Best world scenario

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Judaka
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Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » July 13th, 2017, 6:35 am

I would argue that there are better or worse interpretations of justice, beauty and charity. For example you might decide someone is 'ugly' and then discriminate against them. Whereas a fairer person might consider more than outside appearance when valuing people. But I think you can go further too. You can recognise that beauty has a cultural aspect which is very subjective, a biological aspect which is subjective but can be closer to interpretation or perspective (using your definitions) and perhaps some more objective aspects to do with function for which something like beauty might be considered an unconscious attempt at perspective. I mean it's complicated and messy. Some people look ugly to me because their life choices are on display. Be that heroin addiction or arrogance or whatever. Others look ugly through some injury or disease. Now ugly is this blanket term, some people are ugly and deserve a certain level of judgement and others are ugly and deserve no judgement
I think perhaps what is really pertinent to our conversation is not "what is subjectivity" but "what is objectivity" because all I was doing by explaining the two different kinds of subjectivity was to help you understand why your arguments for a spectrum of subjectivity were incorrect, you were just jumping between interpretation, function and perspective and using language fallacies and this seemingly for you created a spectrum of subjectivity whereas really you were just looking at the same cube from a different angle. For something to be objectively true it must exist independently of thought and without having to be perceived or interpreted by anything or anyone, we have created things like the scientific method to demonstrate the existence of something independent of thought/opinion and if you understand all of this then why are you arguing that anything you've said is objectively true? You can argue that your perspective is based on biology, your feelings, your ideology it doesn't matter... you are the one who keeps saying interpretation doesn't change reality but then you come right back every time with a new interpretation that you try to pass off as being of reality. If this is part of reality, show me the evidence for that. Show me the evidence or accept that as far as we are able to tell it is not objectively true. If you come the conclusion that this is in fact just your opinion and you can't prove it is objectively true then you must ask what your requirement for belief in something as being objectively true might be, what are you willing to accept as true in the practical sense of how you live but are unable to prove actually exists? If your answer is less than nothing, then what separates you from a religious man? Doesn't he do exactly the same thing?

So it is somewhat cyclic. If you refuse to accept perspective which is correct due to interpretation which is wrong, then is the interpretation not wrong?
I would say it is but that is just my interpretation, whatever your answer is also just your interpretation. I believe that in order for this to be an objectively true statement, I need evidence that the basis for this conclusion isn't simply coming from me (as the observer) and in fact is true independently of what I think about it. That does not exist, so therefore I can't call it objectively true - that is all there is to my argument really, everything else has just been showing you why what you are saying is wrong - although by your own lecture to Christian forum members, that is not something I should have to do - I just did it because I wanted to show that this is not a "we simply don't know" but rather an "all evidence says it is subjective, but there is no proof to prove it can't be objectively true".
Absolutely and I said so. I have no answer to the axiom that life is not of value. I already agreed with you, 'life has value' is an axiom. It is not 'right' objectively. Or at least there is no evidence to believe this. Actually in reality there may be some purpose to the universe, it's just we don't know what it is and I can't think of any educated guesses.
Zeus may also exist, what is your point?
This here is the problem, you are happy to preach about the importance of "closeness to reality" and the scientific method, that believe mandates proof to others - condescend towards Christians and other groups yet when it comes to your own belief, there is no evidence that you practice anything that you preach whatsoever. Where's the evidence? Where's the evidence? Even when I disprove your claims - something in your words that I shouldn't have to do, you still persist! Tell me what is the difference between you and the religious types you disagree with so much? I don't see any but that isn't what bothers me, it is the hypocrisy and hubris which is all too common amongst atheists.
What do I preach that I am not practicing? Can you be specific please?
I can't be more specific than that, I am saying you expect others to provide evidence for their claims yet you provide claims without evidence.
And yet I'm pretty sure if I hit your thumb with a hammer it would hurt you and I'm pretty sure you would avoid such pain.
Not a relevant conclusion to the notion of valuing something or anything I said, but for the sake of argument, do you believe there are times where a different experience of a word is irrelevant? Only a small difference that does not lead to different behaviour? My opinion is that this is an oversimplification.
That is an odd statement. If God is defined as objectively good and his word is objectively good and he tells you to do something you say it's not good? Who is working off of evidence now?
I actually do not believe God would be objective if he were real, I think the only reason people see God as objective is because he does not have to provide reasoning for anything he says. God says "do not kill" and now killing is bad and God is objectively correct but to me, the moment he gave his reasoning for why we ought not to kill, even if it was "because I said so" I would then say "yes well, that is your opinion" nothing has changed at all. I suppose it comes down to what you define as "God", I think the notion of a nihilistic protestant is not contradictory but the notion of a Catholic nihilist is - in any case, I don't see how being all knowing, all powerful, the creator, omnipresent or anything else I have heard God defined as as being evidence that he would have answers for his views that were objectively true. I cannot comprehend the idea that I am objectively wrong here, it is unfathomable to me that interpretation could be called objectively wrong and the existence of God wouldn't change anything.
It is somewhat ironic that my position may be considered much harsher and more unforgiving than yours but in practice the conclusions I draw are consistently much more forgiving than the conclusions you draw. This is not ironic to me, but may seem so to others.
I think it is ironic but I am not surprised and I think it makes sense that it is the way it is, the reasoning behind this is because you have a self-assurance that comes with objective moral law - there is no real reason for you to do anything, naturally one does not have to assert what is objectively true - that's the definition of objective that it doesn't have to be! So for me, someone who believes that my view could be tossed out the window if people who believe in the things I believe in sit down and do nothing, that gives me more reason to care and more of an urgency that results in these more imposing views.
Again I don't get this. I believe in God the least possible. Yet if God exists then I would concede that he exists and change my behaviour appropriately.
It's not like there is nothing I would do differently, I would try to get into heaven... hell is worse than a lifetime of absolute misery so I would try to avoid that at all costs. However as far as my views becoming redundant or incorrect because of a God being revealed, I don't see that.
Seriously then why? Why do you value X over Y? Please describe your system for deciding what matters to you? and why something mattering to you matters to you.
I have already explained my ideal system but as for why do I value x over y - firstly I will say that it is not always a choice and I think this is fairly obvious when you look at it. There is just too much similarity between people, from totally different cultures, ages and sexes - my similarity to my parents and the culture I grew up in - all of these nature/nurture influences which at this point for me to change them would be incredibly forced and kind of absurd to some degree. My ideas of beauty, music, food, my interests and a large part of what I value is not something I really determined by choice, it has always been this way for me and I am sure it is the same for everyone else to varying extents. This is the starting point at least, for anyone who then begins to change their views willingly or nay.

From here there are a few big reasons for change... firstly is that I grow older, I meet new people - essentially my nature/nurture influences change over time and there's nothing I can do about that - I cannot preserve myself as I am now whether I want to or not. As for nurture you could also include experience/perspective/knowledge changes, for example a person who is robbed may find trusting others more difficult - perhaps he comes to value openness and a candid personality due to this experience. Being honest about this kind of thing is rare, whether the experiences are big or small, for me there are some that I am very aware of and some that are more subtle but I couldn't give you a point in time where I sat down and decided to change my views - for every single view I have changed over time and this is coming from someone who deeply values introspection and philosophy and whatnot.

Another big one is alignment, I have used this term a lot but perhaps I have also failed to explain this in a way that is easy to understand. Basically the idea here is that many values change because they fall out of alignment and this happens due to perceptive changes or values changing due to whatever reason. So for example I used to be a bit of a misanthrope and now I wouldn't call myself that... just a bit anti-social, and the reason for this change isn't because I suddenly decided not to be a misanthrope anymore. It was because I came to some discoveries and conclusions that changed my opinion - I got deeper into nihilism, I started to recognise the similarities between myself and others and once all this was done, I started to feel like a prick for being condescending towards others in the first place... all my reasons for being a misanthrope went away before I stopped being one. Alignment just means some conclusions rely on premises that are subject to change or that some conclusions were rejected based on a rejection of some premises which may later become accepted. Or perhaps you recognise one view to be very similar to a view that you hold or even that a view you hold promotes/values something that you have come to hate.

The last big one I will mention is experience with regards to consequences and causality, for example a lot of the things I really value now that I didn't before is because I've come to see them in a new light due to me misreading their purpose. For example - I used to really dislike extroverted people because I felt fairly uncomfortable around them and always felt talking to them was really boring since they weren't interested in the same things that I was and they didn't seem to think out their positions on things. I started to see all the advantages to what they were doing though, and realised that I wanted some of what they had - perhaps some of my disdain was in fact jealousy? I don't know, but I came to the conclusion that extroverts and introverts have strengths and weaknesses and I would prefer to have all the strengths and overcome the weaknesses of being an introvert. Trying to do that made me appreciate the skills many extroverts have and overall my opinion changed because of it. Again, I never decided to give extroverts a fair go because I felt I was being unfair, only because everything else started to fall into place.

On a grand philosophy scale, my views generally come from my smaller views if I'm being honest. I used to revile the idea that my thoughts were "corrupted" by culture but I cannot deny the similarities - what I call reasonable, or fair, and how much I care about certain things... it clearly doesn't come from nihilism - a philosophy which dominates my philosophical thought yet scarcely offers me any kind of advice on what to care about or anything of that nature. This is basically the conclusion I came to that made me more accepting of other peoples choices, that almost all of my views come from the same things I identify the views of others to have come from. Perhaps I can word it more accurately because I thought about it more, perhaps my views are more aligned but there is nothing about me that transcends what others experience or what they are.
Again why? By your own argument we are both interpreting things differently with no objectively correct interpretation which exists. Why would my interpretation cause you any consternation at all, I don't understand?
Moral objective law either exists or it doesn't, by my definition, this is not an interpretation. As I said from the start, if you believe claims require proof then there is no real argument to be had here, clearly there is no evidence to show objective moral law therefore the claim is absent of the proof that we require in order to believe it is the truth. I care more that perhaps someone else may have been able to convince you yet I wasn't able to and so this makes me a bit dissatisfied, especially since I have yet to hear anything more than baseless opinions to discredit what I am saying and so I don't know what I should take way from this entire discussion except that I am not articulating my views well enough or I am dealing with someone who is particularly stubborn. Either way it is less than ideal from my perspective - as for why I care about anything at all - as I said before, values are necessary for rational thought, for identity and to make sense of certain things. They make actions rewarding and they give light to life. Without my values, I would be an empty husk of a person and I can tell you this because I went through a period of dabbling with this very idea. That I thought there is no objectively true reason for me to interpret anything or do anything at all, not even breathe and the conclusion I came to was, may as well enjoy life and accept my nature/nurture personality for what it is. There is no reason to do anything but there is no reason not to do anything... that was my final conclusion and so I feel all that is left is to do what you want to do.

