These are major assumptions that make sense

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surreptitious57
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by surreptitious57 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:58 am

Logic wrote:
While you are alive you can choose to become dead
While you are dead you cant choose the alternative
I have no problem being dead for all of eternity once I do die regardless of whether or not it was freely chosen by me
Death is inevitable because we are all going to experience it eventually so arguments about lack of choice are invalid

Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:00 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:58 am
I have no problem being dead for all of eternity once I do die regardless of whether or not it was freely chosen by me
You don't know that because it's not (and can't be) an informed choice. You might get on the "other side" and instantly (and eternally) regret it.

Here's at least one plausible scenario: This is The Matrix. You are heading for Zion when you "die" (wake up).
Here's yet another: The Hindus are right and you are re-incarnated back here.

Better the hell you know ;)

Just about the only argument that works for me is death-curiosity. "I am bored of this place - lets see what's on the other side. I know that it could be even worse, but I am willing to take the chance."
surreptitious57 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:58 am
Death is inevitable because we are all going to experience it eventually so arguments about lack of choice are invalid
False analogy. Death is the death of one. Extinction is the death of all. Simultaneously.

If we all wanted to be extinct we would Seppuku all together, right now.

surreptitious57
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by surreptitious57 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:55 pm

Logic wrote:
Just about the only argument that works for me is death curiosity I am bored of this place - lets see whats on the other side
I know that it could be even worse but I am willing to take the chance
There is absolutely no evidence that death is anything but eternal non consciousness and not only for humans but all life as well
Religion was invented to overcome our irrational fear of death but if you rationalise it instead then there is no need for religion

FlashDangerpants
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by FlashDangerpants » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:33 pm

Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:47 pm
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.
Do you really mean arbitrary here? Surely any such principle applies to certain sorts of situation and not others. Occam's razor doesn't seem like a useful way to decide between salad and soup for a starter. So assigning a principle for application to a situation would be instrumentally irrational if that tool were entirely inappropriate for said situation. Then there would seem to be some principles that while sort of related to the variables involved in situation at hand, don't seem to be relevant anyway (e.g. "Democracy is doomed because ... too many cooks spoil the broth").

So you see, if we consider the point you were responding to rather than the weird segue, you can invoke the Pareto Principle if you like for the purposes for which it is useful (deciding hoe to achieve a goal efficiently). But it's instrumentally irrational to try to use it to decide what is right and what is wrong. It's a management theory, not a moral tool.

Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:47 pm
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.
PotAYto PotAHto. In either case, you took the the key element of the problem, discarded it without answer, and then pretended you solved the whole thing. The trolley problem is not a question about what would you do ... more or less everybody irl would do the same thing. It is a question of what makes a choice morally right or wrong. It's got no solution because it offers only morally wrong options, that is the point. If it were so easy to answer, it wouldn't get discussed ever, it is boring in every other respect.
Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:47 pm
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.
What's the point in that? Your hypothetical is set up specifically to create a situation where all available choices are evil and one is less evil than the rest. If we inject any element of plausibility into it such as simply not exporting fossil fuels to China, the whole thing is pointless.

Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:47 pm
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?
Skeptic, not nihilist.
Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:47 pm
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.
Yet you speak of "If you believe in objective morality (and I do)".
Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:47 pm
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.
I'm having some difficulty working out what your actual position is. Is it some Hegelian thing where morality is like history and only visible from a perspective that isn't available to the individuals participating in the actual events?
Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:47 pm
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.
I see little value in a description of the principles of morality that only applies in a blasted wasteland where all morality is rendered irrelevant and decency is suspended for the duration of world ending hostilities. Perhaps we could describe it as it applies in actual use.

Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:30 am

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:33 pm
Do you really mean arbitrary here? Surely any such principle applies to certain sorts of situation and not others.
Occam's razor doesn't seem like a useful way to decide between salad and soup for a starter. So assigning a principle for application to a situation would be instrumentally irrational if that tool were entirely inappropriate for said situation.
Then there would seem to be some principles that while sort of related to the variables involved in situation at hand, don't seem to be relevant anyway (e.g. "Democracy is doomed because ... too many cooks spoil the broth").
You are strawmanning. In any one situation more than one principle is appropriate.

Choosing any one of the appropriate principles is arbitrary. e.g Occam's Razor vs Hickam's dictum.

Justify why you are seeking the simplest explanation when you are studying the most complex system in existence (the universe).
FlashDangerpants wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:33 pm
So you see, if we consider the point you were responding to rather than the weird segue, you can invoke the Pareto Principle if you like for the purposes for which it is useful (deciding hoe to achieve a goal efficiently). But it's instrumentally irrational to try to use it to decide what is right and what is wrong. It's a management theory, not a moral tool.
I am not using it to decide what's right and wrong. I am using it to decide what is "more wrong" and "less wrong" given the options A and B.

