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Author Topic: Diego Destroys Western Philosophy: The Thread  (Read 463 times)

Tut

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Re: Diego Destroys Western Philosophy: The Thread
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2018, 04:05:57 pm »
I will debunk this insanity piece by piece.

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.

Except unlike science and math, there is no morality found in nature. The human mind creates it. Science and math do not have to conform to the mind because in both fields, there is an external truth that we are capable of reasoning out. When such an external truth does not exist, the only thing we can rely on is the human mind.

Any argument against this would effectively have to claim that morality is as objective as math, which is demonstrably untrue.

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.

I didn't think I'd have to argue about this one, because it's extremely self-evident. I'm not sure what you'll accept as "proof," but I think explanatory power is fairly important when assessing the truth of a generalized statement such as "people act in their own self-interest." Going off of that, I know of very few instances in which people voluntarily act in ways that are diametrically opposed to their interests. Nearly all individual actions can be explained by self-interest, even if it may not always be rational. Individuals join groups not because they believe the group will be improved, but because they believe the group will defend them. Parents lay down their lives for their children due to their selfish desire for their progeny to live. I continue to feed my cat because I selfishly enjoy cuddling with him. I could go on.

I would argue, in fact, that it takes a tremendous amount of brainwashing to force individuals to act against their own interests. I would cite collectivist institutions such as organized religion and the military as an example of this. Meanwhile, if we look at the individuals in our society who have experienced the least collectivist indoctrination-- small children-- we find that they are some of the most egotistical, self-interested people on the planet. After a couple decades of schooling, this eventually changes. It takes a village to indoctrinate a child.

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.

I've already addressed this. A rational person understands that if he obtains power and infringes on the rights of another-- silences them, harms them, kills them-- then another person in power will be able to do the same to him. I don't accept the premise that committing murder, even with a "guarantee" of not being caught, is the rational thing to do. The golden rule is guided by caring for others. This mentality is guided by caring for oneself. While the outcome may be the same, the rationale is different.

I also did not assume an equal probability of recurrence. I simply implied the possibility of recurrence. Utilitarian probability calculus is not necessary here.

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.

This paragraph makes a number of assumptions, none of which I'm comfortable with. Most importantly, it assumes that the system is worth preserving and perpetuating. You seem to place value on the system based simply on the virtue that it is a system. You respect order. I don't-- at least, not inherently. In fact, looking throughout history, I see very few systems that I would consider worthy of preserving. Order is not inherently a virtue. This is an enormous fallacy on your part.

I won't even get into the fact that humans aren't components in a grander system. We're the individuals who created the system in the first place; we're not gears and cogs that were assembled for the purpose of something larger than ourselves.

From what I know of you, you're interested in engineering, statistics, and mathematics in general. I recall you've also been involved in organized religion. You think of things in patterns and rules as most humans do, but you also seem to believe that order is inherently superior to disorder. It's a very Hobbesian worldview-- but even Hobbes thought that revolution was sometimes necessary. I don't think I've ever encountered someone with this much of an obligate bias towards order and authority. You are the archetype of the liquid person.

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.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume this was tongue-in-cheek. You've offered no numbers or facts either in your comments. While you say you can cite examples, you don't cite any. You also say that if freedom detracts from a system, it becomes a vice. This is at best not an inherent truth, and at worst an outright unjustifiable opinion.

I think your biggest stumble in this debate is the assumption that I share your belief in society/humanity moving towards something. I don't. At least, not at the expense of individual freedom. Liberty is the end-in-itself; the things it produces (innovation, capitalism, choice, competition, scientific advancement) are merely by-products of something that is already morally justified. There is absolutely nothing to bolster your statement that a system takes precedent over freedom aside from your own personal opinion about what we should be striving for. Again, I note how inherently subjective utilitarianism is. Because your goal is subjective, you'll have a hell of a time convincing everyone else who lives in your "perfect system."

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.

I'm glad you raised this point. Here's how I think we elect corrupt leaders.

1) A collectivist system indoctrinates our youth. It tells them to respect authority. It tells them to follow rules that infringe on their natural human behavior. Most importantly, it tells them that orderly systems are more important than individuals.
 
2) These children grow up believing in something greater than themselves. They believe humanity is striving towards a goal. Despite the indoctrination process, no two individuals have the exact same goal in mind. Some believe in an Islamic caliphate. Some become racists, having grown up thinking only in terms of collectives. Others, like yourself, see technological advancement as the ultimate goal. In any case, they put this goal on a pedestal, as their parents, teachers, and priests have told them that "it's important to believe in something greater than yourself."

3) This new generation becomes politically active. Like every generation, it is completely divided. Gradually, they coalesce around various leaders. Some of these leaders are sponge-people who genuinely believe in a "greater good" for their people-- Mao and Hitler, for example. Others are self-interested, but not rational-- Kim Jong Un. In the first case, the goal takes precedent, and carnage ensues. In the second, the chosen leader and his cronies set about ransacking the country, irrationally believing that their actions have no consequences.

4) The people, despite everything, avoid revolution. It is antithetical to everything that's been drilled into their brains. They trust the system. They're glad that the trains run on time. They respect order and authority, even when all evidence points to the undeniable fact that what is happening is against their own interests. When made aware of this, they meekly concede the fact, but maintain that this does not matter, as their own interests aren't important against the will of the collective.

If the people truly acted in their own interests, they would not follow these leaders in the first place. It is ideologies like yours that cause them to blindly support dictators, tyrants, and thieves.

 

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