Eduk
Posts: 1609
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » July 13th, 2017, 7:33 am

we have created things like the scientific method to demonstrate the existence of something independent of thought/opinion and if you understand all of this then why are you arguing that anything you've said is objectively true?
Our interpretation must be considered subjective. Given that then how does the scientific method demonstrate any objective reality. I mean I think it does, that's more or less my whole argument, but why do you think it does? How can a subjective experience demonstrate an objective reality?

[qutoe]I can't be more specific than that, I am saying you expect others to provide evidence for their claims yet you provide claims without evidence.[/quote]
Please give me a specific claim. I'm not trying to be awkward I've made lots of claims (some of them probably contradictory as we've been chatting for a while now :) ). I work best with real world examples. For example you seem to be suggesting that I am saying there is an objective moral law (in the Christian sense). But this is not quite what I'm saying, though I can understand how you may see it that way. What I am suggesting is that given certain goals then there are objectively better or worse ways to achieve those goals (this is just logical?). If the goal of life is survival then lots of good morality about fairness, quality of life, equality, equity and so on can, I think, be demonstrated (again this is just logical?). Of course I cannot prove that the goal of life is survival is 'good'. So I cannot say it's objectively 'right' to survive. And all the claims about welfare only follow if survival is the goal. So likewise I can't say welfare is objectively 'good'.
In short I am not claiming that blasphemy is 'wrong'. I'm saying it's wrong if your goal is to have a good quality of life. I'm saying a good quality of life is only good if your goal is long term (evolutionary) survival. Survival in and of itself is neither good nor bad (or at least I can't prove it one way or the other or even start to prove it). Like I said though life without that goal is basically non existent. Oh and I don't really mean to use the loaded term goal. It's not like the first replicating machines had any goals at all, they just existed (or that humans constantly go about consciously having the goal of long term survival). Those that stopped existing stopped existing. Those that carried on carried on. That is all I mean by goal. If we carry on then we do so with actions which are 'good' for carrying on and we stop doing so with actions that are 'bad' for carrying on. Doing nothing is also an action. So if an asteroid destroyed Earth tomorrow then humans would have been demonstrated to not be 'good' enough at carrying on to carry on. Or if we kill ourselves with weapons or by ignoring problems etc. It is by no means a given that we will carry on. But if we carry on long enough we will at least be able to demonstrate a certain aptitude for carrying on. I think carrying on indefinitely would be impossible for life which was too far divorced from reality. This is life as a whole of course. So I consider being closer to reality to always be more advantageous than not being closer to reality (this again just seems logical?).
I actually do not believe God would be objective if he were real
Again in the Christian religion God is defined as objective. You seem to be talking about your own personal interpretation of God which differs from the normative definition. Now fair enough God is ill defined so it's natural that each human has their own different interpretation of God but on some things there should be an overlap. If God is defined as objective truth then if God exists logically God must be objective truth. Granted this makes no sense to you, but it's a thought experiment, I'm not saying that God does exist. By your definition Christian God may be impossible (mine too) but I'm saying ok but in this reality it turns out you are wrong, so deal with it :)
My ideas of beauty, music, food, my interests and a large part of what I value is not something I really determined by choice, it has always been this way for me and I am sure it is the same for everyone else to varying extents.
I am not 100% sure I understand you. You seem to be saying that the reason for interpreting things the way you do is because that is the way you were born and the environment you grew up in? So it is your nature and your culture to find x beautiful. Is there no room for consciousness? Logic? Reason? Facts? You mention about change, but what is the mechanism for change?

Judaka
Posts: 233
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » July 13th, 2017, 9:40 am

Our interpretation must be considered subjective. Given that then how does the scientific method demonstrate any objective reality. I mean I think it does, that's more or less my whole argument, but why do you think it does? How can a subjective experience demonstrate an objective reality?
We observe, measure, test and so on, in order to demonstrate that something is true and can be seen as true regardless of who looks at the evidence. We need to record and show the evidence so that it stops becoming a subjective experience and turns it into an argument based on the evidence - with the aim to make the evidence strong enough to substantiate the claim without the necessity of a persons particular interpretation seeing/interpreting the information in a certain way. We show it exists outside of our opinion by giving information that exists outside of our thoughts/interpretation.
Please give me a specific claim. I'm not trying to be awkward I've made lots of claims (some of them probably contradictory as we've been chatting for a while now :) ).
I don't think has been your argument but I am not going to argue with you, certainly a lot of what you've said contradicts the summary of your argument and even your argument itself doesn't seem to recognise "the goal of life is survival" as being an interpretation nor that arguments about how life can best survive can range from sacrificing people at the altar as to not incur the wrath of the Gods to pretty much whatever, it isn't self-evident like you are claiming. I think overall what your "argument is" has evolved over time to deal with the inconsistencies. Even I forgot about all of that, even the way you use the word "logical" seems to misunderstand the word logic which once against, does not imply objective truth but in fact interpretation... yes logical as a word is entirely interpreted because there is no such thing as logic as an existing, independent thing. It is entirely your interpretation as to what is "logical" and what is not, I still think you misunderstand the language fallacy you are using and what an argument of validity is. Secondly you have implied the existence of moral objective law so many times, I don't know what else to call it anymore - I don't mean it in any sense except to say that you believe there is an objective reality as to what is moral and what is immoral. If you recognise your premise is entirely subjective then why do you view the implications of it as something else? Why wouldn't your opinion be as subjective as any other claim? Do you still believe subjectivity is a spectrum? Do you still believe there is an objectively right way? I don't know what you have abandoned and what you are still arguing with anymore.

Your opinion is most definitely not based on evidence, seeing as we have been talking for a while and I have yet to see any evidence except you just saying it is true seems gives me a strong argument to say you don't actually have any evidence... I have asked for it so many times now. You keep saying people who don't think that the objective of life is survival are going to die without any evidence and I can make so many counterarguments and show many contradictory examples I don't know where to begin or if I should even bother since none of my examples of anything thus far seem to have done much. Perhaps you are just too set on this interpretation of yours? Is being wrong even an option for you at this point? You can think whatever you want, I only decided to debate you because I thought you cared about evidence... of course you can make up whatever you want if you don't care about validity or truth.
Again in the Christian religion God is defined as objective. You seem to be talking about your own personal interpretation of God which differs from the normative definition. Now fair enough God is ill defined so it's natural that each human has their own different interpretation of God but on some things there should be an overlap. If God is defined as objective truth then if God exists logically God must be objective truth. Granted this makes no sense to you, but it's a thought experiment, I'm not saying that God does exist. By your definition Christian God may be impossible (mine too) but I'm saying ok but in this reality it turns out you are wrong, so deal with it :)
I don't know what it would mean for me to be objectively wrong but it still wouldn't change anything for me, though you are right, the notion of a being having objective opinions is entirely paradoxical to me. I ask God should I go left or right? And he gives me an objectively correct answer... it's nonsense.

I am not 100% sure I understand you. You seem to be saying that the reason for interpreting things the way you do is because that is the way you were born and the environment you grew up in? So it is your nature and your culture to find x beautiful. Is there no room for consciousness? Logic? Reason? Facts? You mention about change, but what is the mechanism for change?
I feel what I said answers these questions... At the very basic level "value x is greater than value y" comes from something subjective. I have no idea what you mean by consciousness, both logic and reason are based off validity arguments and interpretations which are formed by my values and interpretations but these are often influenced by my perspective and experiences (facts). Facts also must be interpreted, their meaning is not implicit. How will you interpret them? With your values and interpretations, your mood, disposition and character and so on. This is the process of what I call alignment. Essentially it means that if I suddenly developed an obsession with whales and that become more important to me than anything else, so I dropped everything I was doing to campaign or fight against whale hunting then this would be a dramatic realignment of my interpretations based off this obsession. It is my new "axiom" as you like to put it, now much of my interpretations will become centred around it.

The mechanism for change... there are many. I described a bunch of them already so I am not sure what else you are looking for, I could give you some more examples if you want, maybe that will help you understand? When I was 15 I took Ritalin for ADHD and I had a bad complication with it, it rapidly turned me from being a relatively happy kid into a very depressed person and this was almost instantly reversed the moment I came off Ritalin. My dad told me when I was around 13, he and I would probably start fighting soon because I would go through puberty and that was common of people my age, I flat out said he was being absurd but what he said came true. When I became 20 I realised that what I experienced was recorded literally throughout history and was clearly biological and not something unique to me, even though at the time I felt I was being very rational and self-aware. Clearly hormones and other physiological factors play a role.

Interpretations can change by making choices, for example you could adopt a "positive mental attitude" and try to see things differently and this might result in your views becoming radically different. I know when I started working for the first time, I started to meet people who were very different from all the people I had met before and knowing them changed my opinions on certain things. I know that sometimes I go through phases of being particularly interested in something and then eventually losing interest, normal but a clear change in interpretation and values.

