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Joined 2Y ago
Cake day: Jan 21, 2021


Yeah, we’ve all studied ethics. Ethics (no matter if you believe it’s inherent to reality or a useful construct) acts in two scenarios:

Yeah, I somehow doubt you’ve studied ethics, I’ve never heard any ethicist argue that ethics “acts” at all.

If the individual follows it, it makes them act in a way that serves society.

Ethics doesn’t make anybody do anything. Ethics allows us to study how we should behave and make better decisions.

It allows to create laws that apply to all individuals for everyone’s good.

Most legal scholars feel that we cannot or should not merely legislate ethics, but that law comes from another source – such as the will of the people in a democracy, the non-aggression principle, the social will according to Rousseau, fair principles selected from behind the veil of ignorance, the Leviathan according to Hobbes, principles agreed to by some land-owning collective, enforcement and protection of human rights, divine rule, national sovereignty, etc. And then there are obviously anarchists who believe in law, but not in ethics at all. Paternalism is a complex topic of debate. But it’s quite rare to meet a legal scholar who actually thinks that we should just legislate morality like that.

Ethics doesn’t state that “you should punish others when they act contrarily to ethics”.

Well, some ethicists do. It’s funny, people who study ethics usually know that.

Kant was a fun example. He thought that the proper punishment for violating a an application of the categorical imperative was to be treated as though you do not believe in that application – IE, if you killed somebody, you should be killed – but also argued that it would be impermissible, categorically, to carry out such a punishment.

That’s law. And the reason it punishes people is because that discourages them from acting in that way again. Free will, if you wish.

That’s one of a few common justifications for punishment.

Short list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punishment#Possible_reasons_for_punishment

Now, at the international scale there are no real laws. Implementation of laws depends on the ability of individual countries to enforce them, for their own interests. If we could create laws that affected every country, then yes, we could simply model these laws after ethics. But we can’t.

Right, international law is mostly an unenforceable facade.

So, in the example I gave you, suppose you are a citizen of country #2. I already stated that the best course of action for your country would be to side with country #5. But then, since you believe you should punish that country because it acted unethically, you will push your government to side with #1 instead. You tried to enforce laws that didn’t exist, and now you’ve acted against your best interests.

Oh man, I just read the rest of your hypothetical, it’s even worse than I thought. You not only argued that international ethics might be kind of different than interpersonal ethics, or that ethics can’t exist at the international scale, or anything like that, you argued that ethics are bad because they’re not Egoism (which is an ethical theory, and legit the worst one).

The best course of action for all nations is to do the right thing, and not the selfish thing, as is the case for all humans. This is not a question of law, this is a question of ethics, and your attempt to apply egoism as the necessary ethical theory and frame it as rejecting ethics entirely is insane.

I will always push my government to do the right thing, even if it costs us money or causes us inconvenience. Pushing your government to do the selfish thing is selfishness, and evil.

The mistake here is that ethics doesn’t deal with punishment. Punishment is specified by laws, seeking the best interest of society. But the best course of action here was not to punish, yet your instinct led you the wrong way.

I’m not talking about punishment. I don’t want to punish Russia. I want to sanction Russia to end the war and save the lives of innocent Ukranians and protect the integrity of their borders and send a message to the world that unjustified invasions will not be tolerated.


You know that US regime holds 20% of WORLD’s prison population, and it’s disproportionately minorities being used as literal slave labour right?

Disproportionately minorities. Convicted of crimes. Problematic. Bad. Should be fixed.

Not the same as people literally being enslaved for being Uyghurs without any individual suspicion of any crime at all.

I literally linked the source

Ah, for some reason, it wasn’t in the part I had quoted. I see now. I think you should maybe try reading the rest of that source.

anyway, I’m done with you, your putin-lovin’ is boring now.

you realize that you’re making assumptions about me based on the fact that I think you’re stupid, placing me in a category, and then insulting me based on membership in that category you assume I’m a part of?

