Ethical consideration when using extended forms of sight.

Posted Sept. 3, 2011 by F_Alexander in Open

commented on July 11, 2012
by A I



A useful point and counterpoint to make for those who use extended forms of sight, whether you are seeing the quantum radiations of a person's "emotional body" (aura) or simply seeing right through their physical flesh:

Should we consider the act of looking at these other parts of the human as similar to looking at the mundane body, and therefore are we violating someone's privacy?
This is different. By studying the radiations or inner structure of the people around us we are gaining valuable practice and knowledge. We are also refining a form of sight that can be used to greatly benefit people, even those casually observed if we happen to spot a health concern.

I know my personal desire has been to follow the latter opinion, and just consider it being different and justified because it's "for science!"
But if we want to one day have a society where many people both possess powers and use them wisely, I think we should start constructing our behavior today in what will be the most ethical philosophy in the long run. I'm not saying that we should only acknowledge one of those two perspectives and abandon the other, as inflexibility often leads to clouded judgement in unforeseen situations. But I think as time goes on and more and more perspectives on such issues are raised, we should found our thought in a pattern of ethical consideration, one in which we consider the world we would one day like to live in and begin paving the way early with our thoughts and actions.

I should add that there is probably a caveat for many people who perceive people's emotional state, as I think that this affinity naturally leads to smoother interpersonal interaction between individuals when it is properly developed. My perspective here may be lacking, but at least in what I have experienced I have only known those forms of perception, when they bud forth from one's empathetic and institutional side, to be of a benefit to all person's involved.

  • A I Jul 11, 2012

    First, many abilties are passive, rather than active. So it's like sight or hearing. Not much one can do.
    SEcond such abilties are normal, maybe rarified but, eh...they are not superhuman.
    some peopel can paint really well. Not much differnt.
    PEr ethics, it's liek a knife it's the user. an abilityis a tool, so is money, charisma, or a good mind.
    The ideal is we hope that peopel use such things for the good of all. Not all do.
    That these thigns are natural, I try to emphasize.
    Often those who learn the have a abiltiy in life as somttimes they appear at certain ages. They can expirament. It's natural and they can make mistakes and haev good intent despite.
    OFten certain abiltiies, such as emapthy, one feels evrythign adn can repsnd to it identical to the person with the ailemnt so if your empathetic and someone has a panic attack, because the etheral bodies are united, your hormones will mimic those of that person to which focus is shared ad it's not always pleasant. TO feel soemoen who hates you, or fears you or judges you. can be uncomfortable at first.
    BUt again they are senses. Just inward rather than outward and most peopel they just are dormant or our beleifs systems cause them to be set aside...
    But, to separate such abilties from all other things seems unncessary as if you'll misuse a kinfe youll misuse such things.
    We always hope peopel act for the benefit for all in all cases.
    Tha most peopel with such abiltiies are often normal fallible people, same as anyone else. That is so improtant to gather.
    There is no uber-mensche, super human. Just people with diverse talents that as humanity is an organism, so ther are manykidns of people in th esame way we have difernt kidns of cells or differny system in the body or varying parts of any ecosystem.
    We are all equal. No one is better or worse than another. Comapsiron is one of those traits mankind has developed that causes nothign but harm.
    Again the ideal is that all people, in whatevr stregths or talents they are blesed with, use them for the good of all, nd recognise we share this world together......of the interconectedness of all things.
    Ethics being love in action to me, as opposed to morals, which are shared social values based on beleifs that evolve as society changes.
    one is belif based the other more insight based.
    Anyway, hope this was of use.

  • F_Alexander Sep 19, 2011

    Oh I see how I misread that now, sorry 'bout that! Your bringing up the notion of superhero stories and similar entertainment media as modern myth is well placed here indeed. I have heard different people express how such stories serve like myths in our time, but I think the value of that role only just now clicked in my mind when you presented them in this context, and gave specific examples.
    It's cool to think that they might be serving as lessons in "the ethical dynamics of cool powers" to any fellow nerds out there. It amuses me now to think how my friend who had the particular degree of vision I'm pursuing was also a HUGE Marvel universe fan, and sometimes he would indeed talk about the lessons inherent in different characters' narratives :-) I think next time I see him I'm going to ask if he ever thought about those themes in relation to his own life.

  • Saoirse Sep 19, 2011

    I think I may not have been clear enough on the myth/comic book issue. What I meant was, the ethical dilemma is one that has been a common theme in mythology over the ages -- the concept of beings with power beyond that of normal humans, who choose to use that power ethically or choose to abuse it. In a modern mythological context, Superman could use his powers to rob banks, and enslave people, but he chooses to use it ethically, while the Green Goblin, who also has powers, chooses to use his to victimize others. Darth Vader becomes too enamoured with his own powers and suffers the consequences, while his son chooses to use his wisely. Anyway, that's where I was going with it -- the fact that the ethics of using special powers has been a subject of conversation for humans for as long as we've been able to reason.

    On the other subject -- of course, the fact that I've never seen something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I've never seen an armadillo, though I would dearly love to! But they're well enough documented that I'm fairly confident they exist. :-)

  • F_Alexander Sep 18, 2011

    By the way, I'd say to go ahead and share real encounters you've had, even if they reveal that someone was a fraud. Some people might get uppity, but you're only sharing factual experience at that point so that's their problem :-)
    The one thing that people will feel justified anger towards, however, is if you carry forth the ideological banner that "all accounts of magic are just hollow myth and metaphor," as your first couple sentences reflected. There is a difference between people having "experiences they are just emotionally invested in" and "experiences as vivid as thermite molesting your retinas," so while you're dispensing Occum's Razor type information from the biological sciences just be kind and informative about it. If you have any big points you want to raise, like "why would we believe a person has objective 'psychic powers' if they have symptoms of a mental disorder," then don't feel afraid of raising them as threads, just make sure that your diction is analytical and avoids ideological flavoring whenever possible.