I feel there is enough evidence to support what I am saying to be true, if you disagree then I am happy to start give evidence but I would be in complete dismay that anyone would reject this reality tbh, it is obvious is it not? As for choices that people make for themselves, I think when you start talking about choices based off not experiences or changes but just because of introspection and contemplating you are talking about philosophy. I don't think philosophy plays a big role in many peoples lives, certainly I came to the conclusion of nihilism before I even knew what nihilism was, I may have been given some pushes towards it but only ever indirectly. I think ultimately though, initial interpretations create the foundation for any further interpretations and the only exceptions come from serious contemplation. I don't think perspectives hold implicit interpretations, we could both see and experience exactly the same life yet come out as completely different people but this is pretty much where my insight ends. I do not know the answer for where our personalities come from or why we interpret the way we do, all I can do is list some of the factors are are apparent, the nature vs nurture debate is ongoing. However if you want to say it is not nature and not nurture but free will, that is a profound alternative, certainly there is something beyond mere causality when it comes to how we interpret but as far as causality is concerned, free will has wiggle room. So I cannot offer a mechanism for the free will component because it is not completely bound by any causality as far as I know, which means there is no absolute mechanism only influences.

Eduk
Posts: 1609
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » July 13th, 2017, 11:45 am

We observe, measure, test and so on, in order to demonstrate that something is true and can be seen as true regardless of who looks at the evidence.
I assume that if the evidence is sufficiently 'good' then you could indeed say that someone's interpretation of the evidence was more right or more wrong? So maybe some of what we are disagreeing on is deciding on what evidence is sufficiently 'good'? Is there any grey for you? Can evidence be better or worse?
For example weather prediction is seemingly an impossible problem to solve due to complexity. But is it fair to say the weather is deterministic and predictable in theory but not in practice? Of course some predictions can be more or less accurate than others.
Can you not also say that someone who says they do something out of reasons of quality of life can be more wrong or more right? As you said it's very rare for someone to say they are acting out of reasons to lower their quality of life. But equally I'm sure you can list unending examples of people lowering their quality of life?
This is not to say quality of life is objectively a 'good' goal. But given that goal cannot interpretation be more right or more wrong?
doesn't seem to recognise "the goal of life is survival" as being an interpretation
I did spend some time explaining that I did see that as interpretation. Which is why I said it's a loaded term and talked about carrying on.
nor that arguments about how life can best survive can range from sacrificing people at the altar as to not incur the wrath of the Gods to pretty much whatever,
Yes but in this case it is an objective fact as to whether God exists or not? If God exists then sacrifice away, if not then don't. I don't understand how this open to interpretation, you are either right or wrong if you believe in God.
It is entirely your interpretation as to what is "logical" and what is not
I don't agree. If in the real world A is B and A is not B then I doubt very much I would have the law of non contradiction as a law of logic. Are you saying that we do not need to be logical?
Secondly you have implied the existence of moral objective law so many times
You have accused me of that many times but that is your interpretation not mine. and if I carefully explain that this is not what I am saying then I would like that to be taken into account. Please tell me where I implied it? Like I said I can understand why you might feel that way, but I have quite a long time ago said it relies on an axiom.
Your opinion is most definitely not based on evidence, seeing as we have been talking for a while and I have yet to see any evidence except
Which opinion, you are still being too vague. I have asked you to be specific many times. I cannot supply evidence for everything. Please tell me a specific claim which I have made which lacks evidence.
You keep saying people who don't think that the objective of life is survival are going to die
When?
I ask God should I go left or right? And he gives me an objectively correct answer... it's nonsense.
You seem to be suffering from a failure of imagination. God may say it doesn't matter if you go left or right. He may say go left, he may say go right. If it's God and he's objectively right then he's objectively right. He may say something that you can't comprehend. I mean you seem to be stuck in thinking only of what is possible for a human. Outside of the universe then incomprehensible possibilities could exist. Within the universe entropy is a universal law so things like non causality make no sense whatsoever but if God is non causal then he's non causal.
The mechanism for change... there are many.
The point I originally made was that interpretation is trumped by reality. Now granted this is confusingly worded and can be taken to mean different things. I did not mean that reality always, in all situations, instantly, lethally on a species level, stops people making interpretations which are objectively wrong. I meant that there was a reality which meant that those interpretations were more right or more wrong. Now in some interpretations we can agree there is a reality to be right or wrong about. In others we don't agree if there is a reality to be right or wrong about. And in others we do agree there is no reality to be right or wrong about.
Examples of reality we agree on are simple things like pens fall when dropped.
Examples of reality where I say there is a reality and you say there isn't are more complex. I would like to consider this further with you. For example I would say blasphemy was objectively right or objectively wrong?
Examples where we both agree there is either no objective reality or no hints of an objective reality would be statements like life is 'good'. I keep using life as to my mind it's the most basic. Now I already agreed I can't prove life is good. All I can prove is that life is good to me. I already conceded this is an axiom a long time ago.

Now I did go slightly further to say that over time, most of the time, foreseeably, non trivially, non inevitably, lethally on an individual gene level, reality forces interpretations to be more close to reality than more far away. Now I get that this is contentious. And I don't have any issues calling this contentious.

You would perhaps agree that being too far from reality would be lethal? The whole of humanity and life on the planet is complex. Any individual may appear to be doing very well for their genes in the short term. But you have to think of the whole. If one person is extremely selfish and does very well genetically and their progeny likewise do very well until a tipping point. A point where selfishness starts to do badly. A point where not being selfish starts to do better than being selfish. And back and forth. This is not hard to imagine? This is why most people are not too selfish. Of course you can say ok I can see there can be a status quo. A point where being more wrong is bad but not a point where being more right is good. I agree there can be a status quo. But at some point that status quo will go. Say we damage the planet too much, or we wipe ourselves out with weapons, or an asteroid hits, or the sun goes supernova or entropy reaches its inevitable conclusion, or aliens build a road. Something at some point will perform a reality check. At that point we will see if we survive or not. Being far from reality seems unlikely to help our survival in the case of a super nova.

Judaka
Posts: 233
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » July 13th, 2017, 10:44 pm

So maybe some of what we are disagreeing on is deciding on what evidence is sufficiently 'good'? Is there any grey for you? Can evidence be better or worse?
In the context of arriving at a desired conclusion then it can be, I am not arguing that if you have a goal, then certain things are better (things that help you reach that goal) and some things are worse (things that don't).
This is not to say quality of life is objectively a 'good' goal. But given that goal cannot interpretation be more right or more wrong?
I'm gunna give up on long explanations, objective quality of life is not existent, we have differing interpretations on what is quality of life, if you define it as A and something is objectively, causally, more likely to get you to A then it is objectively better at doing that but only within this context. If we both agree A is the way to go, and you can prove than Plan A is better than Plan B and I support Plan B then we can say my plan/view is objectively worse at achieving A. However this is all within the context of an entirely subjective premise, which makes all conclusions subjective... This is where alignment becomes significant, until we agree upon what is "quality of life" and agree that is important, your standards will never be objectively better than my standards. Functionally things can be objectively superior, morally they cannot.
Can you not also say that someone who says they do something out of reasons of quality of life can be more wrong or more right?
Objectively no, I think you can make a strong argument of alignment which would basically go like; "Hey you care about A, B, C, D right? Well improving quality of life for all would improve all of those things, therefore you ought to support it".

Yes but in this case it is an objective fact as to whether God exists or not? If God exists then sacrifice away, if not then don't. I don't understand how this open to interpretation, you are either right or wrong if you believe in God.
You might say it would make it an objectively inferior method to alternatives as it would lack the empirical results that it was aiming to achieve, you could ignore the unintended consequences of the action and focus on whether it does what it purports to do or not and since it does not then it is an ineffective method. It would make the action objectively inferior within the context of the goal but not objectively wrong to do outside of that goal, hopefully this is what you've been saying all along so we can move on from this.
I don't agree. If in the real world A is B and A is not B then I doubt very much I would have the law of non contradiction as a law of logic. Are you saying that we do not need to be logical?
When you call something logical, what are you saying about it?

You have accused me of that many times but that is your interpretation not mine. and if I carefully explain that this is not what I am saying then I would like that to be taken into account. Please tell me where I implied it? Like I said I can understand why you might feel that way, but I have quite a long time ago said it relies on an axiom.
First off is it possible that any beliefs exist in a spectrum of objectivity and subjectivity?
Without conscious thought reality has managed to create consciousness and empathy. I am a fan of reality. Sure humans might all kill themselves (accidentally or deliberately) or die from other means, natural or even extra terrestrial. That will not however stop reality. The next conscious life (or other conscious lives elsewhere) will have the chance of doing better. I agree that we are not all heading inexorably in the right direction but if we veer too far from the right direction we die and cease to be an issue. Eventually, somewhere, somehow, chances are life will be more in the right direction and maybe far enough in the right direction to insure the right direction is maintained
I made an example of how one would decide a prison sentence for a crime and my argument is that to arrive at a decision we need to choose between choices based off what we care about and not on empirical observation
I disagree. You have to think about why we have the values we have. Are those values in accordance with our nature. Does our nature increase welfare or reduce welfare. Does welfare increase survivability of our genes or not. Do our genes increase survivability of life in general or not. Is life desirable. This is empirical fact. Of course in reality it is extremely extremely hard to ascertain all of this, but this does not mean it isn't empirical fact. It simple means we don't have access to all of the empirical facts (right now). Much like in weather prediction, the best we can is the best we can do and it's a lot better than the worst we can do.
For example what is more important one person's happiness or the welfare of one billion people? The answer is not found in reality
Yes it is. It's clearly one billion people. That is simple maths.
just admit that neither science nor reality nor nature or causality offer some objectively superior choice in matters of free will
How do you know that? Without being able to test that theory how do you know it is accurate? You know full well that some subjective choices are much worse than others. But how do you know this? and where and how do you draw the line? If you can't distinguish between subjective choices that doesn't mean there isn't a difference between subjective choices. You cite modern medicine as a reason that reality is selected for but then take for granted modern medicine. Like modern medicine isn't based upon the scientific method. You can't argue that correctly aligning with reality means there are no forces aligning us with reality. I would suggest if we stopped using modern medicine we would be selected against rather harshly.
I know that some subjective choices are worse than others because I measure a method by its ability to obtain the outcome it set out to obtain
But as I said earlier the goal is also important. If I successfully commit genocide then I can hardly be called successful? Again not all goals are equal. And how do we know that not all goals are equal?

