Niklas Luhmann (1927 – 1998) was a German sociologist, and a prominent thinker in sociological systems theory.
He has shown why our social systems work the way they work. Instead of a "holistic" society, we always have only perspectives on society
and instead of a "holistic" morality we only have perspectives on morality. This is exactly what distinguishes a modern functionally differentiated society of a total system, such as the Christian Middle Ages.
Today, however, there is not even a separate subsystem called "morality" in society, according to Luhmann.
Morality can be a social weapon by discrediting someone morally . Or is it a personal thing, a psychological point of view. But for the functioning of the economy, politics, law and so on morality is completely irrelevant.
Just think of the situation that you have personal moral problems with what your boss demands of you.
When you quit your job, everybody knows that there are ten others willing to take over and do what is asked with the justification "it is part of the job".
The liability of an economic system is established by the rules of ownership, exchange, or money, but not by a morality whatsoever, teaches the sociologist.
Whether my doctor, my teacher or my bank advisor are "good" people, does not matter for their roles.
Whether in the system of justice, the economy, education, health or the arts, nobody is better paid, because he is a good person.
Luhmann even goes so far as to say that the task of moral philosophy is to warn "against morality". The more we demand morality in our society,
all the more unacceptable interference will occur; and the more the functioning of the systems would be disrupted.
An extreme view, but today we are quite willing to believe in this system theoretical approach of society, which seems paradoxically contrary to our increased individualism.
Something is wrong here, don't you think so? We all want to think of our selves, that we are good and moral people, but it seems that we have all kinds of tricks to hide our weak moments.
Yet we seem to live in systems in which we are just little cogs, where the system is not interested in our personal moral sentiments.
And we save our souls by thinking that we only play a role in the different systems, politics, work, friends, family.
You may regard society as a collection of systems, but these abstract systems are themselves collections of concrete systems, of individual moral beings.
And when you realize that, you understand how necessary it is to be well aware of that in every "role" you play.
As Luhmann suggested: The more we demand morality in our society, all the more unacceptable interference; and the more the functioning of the systems would be disrupted.
"the more UNACCEPTABLE" interference" ??? On the contrary, I would say!. Like we saw in the debates about bonuses for malpracticing bankers and managers,
I think exactly that we must dot: disrupt all the systems by moral debates, like the Chinese president Xi Jinping started a national campaign against corruption and self-enrichment.
And according to an article in my newspaper today it works! And it even has reached Youtube.
A local party boss was fired because he had organized a very costly diner with exclusive dishes for comrade bosses and investors. Who is paying the bills here ^_^
[13:20] herman Bergson: Thank you ^_^
[13:20] Gemma Allen: interesting
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:20] Gemma Allen: there are so many examples of that
[13:21] Gemma Allen: personal morality in conflict
[13:21] herman Bergson: Corruption is one of the biggest problems in this world....
[13:21] Gemma Allen: with the business
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: yes and thats a huge problem
[13:21] Debbie DJ: so while we are little cogs, we need to conform to the machine...
[13:21] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma, but the individual is often pushed aside, because this is how the system whichever works
[13:22] Gemma Allen: right
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: as long they make money they dont care how much they pollute or how many dies in the process it seems , At least not if the alternatives reduce the yield for them
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: awful
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: that kind of thinking have to stop
[13:22] herman Bergson: There you have it Bejiita....you talk about "THEY"
[13:23] Debbie DJ: Large corporations can do anything, including kill people so long as they make a profit.... My quote...
[13:23] herman Bergson: But these "THEY" are moral human beings just like we are
[13:23] Gemma Allen: well
[13:23] abstrusia: the problem starts with everyone of us
[13:23] Gemma Allen: it depends on how they look at the issues of money
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes abstrusia....
[13:24] herman Bergson: and our tendency to conform to the group
[13:24] Debbie DJ: The problem is us ;) we are not separate from the world...
[13:24] Gemma Allen: this was one of the reasons that unions were developed in the first place
[13:24] abstrusia: did everyone of you pay taxes for your scrubwoman?
