Best world scenario

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Judaka
Posts: 235
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » August 20th, 2017, 3:41 pm

I am pretty sure he first came here to kick some atheist ass, only interested in the thread once God was mentioned and now he is using the word marginalise so I am guessing it just became political for some reason. I mean one person marginalising another person, or even a group of people is just me saying "you aren't worth my time" and so long as the basis for that isn't superficial then what is the problem?
No you miss the point I'm trying to make.
I don't think I am missing your point at all, in fact most of what you said has already been said by me. I saying that there are goals beyond increasing quality of life and that these goals cannot be assumed to be "far from reality" due to assuming a premise that this desire is impulsive, or ill thought-out and that regardless of whether it is expressed, latent or just logically consistent with other stated goals, that it is always safe to assume that quality of life is the only goal worth having. You say that destroying the world is far from reality on this basis no? If you don't have this stance, why would it be far from reality to destroy the world? If I am aware of the consequences, if it aids my goals and I am being rational and consistent then how can I be far from reality?

The problem is with your implementation of what we agree is a fact, that people have contradicting goals, goals they will regret or have unanticipated and unwanted side effects. There are many cases of this where this is not esoteric, we can predict with reasonable certainty that members of gangs will reap unwanted consequences that contradict other goals, that may end up in regret and unnecessary hardship. However you need to be careful about assuming what you can predict and what you can know about the goals of others, I feel that you use this fact to discredit intentions that you find disagreeable and you've done just this many times, your actual understanding of the subject I have no disagreements with and so this really isn't a difference in interpretation or understanding, but methodology. You accept goals that are make sense from a stereotypical Western morality/ethics basis and aim to discredit goals that fall outside of that. Whether it is destroying the world, stealing from others, the actions of terrorists, the actions of Germans in ww2, I suspect that all actions that were criminal or cruel, or go against basic morality you would seek to discredit by saying they are far from reality.

What I need is some real world acknowledgement that breaks this trend and demonstrates you are ready to apply these agreed upon truths. This debate started out with me thinking you were a complete moron, basically disagreeing with every single thing you said without exception and now here we are, with what seems to be very few things left to even discuss because we have somehow managed to agree with each other. I know that I have changed my views about certain things over this debate and I have said as much, I wonder how much you think you have changed over this debate... Your position about this has always been the same but before you had an extremely dubious justification for it and now you have a fairly reasonable justification for it. I have no faith in peoples ability to create good goals for themselves either, the only issue I have is that you seem to have an agenda here... and that you make sweeping generalisations where you don't really have the basis to do so. Is it not enough for you to simply hold an opinion? Why must you categorise what you find disagreeable as being against reality?

Eduk
Posts: 2103
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » August 21st, 2017, 10:47 am

If I am aware of the consequences, if it aids my goals and I am being rational and consistent then how can I be far from reality?
But in the above case I've already said that I can't say you are far from reality.
1. A goal is defined as any goal, good or bad or whatever. In this case regardless of your goal it is better to be closer to reality. Even if your goal was to maximise your own personal insanity, am methodology which was further from reality would not make you as insane as a methodology closer to reality.
2. The vast majority of people don't want to achieve 'negative' goals such as insanity, self harm, destroying the world etc. Again even an individual who has suffered severe trauma through their life and who's goals are entirely 'negative' would, on the whole, do 'better' with 'positive' goals. Again it comes back to the happy pig. A destroyed person may wish any goal but the 'best' goal for that human would be to 'heal' themselves even if in their current state this is not the case, future states must also be factored in. Can I say you are further from reality if you pursue a goal which ultimately against 'bigger' goals, then yes I can.
3. There are exceptions to point 2. There are genuine humans as you have described whose 'best' option may well actually be to destroy the world. And if not that extreme then still certainly something I would object to. Can I say they are far from reality? No. They could be bang on the money and achieve their goal perfectly. Of course to me I have moral issues, but as we have all agreed there is no moral authority in this circumstance.
4. 3. is I believe not the norm. Now this is not an argument from the masses, just a simple factual statement (if right). So while I cannot say that person X is definitely making the wrong choice unless I knew them a lot better or there was a way to measure such a thing, I can say it's highly likely that person X is making the wrong choice.
5. Point 4, is not the strongest. But this now comes full circle back to where we began. People in position 3 are not likely to do too well biologically. Of course one or two won't make too much difference but there is, as I've explained, a tipping point. Too many people in camp 3 would suffer survival of the fittest style evolution. So either they would be bred down to reasonable numbers or there would be no more humans to breed. So in this sense reality will stop certain behaviour. I guess my original language of 'correct' is entirely inappropriate, I should have used prevent or stop. As we already agreed there is no correct, if humans live or die is not down to objective correctness. Or at least I have no reason to believe such a thing.
Unknown means unknown.