(Nested quote removed.)


You are the one who says you measure against outcomes of goals. Ok that's a way to measure outcomes. Now how do you measure goals? You are the one saying it's just subjective opinion, so in this case why is one subjective opinion preferable to another?
There are a lot more that I felt implied objective moral law but I found too many to put them all in here.
You keep saying people who don't think that the objective of life is survival are going to die
When?
Poorly worded, I meant you said they would be "eliminated against" and evolved out of existence - not that they were going to die... though you may have said that once or twice, doesn't matter.
You seem to be suffering from a failure of imagination. God may say it doesn't matter if you go left or right. He may say go left, he may say go right. If it's God and he's objectively right then he's objectively right.
The idea that an interpretation can be objectively wrong is not like "oh wow the matrix actually exists and we are all trapped in a dream state" kind of dismantling of reality, it is a 1+1=3 kind of absurdity, at which point you must say "well we are no longer talking about maths anymore" and then you ask me "what does 2+2=" and I will obviously have no idea. Since neither of us believe in God this all seems irrelevant but God having unconditional objectivity would dismantle the notion of subjectivity as we know it, physical reality would have to change to accommodate this. God would break the rules of this world to such an extent that it would hardily be unnoticeable, the very universe would change and I cannot predict what I would do in that situation. What I would say is that if I prefer oranges to apples and God says apples are objectively better than oranges, I have no understanding of what this would mean for me... Does that mean my tastes will change? Or will I inadvertently eat more apples regardless of my will? If you have the imagination to tell me all the answers go ahead.
For example I would say blasphemy was objectively right or objectively wrong?
I define blasphemy as talking/acting in ways that demean God or sacred things, when you say "objectively right" I think of it morally, I will say instead that clearly I am not demeaning God no matter what I do if God does not exist. Let's say then I decide to punish someone for blasphemy despite this, you say I am objectively wrong in doing so, I can only think of this morally, I don't understand it any other way. However if I said that if the goal of blasphemy is to punish people for demeaning God and God does not exist therefore you are punishing me for something I did not do then you could say that the punishment is not doing what it is purporting to do and saying otherwise would be objectively wrong in the literal sense. I have called this alignment because blasphemy is not a real thing regardless of whether God exists or not, it is an interpretation of perceptions and it can only be called incorrect in the context of some kind of agreement about what it is supposed to do and how we measure whether it failed or succeeded in doing that. If you want to compare blasphemy to anything else, you need to create a corresponding framework for this. This mandatory for any comparison, yet once you have done that all you are talking about is functionality, something that can be ascertained as objectively existing... causality. Outside of the framework of functionality, you can create other frameworks and new ways of judging things but no matter what the conclusion within that framework, once you take it out of that the decision arrived at becomes meaningless as far as objectively saying something is implicitly superior.
You would perhaps agree that being too far from reality would be lethal?
No, you just cherry pick examples. There are still tribes in the amazon so on that have absolutely no clue about reality and they are doing fine. What you are describing just doesn't exist on a wide, observable scale and I don't know whether we are talking about this on a evolutionary context like before or not. If not then I think you can't just ignore the fact that reality is really multi-layered and complex, like in Nazi Germany there are lots of truths for people. Speak up and you risk your personal safety, Hitler really is making amazing progress for Germany and perhaps it is best to follow him and so on. Your view can't just be "if only nobody listened to Hitler, that would have been very realistic of them", I doubt you would have done anything differently than anyone else at that time and why would you have? Hitler had his goals, his followers had their goals and his people had their individual concerns, it is not as simple as them all being unrealistic and foolish.

In the majority of cases, people who take selfies on rooftops know the risk, people who kill others for money know what they are doing, rapists are not oblivious to anything that you are aware of and this is why I call your view objective moral law. Is that despite this, you feel they are wrong because they must value life and therefore their actions are wrong within that context. However isn't it all there in front of you? The truth and reality of it all? You can call them "wrong" or "unrealistic" but the TRUTH, the real truth is there and it is definitely not what you purport it to be.
Say we damage the planet too much, or we wipe ourselves out with weapons, or an asteroid hits, or the sun goes supernova or entropy reaches its inevitable conclusion, or aliens build a road. Something at some point will perform a reality check. At that point we will see if we survive or not. Being far from reality seems unlikely to help our survival in the case of a super nova.
No comment...

Eduk
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » July 14th, 2017, 7:26 am

objective quality of life is not existent, we have differing interpretations on what is quality of life, if you define it as A and something is objectively, causally, more likely to get you to A then it is objectively better at doing that but only within this context. If we both agree A is the way to go, and you can prove than Plan A is better than Plan B and I support Plan B then we can say my plan/view is objectively worse at achieving A.
So basically we agree? Plan A can be objectively better or worse than Plan B at achieving goal X. Proving plan A is better seems irrelevant as to whether it is better? Obviously not irrelevant to you or me as we have to choose between plan A or B, but you get my point?
Now I think the above is important. And it's what I've been trying to say for some time without success, but I am glad we are there now.

So when our goals are the same it is objectively true which plan is better. But obviously in the real world our goals are not 100% identical. So let's consider that as I believe this is the meat of what you are trying to say?

1. First off our goals do not need to be 100% identical for Plan A to be better than plan B. So while it is nice if they are 100% identical this is not necessary. They only need to be aligned (as you put it) enough. Of course the exact amount of alignment required is fuzzy and I can't draw a hard line.
2. There is a big difference between stated goals and actual goals. You seem to give a lot of credence to stated goals. If someone describes what quality of life means to them you seem to take their word for it? Do people not delude themselves? Do people not make genuine mistakes? Do people not lie? Anecdotal evidence is notoriously bad. Asking someone how they feel is notoriously inaccurate. The medical profession constantly struggle with this for example.
3. Let us imagine person X takes an action A to improve quality of life. Let us imagine that this actually lowers quality of life. Please note I am not talking about my definition of quality of life I am talking about person A's definition of quality of life. Now person X may be entirely unaware that their action has lowered their quality of life. But it will be an objective fact if they have lowered their quality of life (by their definition).
4. So I believe we can build up a more accurate definition of quality of life or a less accurate definition of quality of life. And this will apply to the vast majority of humans. So in the vast majority of cases you have made for person X to prefer action B to action A they are simply deluded, lying or wrong. Please note I am not making an argument from the masses. I am simply saying that humans have a similar enough nature to make quality of life similar enough that it applies to most. This does not mean it is 'correct' it just means it is correct for most humans given most human's goals. Of course this is very general. In reality there are extreme actions where the differences are pronounced and there are minor actions where the differences either don't exists or are negligible. Then there is everything in between. It is of course worth pointing out the magnitude of the alignment. Small differences of alignment matter a lot less than huge difference of alignment. Again I would say most people most of the time have small differences of alignment (which don't effect if plan A if better than plan B) but here I would say some people some of the time have large differences of alignment. It could be real that a murderer is improving their quality of life and they obviously have a very large difference in alignment on this issue. So by the goal of the murderer you could say they were correct but of course by your goal they are wrong. Objectively to the universe they are neither right nor wrong (so far as we know).
5. Now if person Y exists who's nature is not similar enough then for them action B may be better than action A. In this case person Y is correct that action B is better for their goals. Person X and person Y are both neither 'right' or 'wrong' they are right or wrong personally but not objectively. I agree with you on this. I would say that most people most of the time are aligned enough that either plan A or plan B is better (for them) but I would also say that most people some of the time are not aligned. So just being alive for a while will present genuine cases where plan A is better for most people but plan B is better for you.

You asked how would you sort this problem in 5. Now firstly I don't believe this problem is as wide spread as you. Even when you take people who are committing extreme actions for stated reasons I don't think that their reasons are always genuine. Sure it's what they say but as already discussed people are bad at self reporting. They lie, they delude themselves they just plain old make mistakes.

But sure sometimes the reasons are genuine. So how do we solve this problem (we can agree or disagree on the size of the problem but we both agree there is a problem). So via logic and evidence then we cannot solve this problem. Sure I have my interpretation and you have yours and we will both attempt to see our interpretation through, neither of us is right or wrong.

But there is a mechanism for selecting between opinions and it's called survival. If your nature is to murder and everyone had your nature then good bye life. Again as I have said many many times this is not a one way street. It's not inevitable. We can go backwards or forwards or stagnate etc.

You have always stated that you believe in reality. But why? I believe in reality because of the input from my senses to my conscious brain. I trust that input to an extent because I am alive. Because I can move, avoid falls and sharp things etc. Now I can demonstrate that that input is not 100% and my interpretation is absolutely not 100% so I know I have limitations, limitations which I can consistently work around. Now we could all be in the matrix but it seems unlikely. Everything could be purely my imagination but again this seems unlikely.
There are a lot more that I felt implied objective moral law but I found too many to put them all in here
I'm not being disingenuous here. I understand that you might take that view but I also clearly said there isn't an objective moral law. So if I imply something in your opinion but then say I'm not trying to imply that where does that leave us?
There are still tribes in the amazon so on that have absolutely no clue about reality and they are doing fine.
I'm not sure what you mean? They understand a lot about reality. They need food, shelter etc they know how to provide for this. They can walk. They understand pain etc etc. They have a very large understanding of reality.
like in Nazi Germany there are lots of truths for people. Speak up and you risk your personal safety, Hitler really is making amazing progress for Germany and perhaps it is best to follow him and so on. Your view can't just be "if only nobody listened to Hitler, that would have been very realistic of them",
Er that would have been very realistic of them? I didn't say all German's were foolish. I didn't say there aren't good reasons for an individual to do all sorts of things. As you say you may go along with madness so as not to die or have your family die. Again as you say perhaps I would have gone along with the madness because I genuinely believed it was the right thing to do. I would have been absolutely wrong that it was the right thing to do however. If all Germans believed Hitler's claims to be madness then the holocaust would never of happened. This is clearly a win for quality of life by most people's definition of quality of life. Including the vast majority of the people involved.
However isn't it all there in front of you? The truth and reality of it all? You can call them "wrong" or "unrealistic" but the TRUTH, the real truth is there and it is definitely not what you purport it to be.
So you are saying that because people harm themselves then that proves that they were correct to harm themselves? I don't get your argument. I'm not saying people don't harm themselves. I'm saying that people do harm themselves.