Both Extinction and Genocide are wrong. Genocide is less wrong.
FlashDangerpants wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:33 pm
PotAYto PotAHto. In either case, you took the the key element of the problem, discarded it without answer, and then pretended you solved the whole thing. The trolley problem is not a question about what would you do ... more or less everybody irl would do the same thing. It is a question of what makes a choice morally right or wrong.
Trolley problems are not about right and wrong. Trolley problems are about degrees of wrongness.
FlashDangerpants wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:33 pm
It's got no solution because it offers only morally wrong options, that is the point. If it were so easy to answer, it wouldn't get discussed ever, it is boring in every other respect.
There is no formulation of the trolley problem in which everybody dies. Including the person pulling the lever and all humans on Earth.
FlashDangerpants wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm
What's the point in that? Your hypothetical is set up specifically to create a situation where all available choices are evil and one is less evil than the rest. If we inject any element of plausibility into it such as simply not exporting fossil fuels to China, the whole thing is pointless.
I think you are missing the point. Of course every philosopher (moral or otherwise) knows how to play the re-framing/re-interpretation game.
In this case of moral philosophy the relativist wins every argument.

The point is - I am playing the relativist game but relation to Extinction. If the death one person is "evil" (or bad, or wrong, or undesirable, or it's just going to make me cry) then by induction the death of all people is "the greatest evil". It's not objective morality, but it is objective immorality.

And objective immorality is still a moral fact.

Of course, for the sake of contrarianism you could argue that extinction + killing one pony is more evil.
FlashDangerpants wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm
Skeptic, not nihilist.
There is no difference between skepticism and nihilism in practice.

Nihilist says: Life is meaningless anyway. Doesn't bother with pulling lever.
Skeptic says: I doubt there is a such a thing as right and wrong. Doesn't bother to pull lever.
FlashDangerpants wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm
Yet you speak of "If you believe in objective morality (and I do)".
Indeed. I do. Look in the mirror on this one.

We agree that genocide is the lesser evil to extinction, yet you are not going through with the preferable course of action. You are still indecisive.

Your new moral dilemma is thus: the longer you are NOT-committing genocide - the closer we get to extinction. There is a point of no return at which it becomes too late to act.

By choosing not to choose genocide you have inadvertently chosen extinction. Not-committing genocide is immoral.

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:18 pm
I'm having some difficulty working out what your actual position is. Is it some Hegelian thing where morality is like history and only visible from a perspective that isn't available to the individuals participating in the actual events?
I don't even know what that means? Are you having difficulty giving a label to my position, or are you having difficulty understanding the consequences/implications of my position?

I have taken the consequential/epistemic route to morality. The Pyrrhonic-skeptic definition of "knowledge" is absence of uncertainty.

Even outside of morality "facts" are difficult things to pin down. "All swans are white" was a fact until we found some black swans.
But here is a statement that is 100% certain to be true: not all swans are white.

I don't know the color of all swans, but I know it's not white.
I don't know what is "right", but I know what is wrong.

By induction. If murder is wrong then genocide is wronger and extinction is wrongest.
Logik wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:47 pm
I see little value in a description of the principles of morality that only applies in a blasted wasteland where all morality is rendered irrelevant and decency is suspended for the duration of world ending hostilities. Perhaps we could describe it as it applies in actual use.
I am not sure we can describe it via use or otherwise, because I don't what "relevant morality" looks like on a planet without humans.

Morality is a social construct. No society - no morality.

11011
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by 11011 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:27 am

yes, but no society, no humans. humans are the most social animal on earth. born in isolation they are dead, and since from birth they will bond with each other - assuming nothing gets in the way of that - and desire to, and morality arises from social bonds, is morality not in and of itself - aside from the particulars - for all intents and purposes innate?

yes there is an experiential component, but the inclination is to develop morality

moreover, children seem to have an innate sense of unfairness. how they go about dealing with it - whether they lash out, accept it, negotiate, etc - is another matter, but they from a young age, and this is independent of bonds (though these may influence how they deal with it), show resentment toward those who 'unfairly' have more.

consider also that people learn to be immoral, including immorality relating to survival, and if survival is in fact not innate, but something that is conditioned - due to social reliance - then there is no innate motivation to be immoral, immorality being the supposed result of a person just concerned with survival, having lost the luxury of morality. but if there is no true instinct to survive on the individual level - and indeed isolated individuals may be prone to suicide - then there may also be no incentive for immorality, that immorality is in fact a social construct, another means of social adaptation, or condition of bonds to one's society.

Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:44 am

11011 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:27 am
is morality not in and of itself - aside from the particulars - for all intents and purposes innate?
yes there is an experiential component, but the inclination is to develop morality
Some morality is innate. I imagine it is a positive selection criterion - moral and cooperative creatures survive for longer.

