These are major assumptions that make sense

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Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik »

FlashDangerpants wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:55 pm The real thing you can learn from the trolley problem is how to spot a fraudulent moral philosopher. Anybody peddling a solution to it doesn't understand the subject matter properly.
You say nothing of interest. All moral philosophers are frauds. As far as applied ethics is concerned - the trolley problem is solved by the principle of no harm/least harm.

In practice people routinely make these calls. Literally everywhere in our social institutions and infrastructure. It's risk management 101 stuff.
Like grounding the Boeing 737MAX to minimize harm; or would you say that's completely unjustified because the trolley problem is unsolved yet?

If you are trying to tell me that you can't decide between 100% human mortality and 95% mortality you are the fraud.

Probably because you are appealing to some logic. Or some "objective authority "to give you the correct answer.

If you want to learn about ethics talk to doctors, not philosophers.
FlashDangerpants wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:55 pm You gave me this 80/20 rule stuff with no explanation of what the 80 or the 20 is. That was supposed to be your answer to a charge of laziness related to your target selection for genocide. It wasn't sufficient, therefore it was just an extension off the laziness.
I gave you the link to the Pareto principle. What is it that you don't understand and want me to explain?

Genocide is a lesser harm than total extinction.
FlashDangerpants wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:55 pm You have yet to show a real reason why it has to be the Chinese that die. All you seem to have is that it feels convenient for you to pick that section of the world population to murder. You've declared that if a terrible price must be paid, it should be paid by distant people who you have never met.
A real reason - you mean a reason that satisfies YOU? I gave you a reason.

You can tell me why it doesn't satisfy you.

Remind yourself that while you twiddle your thumbs unable to make a decision you are (in effect) choosing the default option: extinction.
Much like a doctor who can't decide which gangrenous leg to amputate first is killing their patient the longer they remain indecisive.

FlashDangerpants wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:55 pm You might as well set up death camps in every country. Use a lottery to decide which 20% of the population you murder and then render into food for the survivors.
That goes against the principle of least effort. I am going after results. You are going after fairness still.
FlashDangerpants wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:55 pm Your booklet is not that great. You are sort of citing lots of things that sound like cold logic, but you are using them sloppily.
Ahhhhh. There is your appeal to authority - you think I am appealing to logic here. No I am not.

I am merely being transparent about my reasoning process.
FlashDangerpants wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:55 pm What you have here is a flawed mishmash of sort of objective sounding concepts being thrown into the mix to justify unacknowledged subjective choices.
"objective-sounding-concepts". What dream-world do you live in?

Welcome to reality. Where objectivity is a social construct and all decision-making (CHOICE!) is made by humans using the principles I have outlined to you (least harm, prioritization/triage, least effort-maximum effect)
11011
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by 11011 »

Logik wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:46 am
surreptitious57 wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:45 am War does not result in mutual satisfaction even if it is sometimes necessary or unavoidable
I was actually thinking of something where disagreement could be resolved more amicably
The primary objective is "avoid extinction". First you have to be alive to be satisfied or unsatisfied.

Can you think of a way to resolve extinction more amicably?
embargo?

i understand your line of reasoning, but it assumes a cut and dry scenario where china or any other particular country really is the source of the problem.

what if this becomes a pattern?

say we blow up china. right now. done. co2 emissions now at nonthreatening levels.

oh but look, now Indonesia's industry has taken off, with support from the rest of the world - just like china - exploiting their cheap super controllable labour force to maximize profit margins. let's have another round of investment big wins for the developed world!

ah, now Indonesia's starting to put out too much co2, time to blow them up!