I’ve expressed opposition to the US a bunch here. This thread is asking “why don’t people love Putin right now,” like it’s confusing. This thread is about Putin and Russia, and you tankies just don’t know how to talk about that topic because it’d require you to accept that somebody east of Ukraine or Israel can do something wrong.

my god, tankies just assume everybody who disagrees with them is a total idiot. my god, fuck off.

I gave you an answer, you just can’t comprehend the concept of engaging in critical thinking instead of following a one-sentence philosophy.

Tankies are a weird type of communist who doesn’t care about communism. I don’t care about communism much, myself. I think Tankies are dumb as hell for their shitty international political perspective. I still don’t care about communism in general, it’s a fine economic and political theory that hasn’t ever really been executed, I’d be curious to see it happen. I’m not an anti-communist, or a pro-communist, or even a US apologist, there are plenty of legitimate criticisms of the US, but tankies are just so god damn stupid, acting like the US is the source of all evil and Putin is a fucking saint, it’s really ridiiculous.

Cuba has higher literacy and life expectancy than US. 😂

it also likes to pay people in currency they can’t use to buy food and really loves to ban dissent. yeah, their citizens aren’t fed up with the bullshit at all, that extra eight weeks of life expectancy is totally worth not being able to get food.

Literally what people living in South Korea refer to it as https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/young-south-koreans-call-their-country-hell-and-look-for-ways-out/2016/01/30/34737c06-b967-11e5-85cd-5ad59bc19432_story.html

South Koreans saying “inequality is pretty rough, it’s kinda hell” is not the same a North Koreans saying “we don’t have any rights and regularly have to attend celebrations of our god-king, it’s fine, we’re not complaining, who’s complaining.” One nice thing about freedom is that you’re allowed to complain.

Oh and did I mention that US literally inspired nazis in the 30s, but even they initially thought that US segregation laws were too severe. I’ll repeat that Literal nazis thought US was oppressing Black people too much. Let that fucking sink in. That’s how utterly depraved US regime is

… you know that’s literally not how depraved the US regime is, right? You know we stopped segregation a while ago, right?

I’m not sure what your source is, but I assure you, the Nazis did, in fact segregate the Jews from the gentiles.

international politics is complicated. No one perspective is right, especially not one as simplistic as “west bad Russia good China good”

I said weird communists. Communists who are less concerned with communism and more concerned with a stupid, simplistic, geographic theory of international politics.

Meanwhile, the only reason Syria doesn’t look like Libya today is because Russia intervened. Imagine being such an utter ghoul to think that Syria being destroyed by US is a better outcome.

lol, you think Syria is doing well right now?

Cuba [is a] successful socialist [state] today


Meanwhile, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and many other countries are hell on Earth thanks to US.

Yeah, like South Korea, Japan… utter hell. So much worse than Belarus and North Korea…

see how the world looks when you cherry-pick data based on the assumption that west = bad and nothing else is true?

Ah yes, mild political shenanigans like overthrowing a legitimate government and putting right wing extremists in power.

“overthrowing” through political influence is different from “overthrowing” with tanks and missilees. And “we don’t like being invaded by Russia regularly” is not right-wing extremism.

Ukraine was in a civil war between the east and the west since the coup ignoramus.

Ukraine was engaged in a civil war before Russia joined in. Before. Russia did not join any war until this year. I love how you just keep doubling down when shown to be a liar and an ignoramus. Keep digging dronie.

I love how “ignoramus” is like the only insult you know. And I like how you just decided to pretend Russia wasn’t involved in the Donbas war and annexing Crimea wasn’t an act of war.

Communism is a different economic theory.

tankies are opposed to every single thing about the west. If Joe Biden said that pizza tasted good, tankies would stop eating it.