Judaka
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » July 16th, 2017, 1:19 am

So basically we agree? Plan A can be objectively better or worse than Plan B at achieving goal X. Proving plan A is better seems irrelevant as to whether it is better? Obviously not irrelevant to you or me as we have to choose between plan A or B, but you get my point?
Now I think the above is important. And it's what I've been trying to say for some time without success, but I am glad we are there now.
First I want to say that I am in complete agreement with what you have said, it was quite shocking to read and I felt like I was talking to somebody completely new, I don't even have a problem with point 5, people are out of alignment all the time... they define things incorrectly and they want things for themselves that they later regret, this is part of life. I don't want to sour this agreement which is completely unexpected from my perspective but I wonder whether you would agree this is in rather stark opposition to many of your earlier comments? Or do you feel your spectrum of subjectivity fits into this somehow? Or the idea that one billion lives is objectively more important than one life for example? My perspective has been the bulk of this argument has been trying to convince you of the same thing you are now saying you were trying to say, very odd.

I'm not being disingenuous here. I understand that you might take that view but I also clearly said there isn't an objective moral law. So if I imply something in your opinion but then say I'm not trying to imply that where does that leave us?
I think the term "objective moral law" scares people because it's seen as a very powerful and a rather extreme view in popular culture, a lot of it comes down to how you determine objective moral law and what you think it would mean if it existed and what it would mean if it didn't. Most of the things I have said, are just things that are true if objective moral law doesn't exist - now I don't think you believe in objective moral law as a theory, I think you have instead said that people should value life/quality of life regardless of whether they want to because something, and from that follows that they must do some things or else they are incorrect objectively. I am concerned a lot of the good stuff you've said earlier in your post is just good for you on the basis that life must be important to life and there must be an objectively best way to achieve this thing which must be important to us according to you? Those who stray from valuing life will "not survive long" and this whole line of logic is functionally the same as objective moral law and is actually fairly unique as far as what I've come across. Most people will deny objective moral law yet absolutely refuse to put traditionally good things and traditionally bad things on the same level, something I felt you were trying to do when you were calling out blasphemy, saying one billion lives is objectively more important than one life and saying that genocide cannot be considered a good goal - that I know this implicitly somehow... can find quotes if required from me for all of these. You rejected the times I have shown subjective choices that lack empirical reality, such as the prison sentence example which I will keep coming back to because it really has every answer for this entire debate. I am really just wondering whether your opinion has changed over time during this debate or whether the very astute observations you made in this last comment somehow to you fit in with the other things you have said. To me they do not, I don't understand how someone who can make such observations can also say such blatantly untrue things that are in direct contradiction (in my opinion) with those observations.

I am happy to say you do not believe in objective moral law, if you are willing to renounce the aforementioned claims and similar ones to them.

If you do that, I want to expand on some of my earlier claims that will hopefully capitalise on your latest observations. You have correctly explained that our stated values/definitions may not be favourable to us or perhaps not even what we really want, we cannot accept peoples "self-diagnosis" with any certainty and this is just the beginning of the complexity of arguments of alignments. However to use that uncertainty to force your interpretations as having latent significance to anyone regardless of their circumstances, especially to the extent where this significance exceeds whatever kind of ideology or values any individual might currently have in my mind, creates a functional objective moral law. I want to make it clear that your argument is not objectively wrong so far as objective reality is concerned, however using arguments of validity/alignment I think I can show your argument to be idealistic and lacking in evidence. I don't really want to summarise your argument around "life must be important to life" and people who are further from reality will be eliminated against. I also think when you use reality here, you meld this with your interpretation. For example you said "people who think for themselves and are aligned with reality" or something like this, would not be able to create a destructive word, yes? If we are talking about reality without any interpretation involved and using the standard definition of destructive then this has been proven to be false over history time and time again. You say that to be malevolent or domineering does not make sense, but in purely realistic terms - the causality makes sense within the context of a goal that a person could create for themselves (and do). Naturally some goals will allow for destructive means and some goals are destructive - if people are thinking for themselves then they will reach such conclusions naturally even if it's just a small minority.

Overall there are a lot of complex things I want to say about your views on this but I feel bombarding you with walls of texts haven't done as much as simple explanations, show me what grievances you have will what I am saying here and I will address them assuming you do not agree with this criticism that is.

Finally I would like you to give me your evolutionary argument straight from start to finish, I want to provide a proper counterargument to it despite saying I would ignore it, perhaps consolidate on from what my perspective seems to be substantial progress

Eduk
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » July 31st, 2017, 11:56 am

Hey, sorry for the long pause, been on holiday.
First off the purpose of the universe is unknown. It is unknown if the concept of purpose when applied to the universe even makes sense. But it's the best we can do as humans, to my knowledge. So while there is no known objectively correct moral law that does not categorically mean that there are no objectively correct moral laws.
Having said that I'm not a magician and I personally know of zero objectively correct moral laws. And can conceive of zero objectively correct moral laws.
I make this point because while I disbelieve all religions I do believe existence to be a logical impossibility plus I do believe in reality so while I believe all religions are clearly works of fiction that doesn't mean that there isn't a purpose. After all I believe I exist although I have zero comprehension of how that is possible.
If there was a purpose it's conceivable to me that the conceptual impossibility of objective moral law is in actuality possible. And my inability to conceive of it says more about me than the objective law.
But this is rather pedantic, we can basically agree there is no conceivable objectively correct moral law and certainly no known objective moral law.
I am the least religious it is possible for a human to be. Or you know amongst the least.
Objectively a billion human lives have no more or less significance than one human life. But I'm sure you would agree that the vast majority of humans would value a billion lives over one, especially in the abstract. Now again I'm not arguing that this makes it objective moral law I'm just saying this is the case.
Now regarding the evolutionary argument I'll try to make that point again in my next post. Apologies if there is a small delay.

-- Updated August 1st, 2017, 9:52 am to add the following --

Right then. Now firstly we agreed a long time ago that there was a reality. That objectively true things exist. Like the sun exists. Its mass exists. Etc. This may seem obvious but why? How do I know I'm not in the matrix? How do I know I'm not just imagining everything?
Now the obvious answer to me is that I don't know I'm not in the matrix. And I don't know I'm not imagining everything. But I have a reasonable idea of my capabilities and imagining the world seems well beyond those capabilities and the matrix is quite a specific thing. It is of course highly unlikely.
But those are not absolutes. They are just probabilities. But the absolute I do have is that I have zero reason to believe I am in the matrix or everything is in my imagination. So the only reasonable action I have open to me is to assume that reality is real. But this is an assumption. It is an axiom. I have defined reality to be real. It likely is but it might not be but I have zero reasonable actions to take other than to assume reality is real and act accordingly.
Now my other truism is that it's better overall to be closer to reality than further away. And when I say better I mean better in terms of survival of life. This has proven to be contentious but I think of it is as hopelessly true. Like saying whatever exists exists, which is what evolution boils down to. Now of course there are many specific examples where being further from reality helps life survival more than being closer to reality. But in the long term and overall the instances where being further from reality is better than being closer to reality are far outweighed by the opposite. I welcome any argument to the contrary here? Remember we are talking about life overall and in the long term.
So now we move into evolution. Now again whatever survives survives. But on the whole. Overall. Taking the universe as a whole then being closer to reality will aid life survival. Basically this is what convinced me that reality is real. I can walk. I can see no way that this would be possible if reality wasn't real or being closer to reality wasn't of benefit.
So again what kinds of actions will aid life survival more than others. Will machevillian actions aid life survival? Again we are talking long term and overall.
I imagine that if you and I were talking about specific actions we would have a very high degree of agreement over what was and wasn't moral. I believe this because I believe most moral actions to be rather trivial. Painfully trivial most of the time. In that people will die for obvious lies which is I think the thing I least like to conceive. Like standing in front of the ocean and commanding it not to come in. This is an extreme normally taken to mean hubris but actually you see it all the time and often it's not hubris, or at least not majorly hubris.
So at the end none of this amounts to objectively true morality. But if life is valued then there are objective truths. Now of course even if life is valued and there are objective truths this does not mean that you or I know what those objective truths are. We can at best approach those objective truths. This is what I mean by levels of subjectivity. Closer to objective truth is better than further from objective truth. How far or how near varies.
So the life that survives is the life that survives. This is all evolution is. All I am arguing is that reality exists. And that being closer to reality aids survival of life.
Now obviously in the extreme we agree. Being too far from reality is a clear detriment to life.
What I have not demonstrated is that being closer to reality is of benefit past a certain point. I would be happy to elaborate further on this distinction. But there seems little point if there is greater disagreement than this?