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: the problem starts with juristic persons as they do not have any kind of morality
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: yes but it seems that wen they are behind those shields that are their company and are the big bosses there they loose all perspective of morality, The same analogy sort of like when u are in the car u get more aggressive ( road rage) then when u are out walking around people
[13:24] Gemma Allen: to help the workers overcome the lack of morality of the business owners
[13:25] herman Bergson: yes...and this is how revolutions initially stat....as a conflict of values between different groeups or systems
[13:25] Gemma Allen: regarding fair wages
[13:25] Gemma Allen: fair hours
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:25] herman Bergson: It seems to me that the basic cause of all this is the economic system....
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: those are important things indeed
[13:26] herman Bergson: one the one hand....complete collectivism failed....
[13:26] Debbie DJ: Remember too that the corporate bosses have their own support group of peers, that provide a consistent "moral" framework...
[13:26] herman Bergson: on the other hand capitalism failed too...
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes Debbie.....that is where Luhmann was right....
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:27] herman Bergson: morality from a certain perspective only exists...
[13:27] Gemma Allen: i was reading in the new york times about your countryman who produced studies of the human brain that were not true at all
[13:27] Gemma Allen: forgot his name
[13:27] herman Bergson: Stapel?
[13:27] Gemma Allen: yes
[13:27] Gemma AllenGemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:27] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:27] herman Bergson: Was not about the brain....
[13:27] Gemma Allen: ah
[13:27] herman Bergson: he is social psychological researcher
[13:28] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:28] herman Bergson: was a psychologist
[13:28] herman Bergson: a disaster this man....
[13:28] Gemma Allen: i guess all his morality was justified by his mind
[13:28] herman Bergson: we also have a cultural antropologist for you who did the same on an equal scale :-)
[13:28] Gemma Allen: oh swell
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes, but now he is crying crocodile tears.....this Stapel fellow :-)
[13:29] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:29] herman Bergson: admitting that he did something wrong
[13:29] herman Bergson: Big article with photo in y newspaer last weekend...
[13:30] herman Bergson: I didnt take the trouble to read it....:-))
[13:30] Gemma Allen: probably teh same as was in the nY times
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:30] herman Bergson: But regarding the level of moral evolution we still have a lonfg way to go
[13:31] herman Bergson: Our brain is a tricky machine and certainly not in balance regarding all functions
[13:31] seekerp: i have a question, we r basing our morality on what?
[13:31] seekerp: God, biology ?
[13:31] seekerp: fear of death?
[13:32] herman Bergson: like for instance we are good in rationalizing our moral errors
[13:32] Debbie DJ: group acceptance!
[13:32] seekerp: meaning?
[13:32] herman Bergson: good question Seekerp..yes
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: aha
[13:33] herman Bergson: in fact at least in my opinion it is based on social behavior as has evolved in groups
[13:33] herman Bergson: so based on biology
[13:33] abstrusia: i think morality is the behaving to other individuals
[13:33] seekerp: has evolved from what to what and why?
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes it is abstrusia....
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: If you are in a group u get biased by their moral values even if they might not be right
[13:33] herman Bergson: morality is always defined in relation to the other
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: respect to another group or more in general
[13:34] Debbie DJ: Evolves continuously, as an interaction between the group norms and personal growth
[13:34] seekerp: so bees have morality too?
[13:34] herman Bergson: when you are alone on an island there hardly can be morality
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: bees only follow instinct
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: i think so
[13:34] seekerp: and we don't?
[13:34] herman Bergson: no Seekerp.....
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: we do but we also can make own desicions that are not hard coded into the brain from start
[13:34] herman Bergson: only organisms who can differentiate between good and evil have to make moral choices
[13:35] seekerp: thats is the key herman
[13:35] herman Bergson: Like Frans de Waal has demonstrated....
[13:35] Debbie DJ: words....
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: on thew other hand those have a base in instinct too i guess
[13:35] seekerp: i don't think there is good and evil
[13:35] herman Bergson: some monkeys, bonobos, have a real sense of unfainess
[13:35] abstrusia: and who use his personal moral choice?
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: very tricky how this works I think
[13:35] Debbie DJ: failing... bees don't know good or bad?