Next!

see the pattern?

strategically, if we were to make a decision right now given your parameters, it would be most advantageous to the survival of the species to blow up - taking into account the immediate AND long-term issue - China and the US or whoever invests heavily in these countries to sustain their economy effectively driving the threat from a distance.

so who invests the most in china? (pretty sure it's US, with some additional responsibility divvied out among other countries)

if we are going to resort to war, then blow up them and china or the cycle will just repeat itself and threaten the survival of the species once again. cut it at the root.

that's the correct practical decision that would deal with the problem (as you've outlined it) on the whole. blowing up just china would only delay its resurrection some more years.

and assuming you're american, how does this sit with you?
Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik »

11011 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:16 pm embargo?
Hence - why I keep saying that war is break glass/final resort.
11011 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:16 pm i understand your line of reasoning, but it assumes a cut and dry scenario where china or any other particular country really is the source of the problem.
It assumes nothing of such sort. It isn't even about pointing fingers or allocating blame or having a sacrificial scapegoat.

It's about: "What's the fastest way to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% after everything else we've tried has failed" ?

Eliminate the biggest contributors. Got better ideas?
11011 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:16 pm what if this becomes a pattern?

say we blow up china. right now. done. co2 emissions now at nonthreatening levels.

oh but look, now Indonesia's industry has taken off, with support from the rest of the world - just like china - exploiting their cheap super controllable labour force to maximize profit margins. let's have another round of investment big wins for the developed world!

ah, now Indonesia's starting to put out too much co2, time to blow them up!

Next!

see the pattern?
What if you spend too much time playing the "what if" game?
11011 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:16 pm strategically, if we were to make a decision right now given your parameters,
But we wouldn't. Because right now we have other options.
11011 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:16 pm and assuming you're american, how does this sit with you?
It sits with me better than extinction.
11011
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by 11011 »

huh, lol, i should have just followed from the beginning, i am too chill

anyway, back to basics:
surreptitious57 wrote:
What if my moralistic framework says it is right and your moralistic framework says it is wrong ?
Do you have a methodology that will resolve such a dilemma to mutual satisfaction every time ?
war is the opposite of a methodology that would resolve a dilemma - any dilemma - to mutual satisfaction :?

you know mutual satisfaction means everyone is happy right?

also, assuming that priority - the desire to live - really is first in all humans, pretty sure it's at an individual level. i am pretty sure plenty of humans would risk the extinction of the entire species to live themselves rather than die in a war so the rest of the world can live on lol, so you're confusing individual welfare with greater good with that whole 'avoid extinction first' thing. indeed, you have to be alive to be happy, yes ME, not you, not a billion other people. so your reasoning became disjointed there.

so that methodology won't do. it's structurally unsound.
FlashDangerpants
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by FlashDangerpants »

Logik wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:02 am
FlashDangerpants wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:55 pm The real thing you can learn from the trolley problem is how to spot a fraudulent moral philosopher. Anybody peddling a solution to it doesn't understand the subject matter properly.
You say nothing of interest. All moral philosophers are frauds. As far as applied ethics is concerned - the trolley problem is solved by the principle of no harm/least harm.
Let's try looking at this a different way.

Suppose I invoke a new principle I have established called the Principle of the Fucking Obvious to declare that hotdogs are not sandwiches and Die Hard is the best XMas movie. I do so because neither judgment is worth expending effort on and this principle of just taking my initial instinct and declaring it fact is therefore the best option for me to deal with these pointless debates.

It's great, I have a perfectly acceptable way for me to not get bored by conversations about whether the sausage is nestled between two extents of bread, or hiding in a space within one bread. Have I fixed that controversy for all time? No, I just haven't participated in it. That's your solution to the trolley problem in a nutshell. You picked your course of action, as most people would, and ignored the matter of the right and wrong of choosing who lives and who dies, the bit that actually makes the problem impossible.
Logik wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:02 am In practice people routinely make these calls. Literally everywhere in our social institutions and infrastructure. It's risk management 101 stuff.
Like grounding the Boeing 737MAX to minimize harm; or would you say that's completely unjustified because the trolley problem is unsolved yet?