Judaka
Posts: 235
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » August 28th, 2017, 2:10 pm

But in the above case I've already said that I can't say you are far from reality.
I am confused because you act as though you did not just say that you in fact can call it far from reality only a few posts ago, and before that you have used "far from reality" to describe the goals of hypothetical peoples based on the goal and nothing else? Destroying the world? Violent and domineering behaviour in a "think for yourself" situation? If you are saying that this is no longer your position then I don't understand the rest of what you are saying here. Nonetheless I wonder whether you are really on board with what I have said about perspective and interpretation, objectivity and subjectivity and so on, I wonder whether you realise how much of the rest of your comment is interpretation. Now I have no problem with you having your opinions, moral, principled or by analysis and I have made it clear that just because someone has a goal, it does not mean anything to me really, I am still happy to oppose, obstruct, condemn and mock. What I find annoying is that you yourself don't recognise when you are inserting your beliefs into what we agree is empirical fact, this is to restate that methods can be evaluated as objectively achieving a certain outcome better than other methods and this creates the possibility for "argument of alignments" in that we can attack a method if it fails to achieve the intended goal or is inefficient/unreliable in comparison to other methods. This can include other goals as well, if you are trying to become x (a goal) in order to become y ( a goal) but x doesn't lead to or is an inefficient/unreliable method to achieve y then the goal is bad. I am with you on this, however once we start getting into comparing goals that have no correlation, we get into the realms of interpretation. Now goals are sure to impact each other, if I have two goals goals one is to get rich using violent means and the other is to stay out of prison, we can clearly see a contradiction here - these goals conflict with each other. Which goal is the best goal? Which goal is best for the person? None of these questions matter when it comes to objectivity, we can only say that there is a causality for these goals and with probability accounted for we can measure how likely each method is to achieve each possible outcome. There is a best way to get rich through violent means and there is a best way to staying out of jail but there is not a best goal, or a goal that will be the best for that person. You are using some unstated personal interpretation of what is best for the individual and measuring these goals by how well they achieve that.

The whole comment is littered with this kind of attitude, do people need trauma in order to be entirely negative? Do they need to be "destroyed people"? Is this a fact based assessment or an emotional assessment? The "best" goal for the person only exists if we are talking about the "best goal to achieve another goal", an objective best goal is a nonsensical term, "bigger goals" I assume you mean, more important or long-term but again, unless this bigger goal included smaller goals then objectively there is no argument for this. I only say all this because of the context of the discussion, in the context of measuring actions subjectively then a lot (but not all) of what you are saying makes a lot of sense. People can regret their actions, people can prioritise their goals and we've agreed on all this already. It is just dubious to me that you unashamedly apply this logic to hypothetical individuals, where subjective circumstances are inapplicable.
4. 3. is I believe not the norm. Now this is not an argument from the masses, just a simple factual statement (if right). So while I cannot say that person X is definitely making the wrong choice unless I knew them a lot better or there was a way to measure such a thing, I can say it's highly likely that person X is making the wrong choice.
I find this argument a bit amusing for a number of reasons but the main reason is that the norm does not want to destroy the world, being someone who does want to destroy the world automatically means you are no longer a part of the norm in this context. It is like saying I don't think people who want abortions are likely to be correct because most people don't want abortions (men, un-pregnant women, children, elderly etc) rather than saying I don't think people who want abortions are likely to be correct because 99% of women who go through with unwanted pregnancies report satisfaction in their decision (made up fact). It's like saying buying a ferrari is likely to be the wrong choice because people who can't afford one, people who can't drive, people who don't like ferraris and you get the idea here. So while I would agree that there are some goals seem more impulsive and illogical than others, making them likely to be incompatible in the majority of cases with other goals or indeed, common sense but your line of logic here is pretty ridiculous. I think many things would become unlikely by this logic and it is actually does use might is right logic even if you go out of your way to say it doesn't. Saying that uncommon views are highly likely to be incorrect and a more common view is more likely to be correct when we are talking about matters of personal preference and subjective truth is a bias based on how many people think a certain way, the definition of might is right.
But this now comes full circle back to where we began. People in position 3 are not likely to do too well biologically. Of course one or two won't make too much difference but there is, as I've explained, a tipping point. Too many people in camp 3 would suffer survival of the fittest style evolution. So either they would be bred down to reasonable numbers or there would be no more humans to breed. So in this sense reality will stop certain behaviour.
You say they are not likely to do well biologically but I do not feel this is true, nor do I see any evidence to suggest it is true. The world is not filled with perfect fathers and mothers, what world are you living in? The world I live in has exceptional rates of fatherless homes, people in poverty, whether caused by dysfunction or something else are breeding at rates far greater than those who "do well" by conventional measurements and I find it really odd that you think we ought to take for granted that people with violent, destructive or outrageous views have certain rules separating them from others. There is also no evidence to show that they wouldn't simply be bred down to reasonable numbers or there is some logic behind it. I feel stupid even saying all that, as you have not proven at all - nor attempted to prove (ONCE AGAIN FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME) that anything you have ever mentioned is genetically represented. Now you are saying people who want to destroy the world can be BRED OUT? Are you serious? There is a "I want to destroy the world gene"? Even if you say "there are narcissism genes or psychopathic genes" these don't always lead to "I want to destroy the world" and you'd need to prove they are a substantial proportion of those with these genes (good luck), then you'd need to prove that this attitude does actually lead to a decline in birth rates (good luck) and you'd need to show that these factors would actually lead to the world being destroyed or the gene receiving significant elimination at a tipping point or whatever.