Also, love how you count Soviets killing nazis in WW2. Turns out you’re a nazi sympathizer as well. Not really surprising, but worth noting.

oh no, I thought you were just talking about deaths caused. I can start justifying American wars too, if you want to do that, America killed Nazis too, but its strategy wasn’t to sacrifice the meat-shields in Ukraine and then scorched earth the rest of the way until eventually launching a counter-offensive. I mean, whatever works, but damn, it was gruesome.

Meanwhile, let’s just take a look at a few things US has been responsible for in recent history

Lol, the USSR was equally involved in most of those wars, and Russia is fucking around in Syria right now too.

but yeah, nothing Russia did comes close to the proxy wars between Russia and the US.

Hostility towards Russia is literally the reason NATO exists.

NATO is a defensive alliance that only exists to discourage

Seems like it did given that NATO is becoming demilitarized while the economies of NATO members are starting to unravel leading to domestic unrest across the western world.

Good thing the Russian economy is doing great and its military hasn’t sufferend major losses at all.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Ukraine was a neutral country that had good relations with both Europe and Russia prior to US running a color revolution there that overthrew the elected government. You continue to out yourself as an utter ignoramus.

The US engaged in mild political shenanigans in Ukraine. That was wrong. So did Russia. The difference is that Ukranians were more upset with the whole “they’re actively murdering us” thing, both times it happened. and then, upset that it didn’t work the first time, Russia decided, “maybe more murder will help!”

Yes it was ignoramus. Go read up on what led to Minsk agreements. Eastern Ukraine rebelled against the regime the west installed in 2014 and there was a civil war ever since.

Yugoslavia was engaged in a civil war before NATO joined in. Before. Ukraine’s “civil war” was a war war, where also a few Ukranians joined Russia in the war.

That’s a pretty sad defense mechanism. “everybody who refers to me by the main word people use to refer to me is a dummy, nyahh”

I’m really not sure why this is a competition, but here’s a short history of the jaw-dropping death Russia has always liked causing, just what I could get from a quick search:





specifically or ww2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#Total_deaths_by_country

Note that I’m counting Russian civillian and military deaths against Russia, which I probably would with the US too, but seems particularly appropriate with Russia, since their main military strategy is just "we have more people and our land is very cold. Attrition and starvation!

Who the fuck taught you how politics works? liberals are left wing, tankies are radical left, fascists are radical right,

A marxist or a leninist is a type of communist, whereas a tankie pretends to care about communism while really only caring about talking about how the west is always wrong, and always the worst thing about the world, and how Russia, China, and the Middle East are always fine and can never do anything wrong (especially in comparison to the west).

just becaue you don’t like being called a tankie doesn’t mean tankies don’t exist, tankie

just becaue you don’t like being called a tankie doesn’t mean tankies don’t exist, tankie

Tankies think it’s fine because the US has a problem with it… or because NATO exists and that justifies whatever murderous reaction Russia might engage in.

… lol, you think 6 million people is a large number to Russia? Boy, open a history book.

false trichotomy. Like… super false, to the point of being nonsensical. I never even claimed to be anti-communist, but tankies are really stupid communists whose main theory is not “communism is good” but “the west is always wrong, more often than a broken clock.”

NATO wasn’t hostile towards Russia, though.

And invading Ukraine didn’t really help with that.

And Russia invaded Ukraine before Zelenskky took office.

And support for joining NATO was extremely low before 2014, and still rather low before the current invasion. Russia kept turning Ukraine against itself. And the rest of Europe. They’ve successfully scared a lot more countries into joining NATO. At the very best, this war has proven incredibly stupid for Russia.

Furthermore, Russia literally followed the precedent that NATO itself established in Yugoslavia to the letter. NATO recognized separatist regions then had them invite NATO troops as a pretext for the invasion. Russia used exactly the same justification and the international precedent that NATO created.

Yugoslavia was engaged in full-on civil war. Ukraine was not. That’s one huge difference.

you know, you’re right, we should start off by adding exceptions to the 1st and 13th amendments for you, personally.