[13:35] seekerp: but of course try explaining that to regular people
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:36] herman Bergson: ok..no good and evil....
[13:36] seekerp: in my opinion the same goes for good or bad
[13:36] herman Bergson: then use the word acceptable and unacceptable behavior in the group
[13:36] Debbie DJ: ok..
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: evil for me is to make other suffer for example and good to make others happy
[13:36] herman Bergson: for instance....
[13:36] herman Bergson: you get up walk over and just kill Beertje...
[13:36] herman Bergson: beng...
[13:37] herman Bergson: no reason...just your whim...
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: that would be 100 evil act
[13:37] .: Beertje :.: noooooo
[13:37] seekerp: too many assumptions there, what uis happiness ? and u make others happy because u r happy or ust becasue it makes u feel good
[13:37] herman Bergson: A group can nit survive with such behavior among its members...
[13:37] Lizzy Pleides: i protect you Beertje
[13:37] seekerp: can we make a murderer happy?
[13:37] .: Beertje :.: pfew..thanks Lizzy
[13:37] herman Bergson: I am not talking about happiness....
[13:38] seekerp: that is morality
[13:38] herman Bergson: I am talking about the functionality of behavior in a group
[13:38] seekerp: what is the point then
[13:38] seekerp: we r moral as long as it can makes happy
[13:38] seekerp: whatever that means
[13:38] herman Bergson: the point is that your presence in the group becomes unacceptable when you like to use random violence against other members of the group
[13:38] seekerp: at least thats what we think as humans
[13:38] herman Bergson: simple as that
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: thats very logical
[13:39] seekerp: ok se we can say that morality is a rule?
[13:39] herman Bergson: in no socail group of mamels you see random violence...
[13:39] seekerp: dictacted by the fact that we want to live as long as possible?
[13:40] herman Bergson: it even is possible as I mentioned in another lecture to live without violence
[13:40] seekerp: but does that mean there is good or bad in the universe
[13:40] herman Bergson: yes seekerp...all organisms have a drive to live
[13:40] herman Bergson: that is plain biology
[13:40] herman Bergson: we also have like other social animals a desire to share and care for eachother...
[13:40] seekerp: i think if a person kills others for no reason the universe dont ''feels' that it was bad
[13:41] seekerp: only relative to our small brains
[13:41] herman Bergson: I am not interested in the univers...
[13:41] herman Bergson: I am interested in what the othermembers of the group think about it
[13:41] seekerp: well we r in the universe
[13:41] .: Beertje :.: the group sends you to the universe if you killme
[13:42] Debbie DJ: we are in a local vortex of the universe, our values come from our peers.
[13:42] seekerp: and to make our rules only limited to our brains is not all we can do
[13:42] Debbie DJ: ego...
[13:42] seekerp: if thats the case we wouldn't be going crazy about the central questions
[13:42] Debbie DJ: lol.
[13:43] herman Bergson: what do you mean by that seekerp?
[13:43] herman Bergson: anyway...
[13:44] seekerp: think about it we cant really think that we there were no planet earth the whole universe will disappear ( and with it the laws and even evolution as u guys said)
[13:44] Debbie DJ: Debbie thinks seekerp must attent lectures more often ;))))
[13:44] herman Bergson: I think that contrary to what a general oppinion seems to be in certain groups/systems....we HAVE to emphasize personal morality....
[[13:45] herman Bergson: and not as a personal issue only.....
[13:45] seekerp: sure but the confusion comes when people think there r moral rules written on stone
[13:45] Debbie DJ: agreed.
[13:45] herman Bergson: but we have to question the morality of the systems we are in too....
[13:46] seekerp: religion and political belief
[13:46] seekerp: sure
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:46] herman Bergson: They are not written in stone seekerp....:-)
[13:47] herman Bergson: the present economic crisis shows signs of such a beginning of a moral debate about the individual within the system
[13:47] seekerp: we must go guys
[13:47] seekerp: a pleasure
[13:47] herman Bergson: thank you for your participation seekerp...
