may at least help a person in one's decisions.

Originally Posted By: Labyrinthine
Nature is inherently violent


Very true, but our most primal drive is not violence, but self-preservation. Violence is common in nature because it often results from self-preservation (food, defense of food, explicit self-defense, et cetera), but it is not the primary motivation nor is violence always the best route toward self-preservation.

Let me use an example: good, old-fashioned fist fights. Back in high school, I got into my fair share of fights. I was fairly short and had a small frame, so it made me prone to bullying. However, people rarely messed with me for long as I definitely surprised many of these people with my viciousness. However, I am now in my early 30's, and I haven't gotten into a fight in years. Did my mentality change? No, I'm simply in a different situation. Let's look back at high school. If someone messed with me, I would swing in a heartbeat. I didn't win every fight (I was certainly not the mightiest), but even if I lost, I made sure to get a few good hits in, and they then became a little more hesitant to repeat their attempts at bullying. Now, on the rare occasions that a stranger begins to start something, I quite often just walk the other way. What's the difference? Well, for one thing, when I can tell that I am outmatched, it is best for my personal safety in the short run to avoid a confrontation. In a sense, I am "mighty" in that I have the intellect and lack of counterproductive pride to realize that the confrontation is not likely to go in my favor. Now, in high school, short run safety was not the only factor. I had to continue dealing with these people on a daily basis, so even if I got a little bruised up in the initial confrontation, it was generally helpful in the long run, especially with respect to my own mental well-being. It helped to establish a reputation. Now, in the instance of coming across an aggressive stranger, the short run is really all there is. I am not likely to meet this person again, so I fail to see the long-term benefit. Additionally, unless I can prove self-defense, it's illegal, and I certainly don't want to face those consequences. In high school, they rarely care who started it or if it was in self-defense, but they typically just gave detention or something and didn't bother to make it a legal matter.



Originally Posted By: Labyrinthine

It's pragmatic survival.


This is important. Our strongest drive is self-preservation (followed by, for obvious biological reasons, sex). The intellect to evaluate what is the best path for self-preservation has become as important as a more stringent definition of "might".

Even if one accepts "might is right", one should not forget the CONTEXT. We are humans, not wolverines, and while there are significant similarities ("just another animal"), there are also significant differences (e.g. greater availability of food, different social contracts, civil government), so what is pragmatic for a wolverine may not work for us, and what is pragmatic for us may not work for a wolverine.

Originally Posted By: Labyrinthine
Objective morality does exist, independent of any god or divine creation, and is discoverable by scientific inquiry; ethics.


I'm not sure I agree, but I guess it depends upon one's definition of morality. I see values as subjective, right or wrong in an individual's eyes, but not objectively right or wrong. As Dr. LaVey put it, "Good is what you like, evil is what you don't like." If a bear eats a fish, is it right? It's right for the bear and wrong for the fish...subjectively. One reason society happens to (roughly) work is because we share many of these values. The only objective aspect to morality I see is that there are certain paths toward maximizing those values that are more efficient than others. That is, I think one can say you "ought" to do something to achieve a specific goal, but the is/ought problem has no solution with respect to actually choosing the goal. However, the most primal goals are things we don't really choose--they are part of our nature, so even if the is/ought problem is not technically solved, it is rendered moot. That's my opinion at least, but a full discussion or debate would deserve its own thread.


Edited by Riddles (03/05/12 11:59 AM)
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#470990 - 03/06/12 02:35 AM Re: Law of the Jungle, Might Makes Right [Re: Labyrinthine]
StabAvery Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 717
Loc: michigan
How about this point of view, Just be right. Be impeccable, that's what my father always told me.

As for human conflicts you say:
Quote:
In human conflicts, whoever is stronger wins; he destroys his enemy and lives to fight another day. This is the way it works regardless of who was morally right, in the usual sense of morality.

I strongly disagree with you here. I say the cleverest individual wins. You may try and stand your ground but I got 2 grand that says you just got your legs broken.

In the words of god himself (the great George Carlin) "If you can't beat em, than simply arrange to have them beaten".

Quote:
But now, do I want to live in a human society which goes by a philosophy of "might makes right, anything goes, Law of the Jungle"?

I will say simply, "no," but with qualifications.

"No" because such a society doesn't help my own survival much, it hinders it. As a rational social animal, I want to live in a society which has mechanisms (police, courts, armies,) to protect my freedom.

Sure, in a state of nature, and when it REALLY comes down to it all I can rely on is myself to survive against attackers and natural disasters, but why would I want to live day in and day out in constant fear for my life?