  • F_Alexander Sep 18, 2011

    Actually if someone is famous for being a "professional psychic" then chances are they would either be criticized or fully disowned by occult students, though I feel this often shows a lack of love on our part ^_^. This is because they usually suspect the "test and business" psychics to all be frauds.
    Now I can imagine that you have had someone approach you who really does possess abnormal abilities of a psychic nature, and in this case their failure is not unexpected. If we were in an unregulated and meaningless system, then of course we could show off any world-changing abilities we might possess, although most "psychics" still lack the training needed to be that reliable (more on that later). But life is a schoolyard setting, and we are discouraged from showing off in such a manner, especially when it is an ability which will deeply disturb our fellow humans. It is not right to "force" someone out of their old paradigm with some display, it is far better for them to slowly grow in a direction until they come upon and accept a new conclusion by their own agency. I know that I for one took some time to really take this lesson to heart, and learn when to share information and when to resist the urge. I have had many instances in which I received what felt like a karmic slap on the hand, and a few times in which I saw just how strange and moody someone gets when you force them into a state of doubt and uncertainty in their beliefs. It is hard to learn to share "what someone needs to hear" instead of "what I want to tell them."

    Another point that I always try to explain to people, is that there are a number of confounding variables that affect "psychic" processes. This is often an unwelcome topic among many spiritual groups because everyone wants to be right, they usually don't want to learn how some of their impressions were distorted by different factors from the environment or their own bodies.
    It is this education concerning the many variables involved and the mechanisms by which processes work, coupled with extensive training for reliability in one's technique, that create a divide between the person who is being taught officially and the person who must rely on sometimes diluted (or even dubious) information.

  • Saoirse Sep 18, 2011

    It's been the focus of superhero comic books forever, and the subject of myth long before that. And all of those sources are metaphors for more earthly political issues. It's hardwired into our biology to use whatever advantage we have to dominate others in the struggle for survival. So it's no wonder power is so often abused.

    Of course, it's only abuse, I suppose, if the "power" is real. I can't count the number of times that someone with "psychic" or "medium" powers has tried to demonstrate them to me and somehow the stars are always out of alignment or there's bad energy interfering or something, that coincidentally makes those abilities not work at the moment. I had a very enlightening encounter with one of the big name mediums as well, but I'd probably be stoned to death for talking about it here! I imagine they're pretty much sacred cows.

  • F_Alexander Sep 18, 2011

    Yeah, more recently I have indeed become much more sensitive to what might violate someone's privacy. I think the change in my mentality came none too soon and will be a prerequisite for my future conduct, but it's valuable to understand why I thought differently before:
    This all didn't seem obvious to me in the past because I thought of the situation in more detached terms I suppose. As if I was just an observing instrument which needed valuable practice more than I needed to consider the ethics of seeing more of someone's veins and tendons. It was because I wanted to develop penetrating sight so as to aid others in scientific proofs of that ability that I think my sense of ethical consideration got put in the backseat. The end goal just seemed more important. I'm embarrassed now because of how much that seems to personify that classic line of thought which has derailed so many well-meaning trains into dystopic abuse o_O, at least in literature at any rate.
    Yet again I think this kind of thinking is only further enabled by the sense of "double life" that someone finds themselves living whenever they are up to something that is un-discussed and separate from the public consciousness. Especially when people are allowed (or even encouraged) to publicly scoff at the mention of anything similar to what you do or what you believe, I think it stresses your resolve to "be the better person."

  • Saoirse Sep 17, 2011

    I think the same standards would apply to personal or casual use. I would find it unethical to spy on aspects of a person that would normally be private. I use the term "spy" because you'd be looking into a person's private life, without that individual's knowledge or consent, and I don't know what else to call that. If you found that there was a hidden camera in your shower stall, and someone had been watching you in the shower for the last few weeks, wouldn't you be upset? Sure you would. There's no creepier feeling in the world than realizing someone's been illicitly watching you when you thought you were alone. That's why it's such a staple in horror films. Even the folks who wrote the U.S. Constitution recognized the importance of protecting citizens from unwarranted invasions of privacy. So it seems pretty black and white to me. The fact that someone has the ability to spy on private aspects of other people's lives doesn't make it right to do so.

  • F_Alexander Sep 17, 2011

    Wow, where are all my homies at? Maybe this thread doesn't lend itself well to discussion :-/
    Not that the comment on scientific ethical guidelines isn't useful, I just hoped there would be some discourse and perspective on personal or casual usage. Oh well, maybe this is the wrong forum for that ^_^

  • Saoirse Sep 03, 2011

    I can only approach it hypothetically, since I'm not on board with it as a reality. But I can say that I would not take kindly to someone coming up and examining me without my consent just because he's a doctor and knows how. I don't think I'd feel any differently about it, just because it was done by a remote method. Even if it is "for science," there are already ethical guidelines in place, and research involving human subjects is supposed to reviewed in advance to make sure it falls within the established ethical guidelines. I believe the same ethical guidelines are appropriate for any research involving human subjects, whether it's research in the current paradigm or research into fields that aren't currently established.

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