Is just that when you are on the brink of extinction that argument doesn't fly anymore.

First you have to exist before you can be moral. If we don't exist - neither does morality.

11011
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by 11011 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:08 pm

there is no you exist without morality, humanity cannot exist without morality due to its social nature

morality is like a tamer version of the program that governs bees' behaviour, in that we can override it to some extent or apparently make choices based on free will, but it still drives us toward pro-social and group behaviours and in some form constitutes a need onto itself

you can't separate human existence from morality, all living humans are more or less moral, that it may be corrupted or perverted in some does not erase its existence

on the brink of extinction we adapt morality, there is no 'first we exist', it was always there since our inception or we wouldn't be alive

the notion that morality is separate from survival is based on an overly religious and limited notion of morality, not true to its nature, our nature

Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:12 pm

11011 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:08 pm
there is no you exist without morality, humanity cannot exist without morality due to its social nature.
on the brink of extinction we adapt morality, there is no 'first we exist', it was always there since our inception or we wouldn't be alive
I don't buy that premise. The animal kingdom exists without inter-species morality. To claim that "humanity" wouldn't exist without morality is to claim that no species can exists without morality.

This is demonstratively false.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solitary_animal

11011
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by 11011 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:40 pm

i don't understand why people make comparisons between the 'animal kingdom' and homo sapiens

we are ONE species. the animal kingdom consists of MANY species. why would you compare behaviour between species with intra-species behaviour? and within other species besides humans there is clear discrimination from their own and other species. moreover, as i alluded to before non-human animals do have a sort of 'morality' and that is their species preserving instincts, including cooperative behaviour, nursing/protecting young, etc. in the animal kingdom for the most part it is species vs other species NOT members of the same species preying on each other, and when they do intentionally harm each other it is not typically viewing the other as 'prey', but competition or something of that sort.

this is about intra-species morality, not across species. humans discriminate well between each other and other animals lol, based on their habitually hunting and eating the latter...and instinctively seeing no issue with this

i mean what did you eat for supper last night? LOL.

you can tell i am not an animal lover, actually i do think we should treat animals better, incidentally, at least kill them swiftly, don't make them suffer unduly, etc. but i don't know that instinctive morality applies to other species...i don't think so, although i would be interested in exploring an opposing view on that

Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:26 pm

11011 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:40 pm
i don't understand why people make comparisons between the 'animal kingdom' and homo sapiens

we are ONE species.

...
this is about intra-species morality,
Then your argument is even further off the mark.

If we are "one species" then you need to explain the food chain, and the proper protocol for moral cannibalism.

surreptitious57
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by surreptitious57 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:34 pm

Logic wrote:
To claim that humanity wouldnt exist without morality is to claim that no species can exist without morality
No other species has a pre frontal cortex as complex as ours that can understand the concept of morality - so any comparison is invalid
What is needed for existence is survival instinct and adaptability to change not morality - unless you are human - even then its not the
most important thing that is needed - if you are cold and hungry and cannot find shelter and food your morality will not save you at all

The reptilian part our brain is older than the mammalian part and it is that part which actually keeps us alive
You can go a lifetime without morality but if your hypothalamus goes you will be dead almost instantaneously

11011
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by 11011 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:43 pm

the species needs morality to survive, the individual's survival depends on the species, therefore the individual needs morality to survive

ex. without morality human parents wouldn't take care of their young and they would die due to the great dependency of human infants; if all the young die the species goes extinct

Logik
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by Logik » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:02 pm

11011 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:43 pm
the species needs morality to survive, the individual's survival depends on the species, therefore the individual needs morality to survive
Can you give us a run-down on the morality of jellyfish? Seeming as they have survived for so long they must be incredibly moral.

11011 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:43 pm
ex. without morality human parents wouldn't take care of their young and they would die due to the great dependency of human infants; if all the young die the species goes extinct
Jelly fish, Insects and turtles solved this problem with large number of offspring. Some will die, but many won't.

surreptitious57
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Re: These are major assumptions that make sense

Post by surreptitious57 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:10 pm

In the rest of the animal kingdom particularly bird species it is not unknown for the weakest to be left to die
while the strongest survive. It is easier for the mother to find food for two chicks than three. The two which
survive have stronger genes to pass onto the next generation as a consequence of there being fewer of them

In the insect species it is not unknown for some to lay eggs in a host using its body for shelter and nutrition
And the host can then be eaten alive and left for dead once the baby insects can fully fend for themselves

Crocodiles are at the absolute top of the food chain and have existed for at least 200 million years
They are afraid of nothing and only anacondas or pythons could match them in a fight to the death
They have been known to take down buffalo and have torque equal to a bus driving over your head

All of the above survive perfectly well without morality as indeed could humans if they really needed to
Therefore the suggestion or implication that morality is necessary for our survival is demonstrably false

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