Where did you get "anything goes", from?
You are taking a very simple (rudimentary) rationale and trying to apply it to many years and layers of human growth. It's like your trying to wipe your butt with one square of toilet paper.

Quote:
As a rational social animal, I want to live in a society which has mechanisms (police, courts, armies,) to protect my freedom.

This means that might is not right for you. it means that you want to conform to society's standards out of fear of your own freedom. (you said it yourself.)
Do you really feel like you would be living your life day in and day out in fear without cops, judges, and military? And do you think you are free!? (try not paying your taxes for a while, you will see how free you are).

I think you may be looking for a more homogenized group theory to follow if you cannot see the basic tenants of "Might is Right", and apply it to any situation.
Perhaps we could say, "might is right" (for Satanists) and "Fear is Here" (for you) smile
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#470998 - 03/06/12 06:02 AM Re: Law of the Jungle, Might Makes Right [Re: Labyrinthine]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
Originally Posted By: Labyrinthine
But now, do I want to live in a human society which goes by a philosophy of "might makes right, anything goes, Law of the Jungle"?


Um, the Jungle doesn't care what you want. grin

I'm a little confused about your entire post because I consider "might is right" and the "law of the jungle" to be descriptions of the way the world is. Not something one chooses or wants or submits to or supports. You can't break the law of the jungle any more than you can break the law of gravity. If you jump off a building you don't choose to fall, you just do. I mean, I guess you could try to cheat the pavement but I really wouldn't recommend it.

Quote:
Objective morality does exist, independent of any god or divine creation, and is discoverable by scientific inquiry; ethics.


I think some ethicists might disagree with this statement. grin

Seriously, I always get a little nervous when I see this; even with your qualifier, it kind of reeks of the ten commandments or Sharia law or something. I think US legal system strives to actually be morally objective but that's not exactly flawless standard either.
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#471019 - 03/06/12 11:22 AM Re: Law of the Jungle, Might Makes Right [Re: Labyrinthine]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
The words "might" and "right" are both ambiguous. Anton LaVey understood this well, and chose the phrase in no small part because of how interesting the ambiguity is.

"Might" can mean any advantage that confers strategic superiority. Or, it can mean outstanding personal characteristics. A lion is mighty in the 2nd sense, but they're going extinct because they are vulnerable, not mighty in the 1st sense.

"Right" can mean what is morally good. Or, it can mean a freedom, permission or license. For example, people have the right to vote however they want, but not everyone votes the way I think is right.

"Might is right" can mean that we only have the legal and political freedoms we can ensure are protected from a position of strategic superiority. Or it can mean that whatever someone of outstanding personal characteristics does is morally right.

In my view, liberal democracy is predicated on the idea that "might makes right" according to the first meaning. But it combines that idea with the old saw, "Strength in numbers". People who want a certain set of political freedoms band together to form a republic that can secure them. The broader the freedoms and the more equitably they are offered, the greater the incentive for more people to support the republic and the stronger it can be. This is a practical way to deal with the reality that our freedoms aren't secure unless they are backed by force.

Someone who thinks that everyone is morally required to defend their own freedom single-handedly is putting way too much weight on only ONE aspect of each part of the "might is right" formula, and not necessarily in the most consistent way. In other words, they are reading it selectively, rather than exploring all of the rich connotations and implications.
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#471049 - 03/07/12 02:41 AM Re: Law of the Jungle, Might Makes Right [Re: Labyrinthine]
XUL Offline


Registered: 12/12/09
Posts: 238
Loc: Oslo, Norway
Originally Posted By: Labyrinthine
Is this breaking the "Law of the Jungle?"


In my opinion, you can't actually break the "Law of the Jungle", simply because this is that state of anarchy which everything will collapse into if and when you remove society's laws and regulations.

Personally, I'm a whole lot more concerned with the end result of laws and regulations than I am with punishing criminals and whatnot other sinners have you (I have very little interest in those types): Whatever is necessary to create a state of reasonably predictable economic order is fine by me. If this can be achieved without wasting a lot of time and other resources on penal codes and incarceration systems then I'm in favour of this more fiscally sound solution.

At the same time I do believe that the harsher the environment they have to endure, the tougher the criminals you'll get -- so if it is at all possible to use carrots instead of sticks, I'm all for that.

One word: Pills.

Drug the bastards. Keep them on ecstacy 24/7, or something. Better a giggling lunatic than a resentful gang banger. It's cheap and it pacifies. Which will leave the rest of us free to get on with our business. Which is the point, after all, isn't it?
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