Judaka
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » August 5th, 2017, 4:30 am

It is unknown if the concept of purpose when applied to the universe even makes sense. But it's the best we can do as humans, to my knowledge.
If there was a purpose it's conceivable to me that the conceptual impossibility of objective moral law is in actuality possible. And my inability to conceive of it says more about me than the objective law.
Once again, why does this argument not apply to religion? I have heard this very argument made about religion and the reasons why we cannot discredit it and justifies the fear of "what if I am wrong, better to be safe" - the way you are talking now you should be an agnostic not an atheist. There is a lot to discredit the idea of objective moral law and no hard evidence for it, it is in the same place as any religion really. I actually believe objective moral law is a nonsensical idea that makes no sense in reality, I consider God infinitely more likely than objective moral law (in instances where they aren't the same thing) but I am not asking for that from you, it is superfluous to the real reason you should forget about objective moral law and reject it as adamantly as you claim to reject religion; NO PROOF. Keep an open mind about it if you want because I don't think objective moral law can be possible, so long as you live under the assumption that it doesn't exist until it is proven, it amounts to the same thing for me.
Now firstly we agreed a long time ago that there was a reality
I think the more important distinction here is that I hold Earthly evidence to the highest regard, if we are in the matrix then that is part of reality and etc, pedantic but I bring it up to draw comparisons with how I reject a great deal of claims, with Earthly evidence.. it is why I cannot take part in ontological or epistemological debates, nor accept claims that lack that Earthly evidence, which leads into this next part.
Now my other truism is that it's better overall to be closer to reality than further away. And when I say better I mean better in terms of survival of life. This has proven to be contentious but I think of it is as hopelessly true.
Originally I felt you were making a kind of elitist argument, about learned people who possessed higher than average intelligence, capable of understanding the finer and more complex details of our world, but ever since you defended Amazonians my understanding was shattered. I'm not ripping on isolated peoples, their lives are way harder than mine and I am sure they possess many skills that allow them to survive in that environment that I lack but these are without a doubt one of the most ignorant groups of people in the world today. Their understanding is barely above an animals, anyone who went through high school in a developed country would have a more comprehensive understanding of reality than a guy born in a hut who spends his days killing things, building huts and dancing around fires. I don't believe this is contentious, whatever respect you have for these people, you cannot deny that their understanding of the real world is exceptionally limited and restricted. So then what is being close to reality in your estimation?

The developed world is becoming absurdly wealthy relative to the past, technology is developing absurdly fast and all inconveniences and problems for people are being eliminated one by one. Addicted to drugs? Incapable of caring for yourself? Know nothing about anything except scratching your own ass? It already doesn't matter but it won't matter even more as time goes on. The governments capacity to deal with your problems for you is developing at an astronomical rate and I wonder what it is you think our descendents are going to have to do to increase their suitability? Cars drive themselves, government takes care of your paycheck, just stay away from high places and develop some safe hobbies? Speaking of descendents, children, regardless of their parents inability to take care of them - survive. Adopted, in group homes or whatever else - children are not culled on the basis of their parents and why am I bringing this up you might ask? From an evolutionary standpoint, an offspring trying to live in less than ideal circumstances will not survive into adulthood and loses the chance for their genes to be passed down. In difficult environments, adaptation occurs because a more successful nuance between offspring can lead to a substantial increase in the ultimate goal as far as evolution is concerned; survive and have offspring who survive and have offspring and so on.

Surely we can agree that surviving to sixteen plus and having a child or two does not require much, perhaps the only thing it requires is having a limited understanding of reality about how hard life will be for you given that choice, a smart person probably wouldn't do it. Humans in most society can't even live by themselves until they are able to have children and at that point, your child will be taken care of - if not by you then by someone else. Successful people are less likely to have children than struggling people, these are the statistics and especially in developing countries, poor families have many children while rich families have no children at all. People who understood what was going on around them and prospered have no children, people who are having unnecessarily difficult lives reproduce at a great rate, I view all of this as contradicting your reasoning, do you not also see that?

You always give examples about this and apologise that they are extreme but I don't think you can actually give any moderate examples because what your saying in essence makes no sense at a day to day life level, only when we talk about absurd situations or people can we say being closer to reality helps survival or that a lack of understanding of reality will cost me something huge.
So again what kinds of actions will aid life survival more than others. Will machevillian actions aid life survival? Again we are talking long term and overall.
But in the long term and overall the instances where being further from reality is better than being closer to reality are far outweighed by the opposite. I welcome any argument to the contrary here? Remember we are talking about life overall and in the long term.
I can give arguments in the contrary but how many would I need to give to give a comprehensive rebuttal? Too many, I think it'd be faster for you to actually try to give evidence, do you realise you didn't give any at all? Not even one line?
Since we agree it shouldn't be on me to prove a negative, can you at least make an effort to prove it rather than saying it is self-evident? Self-evident without evidence makes for a dubious argument, I understand your feelings but not the basis for them.

Eduk
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Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 8th, 2017, 9:41 am

Once again, why does this argument not apply to religion? I have heard this very argument made about religion and the reasons why we cannot discredit it and justifies the fear of "what if I am wrong, better to be safe"
No you miss the point. The difference is that religion says it knows the purpose, so do X as that aids the purpose. I am saying that there may be a purpose but that the purpose is unknown. So I draw no conclusions from that other than that I don't rule out the very idea of a purpose. I am agnostic towards there being a purpose or not. But you seem to rule out even the possibility of a purpose. I am not saying do X because purpose is unknown, I'm saying draw no conclusion because purpose is unknown.

Let me put it another way. It is inconceivable to me how we exist. And yet I believe that we do. Spontaneous existence makes no logical sense to me. Always having existed makes no sense to me. And being created deliberately or accidentally by a being or process also makes no sense to me. As I understand it those are the three conceivable options? And I don't think any of them are likely right. So the conclusion I draw is that it may be inconceivable, which means that it's hard to categorically state that there is no purpose. Although again purpose may not make sense when taken to the inconceivable and it probably doesn't. But obviously words fail me at this point :)
Since we agree it shouldn't be on me to prove a negative, can you at least make an effort to prove it rather than saying it is self-evident? Self-evident without evidence makes for a dubious argument, I understand your feelings but not the basis for them.
I feel that most of the arguments we are having on evolution are because you are not thinking either long term (millions of years) or on an individual gene level.
I can vastly increase the survivability of my genes without procreating. This is because I share many of my genes. I likely have no unique genes, only a unique variation.
Me procreating is great, don't get me wrong, but not vital.

Given there is a reality there is no need for us to agree on what reality is. We don't need to say that action X will lead to higher survivability we only need to say that there are actions which lead to higher survivability. Do you agree with this? Are some actions better than others? Likewise we don't need to say that gene X will lead to higher survivability we only need to say that some genes lead to higher survivability. Some genes are better than others.
So now lets get back to if reality increases survival or not. So there are options. One, being closer to reality increases survival. Two, being further from reality increases survival or three, being closer to or further from makes no difference overall, either it has no effect or it's sometimes better and sometimes worse but unpredictable and the effect balances out.

Do you believe in one of those options? Or is it unknown. Could it be that being closer to reality is of survival benefit but that it is unknown?

For example we all know that inbreeding leads to various genetic disorders. Would you like to know this or not know this when choosing a mate?

So let's imagine you have a disease and go to the Doctors. Would you like their diagnosis to be further from or nearer to reality and why?
Let us imagine you are purchasing a house, would you like the structural survey to be further from or closer to reality?
Let us imagine you are appraising a new car. Would you like the appraisal to be closer to or further from reality?

I can obviously go on forever. So it is perhaps fair to say that you personally would like your knowledge to be closer to reality than further away from reality? How about the knowledge of strangers, would you like that to be closer to or further from reality? What goal would be aided by being further from reality?

Or let me put it another way, what does aid gene survival in your opinion?

Judaka
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » August 8th, 2017, 1:51 pm

FML kicked out the cord and lost what I wrote as I was proof reading... My comments will be briefer because I can't type out what I had before, I hate rewriting my stuff.. always comes out worse.
The difference is that religion says it knows the purpose, so do X as that aids the purpose. I am saying that there may be a purpose but that the purpose is unknown. So I draw no conclusions from that other than that I don't rule out the very idea of a purpose. I am agnostic towards there being a purpose or not. But you seem to rule out even the possibility of a purpose. I am not saying do X because purpose is unknown, I'm saying draw no conclusion because purpose is unknown.
I approached this debate from the start from the position that so long as you believe that belief mandates proof and that a claim has to be validated - not invalidated... i.e that we ought not have to prove a negative - then arguing against nihilism is impossible. When I said this, you asked why bother to make the distinction, why not just say that nobody can argue against nihilism. We are finally at a point in this debate where that distinction might make sense!

I explained this more poetically before I deleted my post but basically it is redundant for you to say that we do not know whether objective moral law exists or whether there is a purpose to the universe so long as you standby the aforementioned principles, the essence of being an atheist is "I don't know, however there is no reason for me to believe so I don't" and an agnostic is somebody who says "I don't know, therefore I reserve judgement".

Forget what religion says, as an atheist you believe God does not exist yet presumably you do not KNOW that God does not exist, correct? Unless you have access to some information I am unaware of, we have yet to prove the implausibility of God. So you want to say "there may be a purpose" - I reject that there may be a purpose and I have an argument for this, I am proud of it so I would be more than happy to explain it but it is superfluous to this debate. Neither of us knows if God exists or not and we both draw the conclusion that there is no God yet here you are saying you do not know if there is a purpose to the universe yet you draw no conclusion.

All you need to do is approach objective moral law and objective meaning/purpose to the universe the same way you do God and you will have become a nihilist - welcome to the club.
I can vastly increase the survivability of my genes without procreating
I am not sure I understand what you mean, can you explain what you are saying here?
Do you believe in one of those options?
I have a fourth option, sometimes it is better to be closer to reality and sometimes it is worse. If you recall way back in this thread, our first debate was about the nature of reality and basically my argument was that reality is not a replacement for interpretation, the two are compatible. There are two arguments here and I would like to separate them for the sake of clarity; firstly in regards to evolution and genetics - I know little about genetics and our disagreement here has more to do with the fact that you have presented absolutely no evidence in favour of your argument and perhaps don't even seem to understand what is necessary for your argument? Evolution is not about the decisions you make as a being with free will, you need to show that "closeness to reality" is actually represented genetically - my view is that it isn't even represented in the first place so this whole argument is nonsensical but like I said, I know little about genetics so hit me with the evidence. If fear of vaccines and doctors is not caused by a gene then people who die due to eschewing vaccines and doctors aren't going to cause the human race to be "corrected by reality" into conforming with reality. Do you understand what I am saying here? I am not even saying I will accept your evidence - I am saying that you aren't even providing any so the discussion can't go anywhere. If you don't have any then aforementioned logic applies, apply the same logic here that you do to religion, no evidence = no belief.

