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Old 02-17-2009, 02:33 PM   #13
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 345
Re: The Magnifying Glass

Hi Peter,

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. I am not sure I fully understand the logic of this point. Why would Mr Hay and I need to argue, when we are both arguing against you (though from different standpoints)?
Precisely because you are arguing from standpoints sufficiently different, your views are at odds with one another's even if you are joined in arguing against me. That, and until Erick came in (welcome Erick!) there were only three speakers in the room, and two of them were not addressing each other.

PAG. Not necessarily. Like the 'success' of your preceding paragraph, 'privileged' is a slippery term. It would certainly include the Founder himself. In his early life, Onisaburo Deguchi did all three things, but he was certainly not privileged.
Grease it up enough, and any term will become slippery. But I don't think I'm using terms in any particularly occult way, and I try to be clear about my meaning and use in any case. I still hold that any voluntary privation (Gandhi, Mother Theresa, et al) are for the privileged. But this is a digression from our main discussion.

PAG I used eudaimonia in my previous post specifically as used by Aristotle, who also clearly denied that it was pleasure (in the Nicomachean Ethics).
Yes. And what Aristotle calls "good" (virtý) is what I would say will ultimately result in pleasure. If the Wikipedia article is to be trusted (I claim no expertise), it is particularly telling that the notion of sacrifice is not seen as desirable. That, at least, is consistent with my thesis.

PAG. So, how would your position be different from that of a utilitarian like Bentham? In the example I gave in my earlier post, of the doctor lying to the patient, two ethical principles conflict. Aikido is of no help in such a case because it is not an ethical system.
I don't know Bentham, but I would say my views on a hedonic philosophy are meant to be very utilitarian. But some utilities are certainly better than others. In your case of the doctor, choices must be made for the greater good of the patient, and the doctor/patient relationship.

More on your last sentence above, um... below.

PAG. Ah, Ross, you are giving with one hand and then taking away with the other.
[Laughs] Now THAT would put me in some rather exalted company, don't you think?

The way you have set up the disjunction is an example of "writing in such a way to cause confusion".
You have given us the choice of agreeing that aikido either (a) promotes a greater good (which you yourself have defined to be maximum pleasure), or (b) must foster suffering or indifference. I agree with (a), but not with your definition of (a), and disagree with (b), which I think is a 'straw man'.
Apologies if that seems so. But I genuinely am interested in your defense of aikido as "not ethical." Particularly, if you agree that aikido "promotes a greater good" (even if we disagree for now on how to define "good"), how can ethics NOT be intrinsic to the art?

Respectfully Yours,

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