I am begging you at this point because I am so bored of repeating myself, evidence! Put up or shut up. (btw "think about the long term" is not evidence, seriously, it isn't).
So in this sense reality will stop certain behaviour. I guess my original language of 'correct' is entirely inappropriate, I should have used prevent or stop
Although I still don't agree with using verbs with the word reality while I disagree that elimination of behaviours works the way that you say it does but I would not have disagreed that it occurs.

Eduk
Posts: 2103
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » September 4th, 2017, 11:56 am

if I have two goals goals one is to get rich using violent means and the other is to stay out of prison, we can clearly see a contradiction here - these goals conflict with each other. Which goal is the best goal? Which goal is best for the person?
Well now we are getting into what is 'best' for a person and if there is indeed a 'best'? I don't want to waste too much time so I'll ask the question first, is there a 'best'?
If there is a 'best' then my position is logically sound (I believe?) but if there is not a 'best' then it is not logically sound.
an objective best goal is a nonsensical term,
Depends what you think a human is. Or what needs are. Or what desires are. And if they are different. And if some needs/desires come from different places than other needs/desires. And if you believe in materialism? For example you did not answer my earlier question, is it better to be a happy pig or an unhappy human? Or does it make no difference? Again I don't want to waste a lot of time talking about something we both agree upon.
Saying that uncommon views are highly likely to be incorrect and a more common view is more likely to be correct when we are talking about matters of personal preference and subjective truth is a bias based on how many people think a certain way, the definition of might is right.
No that's not what I meant. I meant if you wanted to destroy the world then you would almost certainly be wrong in that desire as it conflicts with your other desires and your own nature in such a way as it would be 'bad' for you overall. That is not necessarily true of everyone, so I cannot say it is wrong objectively to want to destroy the world (even if it was true of everyone it still wouldn't be objectively true). All I am saying is that it is wrong for you to want to destroy the world and wrong for almost everyone to want to destroy the world. This is an argument for what you want, not an argument for what is objectively right (again we already agreed there is no objective right, there is no need to repeat this).
The world I live in has exceptional rates of fatherless homes, people in poverty, whether caused by dysfunction or something else are breeding at rates far greater than those who "do well" by conventional measurements
Statistics certainly back up your claim. But this neither proves nor disproves anything I've been saying.
Do we have a reality of progressively more and more dysfunctional children from each generation? What is stopping that from happening, if anything? How dysfunctional is it possible to get and still have children?
Now you are saying people who want to destroy the world can be BRED OUT? Are you serious? There is a "I want to destroy the world gene"?
No I did not mean to imply there is a single gene for such a complicated behaviour.