The second issue is whether it is better to be closer to reality or further away - I feel this reached its conclusion where you agreed that sometimes it isn't and now we have the same view: overwhelmingly it is better with few exceptions. I am a fan of education and thus I want people to know more about reality - our disagreement lies in what we expect this to improve for people. I would like to see people manage their money better, I would like people to take better care of their bodies - these are things most people want for themselves but perhaps don't know how. Knowledge about reality is only really relevant in the context of the effectiveness of a method (we agreed on this right?) so people who say they want to have a comfortable life yet waste their money like fools have my pity and I think they should educate themselves. I am sure plenty of people die due to ignorance of things, drinking unclean water, failing to take vaccines or see the doctor about problems and all kinds of things, a lot of it comes down to what part of the world we are talking about. I think your average teen in the developed world can be as dumb as a bat and as ignorant as a swimming pool and get by pretty fine, most things are taken care of for them. Stay away from high places and keep the toaster away from your bath tub, what else is there to say.

I just want to reiterate that most issues are caused by an interpretation of reality which is harmful or undesirable (from the perspective of the one who finds it undesirable ofc) and these interpretations are often entirely compatible with reality. If I want to hurt people because I like hearing people scream, that's that. We agree on that so this part of the discussion I hope is over.

Eduk
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 8th, 2017, 4:24 pm

FML kicked out the cord
Had to google 'FML', appropriate :)
as an atheist you believe God does not exist yet presumably you do not KNOW that God does not exist, correct?
Well God is a bit of a loaded term and implies lots of different things, but I think I get your point and agree. Like I said earlier maybe we were created (by a creator/God) and maybe created just doesn't apply when you step outside of the universe and into inconceivability. I think the second is perhaps more likely than the first but I can't rule out the first.

But nihilism still doesn't make sense to me. There doesn't need to be objective meaning for me to have meaning. I can have subjective meaning. Doesn't nihilism also rule out subjective meaning?
I can vastly increase the survivability of my genes without procreating


I am not sure I understand what you mean, can you explain what you are saying here?
I recommend reading the selfish gene. Basically our DNA is made from genes. Humans have roughly 20,000 genes (I've just googled). It commonly thought that you have a child they will inherent 50% of genes with the implication that they don't share the other 50%, but this is incorrect. Again after a quick google, as humans we share 99% of our genes with other humans. So my child will share roughly 99.5% of my genes, so only .5% of my genes won't match with my child. Apparently we also share many genes with chimps and even a banana. I don't want to put the amounts as a quick google isn't enough to verify if they are even somewhat accurate.

So if I share 99% of my genes with all other humans and I built a magical teleportation device that would whisk humans to some safe planet just before an asteroid struck but I had no children. I would still be saving 99% of my genes. Which is not too bad. Of course that's magical, but you get the point?

If you think of humans as carriers of genes. Then ideally those genes would 'want' to be in healthy, happy, well adjusted humans. Because those humans would be most likely to pass those genes to the next generation and also most likely to raise healthy, happy, well adjusted children and the cycle would repeat.

If you were one of those genes you would not 'want' to be inside an unhealthy, unhappy, badly adjusted human because those humans would be least likely to pass those genes to the next generation and less likely to raise the healthy, happy, well adjusted children our genes are 'looking' for.

Of course our genes aren't conscious so they have no desires, but again you get the point?
I have a fourth option, sometimes it is better to be closer to reality and sometimes it is worse.
Wasn't that option 3?
I know little about genetics and our disagreement here has more to do with the fact that you have presented absolutely no evidence in favour of your argument and perhaps don't even seem to understand what is necessary for your argument?
Yes good point. It is a somewhat oddly worded concept that I have presented. I'm not sure it would have been studied directly, or how you would do so. For example I believe that the environment will change and make life inhospitable at some point. So if we as a species can't prepare for such circumstances then life will stop. Now I can't exactly prove this experimentally. It is also possible that we wipe ourselves out first. But I see no way that being closer to reality would lead to wiping ourselves out. I only see ways where we need to be further from reality to wipe ourselves out. Again hard to prove experimentally.

Just to be clear. Is it obvious that being too far from reality is harmful to survival? If you can't function well enough to eat, drink, sleep find shelter etc then that's bad? Insanity is clearly bad for long term survival? Seeing things which aren't there isn't great. Not seeing things which are there is likewise not great?

Now you can maybe argue that in the past thinking a Tiger was some grass was bad for survival but in the present day it really doesn't matter. But so long as it ever mattered or ever will matter then it's good for survival? You could argue that being able to separate grass from Tigers so well is what got us to the point that is no longer matters, but who can tell in the future. Perhaps if we lose that ability then the Tigers will take over.

So perhaps it's more that past a certain point I have to demonstrate that this is true? Like sure up to point X (which we don't need to define) it's better to be closer to reality but after point X it's less obvious. You can of course point to much delusion in the world and say that's proof it's perfectly possible to be far from reality and survive just fine? I would argue though that while the vast majority believe in some delusions there is a level to how delusional and also they don't believe in all delusions, they otherwise agree with reality. For example an orthodox Jew may think it's crazy to think the world is flat and a flat earther may think it's crazy to tear toilet paper into strips the day before the Sabbath because you can't 'work' on the Sabbath.

But yes it's a conundrum for me. How do I prove my theory. For example you could argue that humans are extremely adaptable. Certainly far more adaptable than all other life on the planet? You could also argue that being adaptable increases chances of survival? But what are we adapting to? Are we not adapting to reality predominately?
Evolution is not about the decisions you make as a being with free will, you need to show that "closeness to reality" is actually represented genetically
How do you mean? We are a product of our DNA? I mean it's not like there is a consciousness gene, or a make good decisions gene it's obviously a lot more complex than that. But if you start removing genes from a humans DNA then I'm not sure viable or conscious life would result.
If fear of vaccines and doctors is not caused by a gene then people who die due to eschewing vaccines and doctors aren't going to cause the human race to be "corrected by reality" into conforming with reality.
Yes of course there is no vaccine denial gene. It's much more complex than that. I have no idea how many genes or in what proportion would go into that decision. Also on the brain level it's not like a vaccine denier is born with a vaccine denying brain. This is learnt behaviour, perhaps due to some trauma or simply to fit in. For example fitting in certainly aids human survival, so you may do crazy things to fit in in order to survive. In real life why someone is a vaccine denier probably has many reasons all mixed together in different proportions and all slightly different from other vaccine deniers.
I think your average teen in the developed world can be as dumb as a bat and as ignorant as a swimming pool and get by pretty fine, most things are taken care of for them. Stay away from high places and keep the toaster away from your bath tub, what else is there to say.
I'm not sure this is actually true. Look at the Flynn effect for example. Which is not thought to be an evolutionary effect by the way.

Judaka
Posts: 233
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » August 9th, 2017, 2:33 am

But nihilism still doesn't make sense to me. There doesn't need to be objective meaning for me to have meaning. I can have subjective meaning. Doesn't nihilism also rule out subjective meaning?
I technically became a "nihilist" over a decade ago, through contemplation about such things when I was fourteen but I only learned about the term "nihilist" less than a year ago, I thought it meant something else for a long time - like some kind of anarchist and because of all of this my understanding about definitions for nihilism are not that advanced - I doubt my "nihilism" is part and parcel with any existing term but I do know that there at least forms nihilism do NOT rule out subjective meaning and any kind of nihilism that does in my view - is absurd and grossly incorrect. I learned about ontological nihilism and epistemological nihilism and I find them to be absolutely ridiculous and so clearly the type of nihilism matters when talking about it, I have yet to find a definition that fits my understanding.

I am unsure what you would like as a reference because I don't know who could be considered an authority on defining these terms, wikipedia says this
Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism suggests that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. According to the theory, each individual is an isolated being born into the universe, barred from knowing "why", yet compelled to invent meaning.[1] The inherent meaninglessness of life is largely explored in the philosophical school of existentialism, where one can potentially create their own subjective "meaning" or "purpose". Of all types of nihilism, existential nihilism has received the most literary and philosophical attention.[2]
My understanding of nihilism is that there is no objective meaning or purpose to life or existence and there are two ways you can arrive at this conclusion that I know of. Firstly you can view nihilism as a neutral view like atheism, all we are doing is saying "rather than try to prove nihilism, all I am saying is that you can't prove there is objective meaning or purpose and therefore no evidence = no belief". Nihilism needs not make a single claim, all it says is that what people have claimed in the past and present, without a shred of evidence, need to put up some evidence or else I am forced to reject their claims. This is the essence of the aforementioned principles of belief mandates evidence.

The second way to nihilism is an understanding of the nature of objectivity/subjectivity, which says that rather than "I don't know" that it is impossible for objective meaning/purpose to exist. This is my view but you don't need to take it and as far as I am concerned, regardless of your route to nihilism, because it is safe to say that nobody is going to prove anything before we each die - that it makes no difference. You would be a nihilist until you died either way.