You’re assuming individual ethics apply to large groups of people, which disregards the reason why those ethics exist in the first place. They exist at the individual level as an “acceptable” set of behaviors to discourage behaviors outside it. There are two important differences between individuals and countries:

Hang on, what makes you say I’m assuming? I’ve spent plenty of time studying ethics. I believe firmly that ethics apply to both organizations and the people who run those organizations.

And I don’t beleive that ethics exist for any reason at all, I think of them as fundamental reality of the universe. You might disagree, but it’s a pretty odd position to argue that ethics only exit to discourage particular behaviors. Maybe you’re thinking of laws, are you thinking of laws? Whatever, let’s go with your weird take anyway.

Individuals differ in their willingness to do harm or good, while for very large groups these differences simply disappear in every case.

… so we should stop discouraging groups of people to do harm? We should just tell large groups of people they can do all the harm they want, no sweat?

As I mentioned, every country acts for their own good,

This is descriptive, not prescriptive. And it’s not even descriptive ethics – descriptive ethics describe what people believe is ethical, you’re just describing what tends to happen. When we talk about whether something is villainous or not, we’re not talking about whether it happens or not, we’re talking about whether or not it should happen. We don’t say that Iago is not a villain because he acts in the way that he feels like acting, that’s not what villainy is about, that’s not what ethics is about, that’s totally irrelevant.

and if they do good it’s simply because that’s what it’s most useful to them at the moment.

… or because the people making decisions have some belief in right and wrong. That’s perfectly possible.

I.e. ethics do not offer meaningful judgements at that scale.

Why not? You haven’t explained any reason why they don’t.

Also – why can’t we judge the people in those countries who make unethical decisions? Why can’t we judge Putin? A very large portion of the vitriol directed as Russia is very explicitly directed at Putin, personally.

Individuals are overseen by governments, while countries are not. This means it’s impossible to reward or punish actors from outside the system, and any rules are created and enforced by the actors themselves. I.e. ethics do not offer any utility at that scale.

Oh, so I was right, you’re confusing the word “ethics” with the word “law.” I’m not saying “Russia is a criminal,” I’m saying “russia is evil,” ther’es a big difference.

There are 5 people. 4 of them make an agreement to beat up the 5th. This person learns of the plot against them and decides to attack each of the others separately, one by one, by just waiting outside their homes.

In this case, the 5th person should have simply called the police. What they did was unacceptable, since they attacked first, thus escalating the conflict.

However, at an international scale, things change dramatically. There is no police, so there’s just country #5, presented with a choice: either do nothing and get beaten up, or attack first. Did they act right or wrong? Well, it doesn’t matter, since there’s no way to change the result. The country will always choose the second option, and, furthermore, the other 4 countries will know damn well what #5 will do. In fact, they will not plot against it unless they think they are going to win in every scenario.

Now, imagine this happens, and country #5 has already attacked country #4. Now, the remaining 3 would be able to beat up #5. But let’s say #2 and #3 decide to side with #5 and beat #1; maybe in that situation they would suffer less losses, get better profits, etc. But in this case it’s in the best interest of #1 to oppose #5, and thus to keep #2 and #3 on its side, so it decides to convince the people on those two countries to hate on #5. Now they can’t side with it, since they would face backlash, so they need to co-operate with #1.

While a purely ethical analysis only concludes that ‘#5 attacked #4’ (which doesn’t provide any useful course of action), the more useful benefit analysis affords that #1 has managed to obtain the highest benefit, by manipulating #2 and #3 and capitalizing on conflict between #4 and #5. The useful course of action would have been for #2 and #3 to side with #5.

All you’ve done is explain why international ethics and international law might be different in some cases from individual ethics. You still haven’t given us any reason to just do away with the concept entirely.