-- Updated September 5th, 2017, 4:27 am to add the following --

I just stumbled upon this article

https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/437 ... 380824.pdf

It is in response to a religious apologist argument. Basically about the nature of truth and if we can trust that anything we perceive is truth. Now this is why I first asked you if you believed in reality, to be honest I was mostly expecting you to say you didn't (or some variation). It is logical that true beliefs are a better guide to the world than false ones. At least that is logical to me and logical to evolutionary epistemology.

Now in fairness to your complaint that I have not proved that assertion. That remains a fair point. I need to look more into evolutionary epistemology and provide you some links to studies. But at least I feel like I'm looking in the right place now :)
Unknown means unknown.

Judaka
Posts: 235
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » September 5th, 2017, 11:37 am

Well now we are getting into what is 'best' for a person and if there is indeed a 'best'? I don't want to waste too much time so I'll ask the question first, is there a 'best'?
If there is a 'best' then my position is logically sound (I believe?) but if there is not a 'best' then it is not logically sound.
This is what I said after that
None of these questions matter when it comes to objectivity, we can only say that there is a causality for these goals and with probability accounted for we can measure how likely each method is to achieve each possible outcome. There is a best way to get rich through violent means and there is a best way to staying out of jail but there is not a best goal, or a goal that will be the best for that person. You are using some unstated personal interpretation of what is best for the individual and measuring these goals by how well they achieve that.
I think as far as objectively better goes, I believe you say that it is pointless for us to argue about whether something is objectively right or not because we agree that it isn't. Objectively best is wrong for all the same reasons as objectively right, that is why I paraphrased our agreement which is that a method can be the best for achieving a goal. However "right" and "best" in contexts of preference as it is with choices made by free will, it cannot be anything but subjective. I am sure you have your subjective view and I have mine, and I think our views are fairly similar.
Depends what you think a human is. Or what needs are. Or what desires are. And if they are different. And if some needs/desires come from different places than other needs/desires. And if you believe in materialism? For example you did not answer my earlier question, is it better to be a happy pig or an unhappy human? Or does it make no difference? Again I don't want to waste a lot of time talking about something we both agree upon.
The moment it depends on what I think, isn't it no longer objective? Even in the situation where I had two goals, one is my life long dream and one is a whim that I would forget about tomorrow, then I sacrifice my dream so that I can satisfy my whim. What would your claim about this be? Surely that is not objectively wrong, you keep saying leave that out of this. You would say that I sacrificed the objectively better or more important goal then? Can you prove that one goal becomes better than another using any given criteria (speaking objectively of course)? You can say that there will be regret, hardship and maybe even harsh consequences such as death, you can talk about the individual's feelings, your feelings and all of it and I wouldn't say none of this is unimportant but can't you tell that it is subjective? I feel there is no ambiguity here.
How dysfunctional is it possible to get and still have children?
How functional do you need to be to have children? Eat what your parents feed you, have sex and mission complete. Human beings in my view, have already surpassed the level where having children poses any sort of difficulty. Even to the "runts of the litter" which wouldn't survive in different circumstances.
I just stumbled upon this article

https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/437 ... 380824.pdf

It is in response to a religious apologist argument. Basically about the nature of truth and if we can trust that anything we perceive is truth. Now this is why I first asked you if you believed in reality, to be honest I was mostly expecting you to say you didn't (or some variation). It is logical that true beliefs are a better guide to the world than false ones. At least that is logical to me and logical to evolutionary epistemology.

Now in fairness to your complaint that I have not proved that assertion. That remains a fair point. I need to look more into evolutionary epistemology and provide you some links to studies. But at least I feel like I'm looking in the right place now
I don't find the article contentious, not sure if I am supposed to or not. The causality of our features concludes in the changes we call evolution, asserting limiting characterisations on this process is fairly arrogant and ridiculous.

I think there is a conflation of multiple arguments here but maybe I'm mistaken. My original point that the truth is not always beneficial basically comes back to what we are arguing now, if we evaluate a method by its ability to achieve the stated goal then it is possible for a lie to be preferable. You made several concessions regarding this, I have said that this is really a way to demonstrate my way of thinking (pure adherence to causality) rather than blind faith in expectations such as "the truth is a better guide than a lie" which may be true 99% of the time and I don't think I will miss the 99% of the times that it does because as I said, I have no desire to find examples where the lie is preferable, I just deal with things in terms of causality.