Subjective meaning is another matter however, there is overwhelming evidence that subjective meaning exists... Because all subjective meaning means is that a person believes there in a meaning and there are people like that all around us - including myself and probably yourself also. Whether you find a definition of nihilism that suits you or not, rejecting that the universe has any meaning or purpose would definitely make you a nihilist in my books. I think nihilism is a pretty logical stance, the more interesting aspect of nihilism is what is different about living in a world where you have denied objective moral law/objective meaning. This would mean that the highest level of meaning is by definition, subjective and for me that means we are allowed to question a lot of things which we never questioned before. Such as values, morality and so on, but that is superfluous to you becoming a nihilist. Nihilism isn't necessarily a sad realisation, it was an extremely happy one for me but who knows how others will take it - so long as you appreciate subjective meaning as being worthwhile then you will have no problems.
So if I share 99% of my genes with all other humans and I built a magical teleportation device that would whisk humans to some safe planet just before an asteroid struck but I had no children. I would still be saving 99% of my genes. Which is not too bad. Of course that's magical, but you get the point?
I understand what you are saying but you would only be saving them temporarily without procreation, from the perspective of evolution isn't this instance of you surviving a few more years irrelevant? A far cry from "vastly increasing" the survivability of your genes from a long term perspective, forget millions of years, this event would be irrelevant in less than 50 no? I don't know if these extreme examples are just a bad habit of yours or if you are struggling to come up with any meaningful examples but nothing you have said seems to even attempt to validate any of your arguments.
Wasn't that option 3?
Err, yeah... my bad, misread it.
So perhaps it's more that past a certain point I have to demonstrate that this is true? Like sure up to point X (which we don't need to define) it's better to be closer to reality but after point X it's less obvious
It's kind of like saying, if lions didn't know how to hunt then they would all die. My answer is well yes, no **** but don't all/most lions learn to hunt and that's kind of how the lion operates. For humans, first we started off talking about humans nuking each other into oblivion and now we are talking about whether humans know how to feed themselves and crawl into caves. If the only concession you are looking for is that if humans forget how to farm food, build houses or find clean water to drink then we are in big trouble then yeah, okay... I thought your point was bigger than this and maybe it is, but basically you are saying this is the best you can provide proof for? What happened to belief mandates proof? People can't recognise the difference between tigers and grass and all get eaten? Come on... Is this some kind of metaphysical argument?
But yes it's a conundrum for me. How do I prove my theory.
You've got it all backwards, you don't believe in a theory and then look for proof. If your argument is that millions of years into the future, the Earth will be inhospitable and every day will be a life/death situation and only those who are clever and understand what they are doing will be able to survive in this harsh environment then to me we are now talking about a hypothetical. In this hypothetical, what you are saying makes more sense - in this hypothetical then closeness to reality would have a direct, immediate and apparent impact on surviving and I got no problem with that. However can you understand that without this hypothetical, in the present, not much of what you are saying makes sense. I don't believe that the Earth will ever become as you are describing, I subscribe to some kind of industrial wasteland Earth :D.

My main problem with your way of thinking is that it reduces humans to the level of animals, I think adaptation for humans will come in the form of technology or ingenuity, in a new inhospitable world - our success would be more defined on whether we could create medicines, find food using strategies and tools and things of this nature. Well my real problem with your way of thinking is that you don't provide any evidence for your claim - I mean reality isn't doing much correcting right now as far as evolution is concerned, can we agree on this? It is basically like this for me, I stay true to the spirit of atheism, "I don't know, you've provided no proof therefore I am forced to say I don't believe what you are saying to be true".

Eduk
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 9th, 2017, 3:52 am

Existential nihilism makes sense up to a point, but goes too far for me. My biggest issues with it is that it says life has no meaning. As opposed to it is unknown if life has meaning. And also humanity is insignificant as opposed to it is unknown if humanity is insignificant.
Nihilism would suggest that wiping out the entire human race, or not, makes no difference whatsoever. But I wouldn't feel great stating that as a categorical fact and then on a whim deciding to wipe out the entire human race (assuming I could). Personally I'm not a fan of wiping out any life on the planet, or any other planet and certainly not lightly or on a whim.
The obvious counter is ok you say there is no meaning, so where is your evidence that there is no meaning.
Now this is where it all sounds like the same kind of claims that the religious level at the atheists. As in prove that God doesn't exist. But there are significant differences.
1. Atheism is not believing in God. It's not a belief that God doesn't exist. These are two different things.
2. Personally I would go further and say I believe that Christian God doesn't exist (or any religions God). This is not atheism. This is a claim which requires proof. I need to prove that Christian God doesn't exist.
3. If you remove religion from the equation of God then I no longer make the claim that God doesn't exist. Now I am agnostic.
4. If you say there is no meaning then the burden of proof is on you.
However can you understand that without this hypothetical, in the present, not much of what you are saying makes sense. I don't believe that the Earth will ever become as you are describing,
I keep saying you need to look long term. I don't know how else to put it. Also you may find this interesting http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles. ... -Evolving/
It is a common belief amongst non biologists that we aren't evolving. But there is no evidence that we aren't evolving, so again that is a positive claim that requires proof. The link shows proof that we are still evolving. I'm not a biologist either though, so I'm not sure how solid the evidence is. Really need a biologist on this forum :)

Also it is a fact that the earth will become unviable for human life in the future. The Sun will run out of energy at the very least. This is a long time, but as I keep saying, I am talking about a long time.
I understand what you are saying but you would only be saving them temporarily without procreation, from the perspective of evolution isn't this instance of you surviving a few more years irrelevant?
Why would they not procrastinate? It was my assumption that they would continue to be normal humans.
Let me put it another (less extreme way). If I save your life when you are a child. You then procrastinate and I do not. I have still saved 99% of my genes into the next generation. Of course beyond that who knows what will happen to your child/children.
My answer is well yes, no **** but don't all/most lions learn to hunt and that's kind of how the lion operates
But there used to be not Lions. There used to be predators without senses. Blindly bobbing about feeding on other life which also blindly bobbed about. Then those organisms continued to evolve. Obviously it's complex to say the least but as prey 'learns' to avoid predator, the predator 'learns' to find prey. If the predator does not 'learn' then we have no more predator and likewise with the prey. Although it's generally not in the predators interests to eat all the prey.

Judaka
Posts: 233
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » August 9th, 2017, 7:57 am

Existential nihilism makes sense up to a point, but goes too far for me
Like I said, if we follow the aforementioned principles then you cannot argue against nihilism, if you abandon those principles and decide to instead believe in things on the basis of convenience or preference then nihilism is not necessarily a strong argument. Nihilism suggests that reality does not care about the human race - something I thought you had come to terms with but clearly not - my perspective is that I care about whether the human race prospers or dies out and that subjective importance is the highest level of importance, in a universe where objective importance or meaning does not exist as far as one who abides by the aforementioned principles is concerned.
The obvious counter is ok you say there is no meaning, so where is your evidence that there is no meaning.
I am surprised I need to explain this to you "there is objective meaning to the universe" is a positive claim - a claim that requires validation/evidence for, what you are asking me to do is prove a negative, to demonstrate the implausibility of something is far more difficult - often impossible and usually completely unnecessary. This is because we put the onus on the person making the POSITIVE claim to come up with the evidence, people are innocent until proven guilty, scientific theories are true because they have proof, not because nobody was able to show that it was completely impossible. Show me proof that you aren't part of my imagination, show me proof that we aren't living in the matrix, show me the proof that you've never killed someone before... if you can't then you are a murderer!! If you can simply flip the question and not distinguish between positive claims and negative claims then evidence is no longer necessary. For example I say I can turn into a dragon..:
You: Show proof
Me: No
You: I only believe in claims that provide evidence
Me: Do you believe I can turn into a dragon?
You: No
Me: Provide evidence that I can't
You: I can't
Me: Then why do you believe I can't turn into a dragon? I though all claims required evidence in your book?

Do you see the problem here?
1. Atheism is not believing in God. It's not a belief that God doesn't exist. These are two different things.
No that is not what an atheist is, any dictionary will tell you that Atheism is the belief that there is no God.
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/atheism
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Athiest
http://www.yourdictionary.com/atheist

It means you do not believe in the existence of God, this is the same deal as nihilism.
3. If you remove religion from the equation of God then I no longer make the claim that God doesn't exist. Now I am agnostic
I don't see how it makes a difference, surely no evidence = no belief, it doesn't matter whether someone is claiming there are vampires or not, I still don't believe in vampires, no?
4. If you say there is no meaning then the burden of proof is on you.
I hope you understand why this logic is flawed, giving you long winded explanations doesn't work - put simply if we can flip the question to put positive and negative claims on the same level then we cannot rule out anything. I am not going to try to convince you of this; I only continued talking to you because I thought you understood this basic principle and I believed that meant you would understand the error of your ways. You cannot call yourself an atheist if you embrace this logic, there are so many fantastical and absurd claims that we cannot provide comprehensive evidence against - if you want to approach them all from the position that unless we can disprove it then we must accept the plausibility of it then that is your prerogative. That objective meaning for the universe exists is a fantastical claim with not a shred of evidence behind it - I cannot disprove it. I believe the onus is on them to provide proof - if you don't feel the same way then a lot of our disagreements will start to make more sense.

I keep saying you need to look long term. I don't know how else to put it. Also you may find this interesting http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles. ... -Evolving/
It is a common belief amongst non biologists that we aren't evolving. But there is no evidence that we aren't evolving, so again that is a positive claim that requires proof. The link shows proof that we are still evolving. I'm not a biologist either though, so I'm not sure how solid the evidence is. Really need a biologist on this forum :)
I have never claimed evolution had stopped, I said it was going backwards and I meant this in the sense that we are not evolving in a way which is not necessarily superior in my view, if I am wrong about that and we are evolving in a way that I would consider superior then I concede that point. I am not knowledgeable about genetics, I have never been very interested in it. I am not saying that in one million years, humans won't look different, think differently or whatever else - I doubt we will survive that long but if we do, I cannot begin to imagine what circumstances our survival would be under or what kind of beings we had become. I imagine immensely different than how we are now. However this has nothing to do with "closeness to reality" or "reality correcting", I don't think that this aspect of human nature is represented in our genes and if it is you haven't provided any evidence for that so I can't comment.

Also "We aren't evolving" is not a positive claim, "aren't" means it is not a positive claim.
Why would they not procrastinate? It was my assumption that they would continue to be normal humans.
Let me put it another (less extreme way). If I save your life when you are a child. You then procrastinate and I do not. I have still saved 99% of my genes into the next generation. Of course beyond that who knows what will happen to your child/children.
I assume you mean procreate, you said that it is not vital for you to procreate, "I can vastly increase the survivability of my genes without procreating" is what you said. This made no sense to me so I asked for clarification - if it makes no sense in general then that is fine, I am not trying to say everything you say is wrong on the basis that you misspoke here. Give me some evidence and no problem, god I am bored of saying that but it's true.

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