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Author Topic: Diego Destroys Western Philosophy: The Thread  (Read 479 times)

Reign in Treet

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Re: Diego Destroys Western Philosophy: The Thread
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2018, 10:15:58 am »
Alright, I finally have some time.

It is extremely incorrect to say that morality and the human mind must "work together". It is equally incorrect to say that because only the human mind is capable of realizing what morality is that morality should not wish to change the human mind.  In the study of science, we don't care much about what "works together" with the mind. If science yields a position and the mind refuses to accept it, the mind is wrong. The mind must conform to findings in science and mathematics. Reality constructs itself in a way and we are forced to accept it, whether we "like it" or not. The "lesser minded" on science aren't granted relevance in the scientific debate. The same should be true with morality.

Morality, like anything else, can be approached with a scientific eye. As we understand more about psychology, neuroscience, and human evolution, you will see that certain principles, such as collective well-being, are very evolved into us. Collectivism can be seen everywhere in nature, and we can study the benefits of it on animal civilization. Therefore, all facets of moral questions don't purely rely on the human mind for creation. They, like science, only rely on observation and interpretation of the evidence.

There are several champions of these subjects that I'm rather fond of. Sam Harris, a proponent of maximizing well-being, makes compelling arguments that morality entirely falls into the domain of science, and while I partially disagree, I do agree that as we know more about neuroscience and psychology, more about the mechanisms of morality will become less metaphysical and more scientific, thus expanding the glove you think should fit perfectly. Once again, humanity will have to reshape its mind to fit the evidence.

That being said, the evidence yielded from the fields mentioned above does not list humanity's primary function as self-interested. Rather, that is mostly a cultural indoctrination stemming from individualistic societies, like the one you and I live in. I also would like to add that the large amount of historical evidence that can be examined across all generations showing how subservient human beings can be yields the same skepticism in regards to your statement.

You saying that a rational egoist will not do things to harm others through some mechanism that sounds remarkably like a golden rule derivation.  However, that is not the logical position at all. Rather, a calculation of how likely is a negative result likely to occur would ensue. Take a person who has a self-interest in murder. That person may not commit said murder in the middle of NYC due to the fact that he would obviously get caught and spending the rest of his life in jail would be very contrary to most's self-interest. However, given a hypothetical circumstance where said person could commit the murder with a guarantee of never being caught, that person ought to do it. It fulfills his self-interest. The other person may not like it too well but that person's suffering need not be taken into account by the first. Your position relies on assumptions of equal power distribution and equal probability of recurrence when a the cost of a "wrong" act is calculated.

Let's examine the world in terms of systems. Systems work because all of their individual mechanisms perform the functions they are supposed to perform. If there is some guiding principle that says the responsibility of each component is to help ensure the grand system works as best as possible, then the system will maintain itself just fine. However, let's say each component works for the sake of itself and the functioning of the system of a whole is just a consequence of each component pursuing its own self interest. It's not too difficult to derive that when parts of the system acknowledge that they can pursue their best interests in opposite of the system's overall interest, that those components will and the system is not as stable. The continuation of the system is no longer necessary based upon the rules that have been established.

You say freedom is a good thing and that calling it irrational is rather silly, but you offer no facts or numbers to support that. Defense of freedom is very valuable at times, very detrimental at others. It is up to a cold, dispassionate calculation to discern which. Blind defense of freedom is irrational, and I think I can cite plenty of examples to prove that. You, on the other hand, don't cite examples for your defenses. When freedom detracts or impedes from the better-functioning of the larger system, it becomes a vice.

Utilitarianism works so long as people follow the rules that get established and follow the cold calculations even when they don't serve their own interests. If they don't and don't constantly act in the image of the "greater good", they are not utilitarian at all. So the "corrupted leaders" you are assuredly use a "greater good" mask for something else. Rather, I would think they would fall more in-line with the rules of your philosophy. Given that much power, why shouldn't they pursue things out of self-interest? What consequence to themselves could they incur that would make it not in their own interest? In my theory, that person would be forced to take the weight of the suffering he would cause into account and that would assuredly make "self-interest" obsolete.

For the record, fields of science, medical research, and mathematics are prime examples of how "humanitarian" people can be, so that's not a good example. Most scientists know they will never win a Nobel. Most don't get jobs at prestigious universities. However, they still spend 10 years of their life getting a PhD and work in academic research for much less pay then they can get in industry programming computers or designing automobile components. I would say "for the betterment of the world" is a philosophy championed by many in these fields.

 

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