If you are trying to tell me that you can't decide between 100% human mortality and 95% mortality you are the fraud.
Has it been me complaining at you about that element of the thing? I thought I had just accepted it for the sake of argument. I am taking issue with some of the stuff around it instead. It's this stuff that is my general target, the rest is fluff...
Logik wrote: Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:34 am My objective morality.
Although I only spotted while grabbing that where the 80% bit I'd missed was lurking. Which I'll admit fucks me up quite a lot and I suppose under the terms of your original hypothetical scenario I at least get why you have to pick on the Chinese in this scenario.
Logik wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:02 am Probably because you are appealing to some logic. Or some "objective authority "to give you the correct answer.
I should hope I am not, I'm a moral skeptic so that's the last thing I would be doing.

Logik wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:02 am
FlashDangerpants wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:55 pm You gave me this 80/20 rule stuff with no explanation of what the 80 or the 20 is. That was supposed to be your answer to a charge of laziness related to your target selection for genocide. It wasn't sufficient, therefore it was just an extension off the laziness.
I gave you the link to the Pareto principle. What is it that you don't understand and want me to explain?

Genocide is a lesser harm than total extinction.
Ok, as noted I guess I fucked myself on that one.
Logik wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:02 am Welcome to reality. Where objectivity is a social construct and all decision-making (CHOICE!) is made by humans using the principles I have outlined to you (least harm, prioritization/triage, least effort-maximum effect)
Would it not be more accurate to just dispute that there can be such a thing as objectivity or independent facts in the realm of ethics? This 'objectivity means collective subjectivity' thing is likely to get viciously circular on you.

I don't believe your list of principles there is comprehensive, any such list that is absent justice, fairness, mercy etc is simply not a description of ethics.
Last edited by FlashDangerpants on Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
11011
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by 11011 »

just finishing up my thoughts from before:

also your 'framework' isn't very generalizable...so i'd hardly call it a methodology

like even fully grasping your example, that people in general have the best chance at living - i.e. not going extinct - by going to war with china, that decision making process is totally predicated on the alternative being DEATH OF THE ENTIRE SPECIES

lol

that's not how it is in everyday moral decision-making or in the vast majority of cases...and no you can't just apply it down, it's categorically unapplicable, since there are many instances where the alternatives have no practical relation to life or death of individuals let alone the species as a whole

i see this all the time. people forcing life or death situations to simplify issues; rather than deal with complex moral issues that divide people and prevent wide support/consensus, they try to make the actual situation worse in order to get people to agree lol. the lowest common denominator. it's how communism, etc, is justified

that might work in reality in some cases but you can't do that in philosophy...philosophy tries to deal with the complexity of reality as is that's why philosophy exists, not move the goal posts (especially significantly, like by making everything about life and death which is unrealistic even in the most unadvanced human societies) to make the issue easier to resolve

whatever methodology, it has to be applicable to a society as a whole, not situation specific, that is the point, otherwise it will not satisfy the conditions mentioned at the outset, which is to go beyond moral relativism in a general sense, and on issues where moral relativism is actually applicable which are typically not life and death issues
Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik »

FlashDangerpants wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm Suppose I invoke a new principle I have established called the Principle of the Fucking Obvious to declare that hotdogs are not sandwiches and Die Hard is the best XMas movie. I do so because neither judgment is worth expending effort on and this principle of just taking my initial instinct and declaring it fact is therefore the best option for me to deal with these pointless debates.
Naturally. You are free to do that. All principles are arbitrary.
Principles have nothing to do with facts. Principles guide our decision-making when examining facts.

e.g Scientists appeal to Occam's razor. But it's entirely arbitrary. Medical proffesionals appeal to Hickam's dictum.

Principles are mere heuristics to guide us towards desirable outcomes.

FlashDangerpants wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm That's your solution to the trolley problem in a nutshell. You picked your course of action, as most people would, and ignored the matter of the right and wrong of choosing who lives and who dies, the bit that actually makes the problem impossible.
I didn't ignore it. I deemed it inconsequential.

Much like a doctor deems it inconsequential which gangrenous leg to amputate first.
FlashDangerpants wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm Has it been me complaining at you about that element of the thing? I thought I had just accepted it for the sake of argument. I am taking issue with some of the stuff around it instead. It's this stuff that is my general target, the rest is fluff...
The rest is not fluff. Your nit-picking is fluff. Who dies is immaterial. Reducing the CO2 emissions rapidly is material.