[13:47] abstrusia: most people wants that personal morality starts at other persons, the politics, the bosses they should start, but wie are also part of the system
[13:47] Mouse Moorlord: thank you and bye
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: yes
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: aaa cu ㋡
[13:48] herman Bergson: Yes abstusia.....it is always 'the other" :-)
[13:48] Gemma Allen: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:48] herman Bergson: we are good, but the others are bad.....:-)
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:48] abstrusia: and so nobody starts
[13:49] herman Bergson: nobody will say of himself that HE is a bad person....
[13:49] Gemma AllenGemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:49] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:49] Gemma Allen: oh i know a few that do
[13:49] Gemma Allen: proud of it
[13:49] herman Bergson: but easily about someone else ^_^
[13:49] abstrusia: to loose morality in some parts of the life ist not unusual today
[13:49] Lizzy Pleides: many demand morality from others and are immoral themselves
[13:49] Debbie DJ: Gemma - that "Bad" means "Good"
[13:49] herman Bergson: no indeed...
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: sometimes i think politicians corporate owners ect are like kids in a sandbox throwing sand and mud on each other then pointing at each other yelling at same time " HE STARTED!"
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:50] herman Bergson: that is the problem abstrusia
[13:50] abstrusia: i often come home and say "i´m a whore"
[13:50] Debbie DJ: really?
[13:50] abstrusia: yes
[13:51] herman Bergson: that is as such not immoral I would say
[13:51] Debbie DJ: I thought i was alone in my self assessment :)
[13:51] herman Bergson: In old Rome you could have a job at the temple of Aphrodite
[13:51] herman Bergson: a decent job :-)
[13:51] abstrusia: :)
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:52] Debbie DJ: and these days there are good hooker jobs in the temples of sl...
[13:52] Debbie DJ: ✧✩*❤*✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩*❤*✩
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:52] herman Bergson: Besides that, society has a very ambivalent attitude towards sexual behavior
[13:52] herman Bergson: Indeed Gemma and well paid too :-))
[13:53] Debbie DJ: Sex inn itself is never immoral actually
[13:53] Gemma Allen: i did not say that
[13:53] Gemma Allen: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:53] abstrusia: no, because i know how the system is working, and my job is to help people saving taxes.)
[13:53] Gemma Allen: was deb
[13:53] Debbie DJ: ✧✩*❤*✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩*❤*✩
[13:53] herman Bergson: oops :-)
[13:53] Gemma Allen: WaaaHaHAhahAHA! AhhhhHAhahhAHhahHAH! haha!
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: hahahaha
[13:53] Debbie DJ: *:-.,_,.-:*'``'*ℋєєє ℋααααα ℋααααα ℋєєє ℋααααα ℋααααα*'``'*:-.,_,.-:*
[13:53] Gemma Allen: class is deteroriating
[13:53] Debbie DJ: sorry gemma... got you into trouble...
[13:54] Gemma Allen: hah
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:54] herman Bergson: yes.....time to thank you for your nice participation again :-)
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: aaa nice as always
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:54] Lizzy Pleides: Thanks to you Herman
[13:54] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:54] Debbie DJ: thank you Herman...
[13:54] Gemma Allen: hope to be here tuesday
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: cu soon
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: thanks herman - enjoy everyone ㋡
[13:54] Debbie DJ: see you next week... debbie rushes off slowly...
[13:54] .: Beertje :.: thank you Herman:)
[13:54] Gemma Allen: summer is coming fast now
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: hugs all
[13:54] Gemma Allen: summer break
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: welterusten Beertje ;)
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: ㋡
[13:55] .: Beertje :.: lacht..dankjewel Ciska
[13:55] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye ㋡
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: ㋡
[13:55] Debbie DJ: byeeee
[13:55] .: Beertje :.: welterusten allemaal
[13:55] Lizzy Pleides: good night everybody
[13:55] herman Bergson: Bye Beertje ^_^
[13:55] abstrusia: good night:)
[13:55] .: Beertje :.: bye:)
[14:06] VISTA ANIMATIONS CASUAL 2 MALE AO V09: 12% memory free (2030 Byte).
[14:07] WAINSCOT reports: Lizzy Pleides is on your land now!
[14:15] VISTA ANIMATIONS CASUAL 2 MALE AO V09: OFF