It’s incredibly dishonest to pretend that NATO expansion justifies the invasion of a country that isn’t a part of NATO, wasn’t planning on joining NATO, and did nothing else to provoke Russia.

The US probably shouldn’t have expanded NATO as hard as it did. None of this justifies the invasion.

It’s tankies. The only principle they share is that the US is always wrong.

This isn’t about ethics.

It is for some of us.

Countries are not people, they only act in their own interest with exactly zero regard for anything else.

and acting in that way is unethical, and therefore villainous, and therefore worthy of villification.

Are you confused about why people villify things they view as villainous?

Russia attacked Ukraine because it was the least bad option for them (Ukraine joining NATO would be very bad for them), and the US imposes sanctions because it is also the best possible move, and now they can do it without facing backlash. And that includes propaganda if necessary, on both sides.

Okay but one of these things is murder.

Also, no, Russia’s attack on Ukraine was not the best possible move, Russia’s economy is pretty fucked going forward. It might have been the best rule for Putin, idk what internal Russian politics is about.

The point I’m trying to defend is that manipulating the public’s opinion is part of the global dynamic, and everyone should be aware of, and oppose it, to get what THEY want, rather than what the large-scale political chaos imposes on them. You seem to agree on that, so that’s great, I don’t see the need for further debate.

I didn’t say “I am totally neutral on Russia” or “propaganda is good,” though. Russia is just doing really, really bad things for which it should be criticized.


no, like, most countries get villified somewhere or another. The Iranian regime is under a lot of fire right now for obvious reasons. Everybody has some gripe or another with China (especially the Uyghurs). North Korea, Qatar, Brazil, Belarus, Mexico, both India and Pakistan, both India and Palestine, Australia when it tries to deal with the Internet… You know what, can you name a country that doesn’t get villified? I’ve even heard people spread FUD about Canada.

And almost none of those countries are doing anything right now as bad as invading Ukraine for… still basically no reason other than vague fear that they might have one day joined NATO.

Mandatory schools where doctors can go to learn how to be involuntary unskilled laborers and praise Xi Jingping all day long.

Forced reeducation camps -> forced labor. Calling that a concentration camp is pretty fair.

Russia decided to attack Ukraine in 2014, they only doubled down in 2022.

The “diplomatic solution” would be to not invade Crimea and then that’s it, problem solved.

Good thing all the Americans in that show are so great…

The Boys villifies one fictional superhero who was very much American, but was frozen in Russia. And a few other nameless Russian villains, in addition to a whole bunch of named and nameless American villains, and a few other villains around the world.

Do you have a response to the so-called “propoganda?”


I mean, Russia villifies Russia.

The west takes advantage of one more nutjob out there to say “see? do you really want us to cede more power to these psychos?”

But Russia isn’t like everyone else. They pulled CIA shit in Belarus, and they invaded Ukraine with no real justification. They’re just murdering Ukranians because Putin wants to be taken more seriously, or doesn’t like the idea of Nato having too much power in general and wants to swing his dick around to say “I’m too powerful, too.”

And even if you want to pretend that the US is just as bad as Russia… The west villifies the US all the time, we’re widely regarded to suck pretty hard. Why should we pretend Putin is a saint?

Sure, why not?

Fairness doesn’t imply total objectivity. Yes, it’s possible that certain writing styles or topics will resonate better with judges, but as long as no competitor has an unfair advantage (knowing something the other competitors don’t, bribing a judge, etc.), I’d still call the competition fair.

right, but that can be achieved by hiring engineers, funding education, funding research, etc. rather than whining and doing nothing and launching a pointless war.

All text I've written is licensed under the CC-BY-SA 4.0. Quotes, interviews, and photos are not licensed, for obvious reasons. Software: the blog runs on a fully Free software stack, which is really just [Ghost](https://ghost.org/) with [counter.dev](https://counter.dev/dashboard.html) for mimimal analytics.

Why doesn’t he buy supercomputers, or hire engineers to build supercomputers?