In fact - if you can erradicate China's entire economy without killing a single person - do that. If time allows for the luxury of such precision.

If you think there's some fair algorithm for deciding who gets the nuke in their back yard - use that.

Reduce CO2 by 80% in a week/month/year however you see fit.

FlashDangerpants wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm Although I only spotted while grabbing that where the 80% bit I'd missed was lurking. Which I'll admit fucks me up quite a lot and I suppose under the terms of your original hypothetical scenario I at least get why you have to pick on the Chinese in this scenario.
Because the objective is maximum CO2 reduction for minimum effort. China happens to meet the criteria for Return-on-Investment.
FlashDangerpants wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm I should hope I am not, I'm a moral skeptic so that's the last thing I would be doing.
Yet you speak of "right" and "wrong" when it comes to who dies?

Who dies doesn't really matter. Whether any individual dies now or in 65 years (the average lifespan) - whatever.

What matters is somebody remaining alive.

FlashDangerpants wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm Would it not be more accurate to just dispute that there can be such a thing as objectivity or independent facts in the realm of ethics? This 'objectivity means collective subjectivity' thing is likely to get viciously circular on you.
Sure, but it doesn't matter. The absence of "moral facts" has never been an obstacle to moral action. At the end of the day decision-making lies with humans and facts (like anything else) is just information. It informs - it doesn't decide. Humans decide.

We don't have to know precisely what "right" and "wrong" is. All we have to know is that "more murder is undesirable" and "less murder is desirable".

You have a metric - you have a direction. That's sufficient to track moral progress at social scale.
FlashDangerpants wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm I don't believe your list of principles there is comprehensive, any such list that is absent justice, fairness, mercy etc is simply not a description of ethics.
justice, fairness and mercy are luxuries of a civilised society, not a society on the brink of extinction.
Last edited by Logik on Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
11011
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by 11011 »

some more things to consider:

also, how solid of a basis is survival as first priority? can we really take that for granted or is the strength of that - how it hits us - a logical fallacy? in particular, appeal to commonsense...

certainly it is a common feature of american culture and other especially western cultures to prioritize individual survival above all else...but is that reality, even in the west? in other words, is it actually a universal value, more universal than say happiness?

we also have to consider to what extent the prioritization of survival is actually culturally indoctrinated and valued not just innate, where it takes on a value above and beyond basic individual judgement or 'instinct', where the culture regards those who survive favorably giving kudos and all, as if it's a mark of achievement - achievement - this is typically viewed as something higher on the hierarchy of needs than basic life preservation. so priorities can clearly occupy multiple dimensions, serving not only 'basic needs' but self-esteem, achievement, etc.

and then there are cultures that place no importance on survival of the individual; such individuals may die with smiles on their faces for a cause as they blow themselves up for their god, or go to war, etc. even western cultures die prematurely with smiles on their faces on going to war, because of the subcultural value on dying for their country, even in the west, in that institution.

and does this present a confounding variable, since war is part of the resolution in the methodology in question?

in other words, if war is esteemed in many cultures - i dare all - which it kind of is despite anti-war rhetoric - or no one would joint he army - how do we separate this out from the innate value/priority of survival?

so i ask again, can we take survival as 1. for granted? how strong is that basis?

is it really universal? and if it common or not, does the why matter when it comes to objective morality? if prioritization of survival is bound by time and place, can it be a component of an objective moral system?
Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik »

11011 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:53 pm some more things to consider:

also, how solid of a basis is survival as first priority? can we really take that for granted or is the strength of that - how it hits us - a logical fallacy? in particular, appeal to commonsense...
If we are extinct what else could possibly be more important?
11011
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by 11011 »

not survival that's for sure lol

if you are dead you're no longer in a position to evaluate survival, which means only the living can evaluate the importance of survival; and by living, inevitably people come to take life for granted, that is living affects people's valuation of life, they may also adjust their valuation of death, for example older people seem more accepting of death, and very old people may happily urge its coming. if survival was really number 1., and especially if it was innate, then even in old age people would not accept death or even want it, which also suggests that survival is partly a culture-bound value, that there are culturally sanctioned 'times to live' and 'times to die'...

which leads again to my question: what is priority? if culture can override the supposed life preservation instinct...

although i suppose it's possible that maybe humans got some program that makes them sacrifice themselves or accept death when they become useless...so i suppose 'survival of the species' could still be a valid cornerstone value for an objective moral system...but then you'd have to account for all the species-destructive sh*t humans do...

anyway i am just raising considerations for the thread or conversation as it stands in general because i actually don't have enough background in moral philosophy to properly evaluate your system, though i quickly looked up some key terms and that's where i got the idea of questioning whether the value in your system meets the conditions for an objective moral system
Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik »

11011 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:59 pm not survival that's for sure lol

if you are dead you're no longer in a position to evaluate survival
Do the living believe the future exists or not?

Is evaluation a priori, a posteriori or both?

I find it incredibly difficult to reason about Friday when extinction is due on Thursday.
11011
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by 11011 »

how about tuesday and wednesday?

if you go to war you won't be able to watch the simpsons

the weakness of using avoiding extinction as your value is that practically speaking it is impossible to predict such an event (extinction) to a precise moment in the future, such that war would unanimously be more beneficial and the literal choice would be survival or extinction - nothing else would matter because those are literally the only two options. i understand this is just an example - this co2 thing - but i am trying to come up with another realistic scenario where it would apply and i am having trouble, also i am not really in the head space for it atm so maybe i will revisit this later...

in reality, and in all cases (can you provide exceptions?) where 'avoid extinction' might figure in a rational calculation of what to do, other things would factor in enough for 'avoid extinction' to lose its absolute unanimous deciding factor assuming rationality unless 1) under the above condition (i.e. guaranteed, tomorrow), or 2) you manage to convince the world that preservation of the future is unconditionally most important where any outcome resulting in extinction at any point fails rationally speaking, which isn't invalid though more ambitious.

the fact is, it is not necessarily irrational to choose extinction. it would only be irrational if avoiding extinction really was number 1. priority among humans, but it isn't, not unconditionally, at least not as humans are now in this world. expression of this can be seen in everyday choices, like people doing things that knowingly shorten their lifespan or taking risks.
surreptitious57
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by surreptitious57 »

II0II wrote:
the fact is it is not necessarily irrational to choose extinction
No it isnt and that scenario would arise when survival was actually less preferable than extinction

An obvious example would be very high levels of radiation after a nuclear war. Life expectancy would be very
short and death would be slow and painful - in that situation I would definitely prefer extinction over survival
And especially if the population was so decimated and diseased that propagation was not a realistic possibility

Who wants to be a zombie dying from leukemia in the last days of humanity ?
Compare this to being dead and free from all suffering for the rest of eternity

No one of sound mind would freely choose the former and so sometimes extinction is the right choice to make
Death is nothing to be afraid of unless remaining alive no matter what the actual quality of life is is your goal

When a random meteorite hit Earth 65 million years ago it wiped out 95 per cent of all life - including the dinosaurs
What also happened was that the planet was covered in sulphuric acid that prevented sunlight from getting through
But even worse the acid polluted the entire atmosphere and so the oxygen supply became immediately contaminated

So we dont need to imagine any apocalyptic hypothetical future scenarios since this actually happened and it also lasted for hundreds of years
Any oxygen breathing species like us could not survive such an atmosphere for so long - we would as a consequence be extinct in no time at all
Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik »

11011 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:56 pm how about tuesday and wednesday?

if you go to war you won't be able to watch the simpsons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_preference
Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik »

surreptitious57 wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:52 am Who wants to be a zombie dying from leukemia in the last days of humanity ?
Somebody may.
surreptitious57 wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:52 am Compare this to being dead and free from all suffering for the rest of eternity
You ignore the asymmetry of choice.

While you are alive you can choose to become dead at any moment.
While you are dead you can't choose the alternative.

It's not a 2-way street.
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