The second thing is that you have repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims regarding what you think evolution is going to result in being eliminated, this article is not contentious because it is talking about natural selection, in a general sense. As I have said, I would need to see context and circumstance to say untruth > truth as a tool for survival or reproduction, generally I would say that truth is preferable and when this is about natural selection that already high chance becomes even higher. Evolution is different in my understanding because it includes more than just natural selection, which has been my argument. Natural selection seems to me (as far as free will is concerned), a minor factor compared to others in modern society. Such as culture, technology, socioeconomic trends and so on. I think also that the traits which will be eliminated depend on the world you live in, without getting too much into it. I am only concerned with causality, that results in my opinions about most things being fractured. I will call it as I see it, I don't value anything over causality.

I do think it has been rather difficult whenever you talk about previous disagreements, my opinion of you has improved since then and the nature of our disagreements have changed.

Eduk
Posts: 2103
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » September 5th, 2017, 12:23 pm

The moment it depends on what I think, isn't it no longer objective?
I don't think so no. You trust your sensory input enough to conclude their is a reality. You use your eyes to read the dials on some machine? You use your reason to build the machine in the first place, and so on. Philosophically I can't prove that there is a reality, empirically I can't prove there is a reality (I can't prove I'm not fooling myself). My belief is built on wobbly foundations, so to speak, but that does not mean all my beliefs are equal.
Even in the situation where I had two goals, one is my life long dream and one is a whim that I would forget about tomorrow, then I sacrifice my dream so that I can satisfy my whim. What would your claim about this be? Surely that is not objectively wrong,
What I'm saying is that it is objectively wrong for 'you' to do that. Bearing in mind you have needs that must be meet. Such as oxygen. Denying you oxygen is objectively bad for you. You also have wants which are blended with needs. As in you both want and need (on a certain level) sex. For example it is difficult to go without sex and it can make you do crazy things if you do so. So sex is objectively good for you (but not just random sex, there are conditions). Likewise human companionship is almost a need, if you go into solitary confinement you will likely go at least a little insane, so you could say solitary is objectively bad for you. I could go on, and these examples are not meant to be in anyway complete, obviously these are tricky subject matters. My point is that you are human and thus have needs/wants, if they are not met then this is objectively bad for 'you'. It's not objectively bad for the universe, just for you.

By the way you still didn't answer who is happier the happy pig or unhappy man? I am assuming from your answers so far that you say both are equally happy/unhappy.
My original point that the truth is not always beneficial basically comes back to what we are arguing now, if we evaluate a method by its ability to achieve the stated goal then it is possible for a lie to be preferable.
Absolutely. I never disagreed. I just argued that generally this is not the case and that generally a lie is not preferable and most of the cases where I can think a lie would be preferable are cases like being asked if you are Jewish by Nazis. I also said that whether a lie is preferable or not may be unknown. So what should we assume in those cases? How do we know when a lie is preferable, without being wise after the event?
Evolution is different in my understanding because it includes more than just natural selection,
It is fair to say that the majority of what I have talked about is evolution via natural selection. To be honest both terms are often used interchangeably (incorrectly as you point out) and not being a biologist I have likely made mistakes and not been clear myself.
Natural selection seems to me (as far as free will is concerned)
I'm not sure what you mean here, can you elaborate? For example my initial response is to ask how free is free will?

-- Updated September 5th, 2017, 12:54 pm to add the following --

Again stumbled upon this

Hj9oB4zpHww

There are some interesting points about well being.

-- Updated September 5th, 2017, 12:55 pm to add the following --

sorry typo, and can't edit :(
Unknown means unknown.

Judaka
Posts: 235
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » September 18th, 2017, 1:29 am

I don't think so no. You trust your sensory input enough to conclude their is a reality. You use your eyes to read the dials on some machine? You use your reason to build the machine in the first place, and so on. Philosophically I can't prove that there is a reality, empirically I can't prove there is a reality (I can't prove I'm not fooling myself). My belief is built on wobbly foundations, so to speak, but that does not mean all my beliefs are equal.
If we agree there is a reality, then surely your sensory input has no bearing on the objective truth of that reality... I do not give credence to the idea that reality does not exist - nor accept there is any possibility that it doesn't exist. That is my philosophical position towards reality however the context here isn't even a discussion about reality. It is a hypothetical about an "objective best goal", I am satisfied that implementation of values and goals (A causality that can be measured by science, as the Sam Harris video argues) has varying degrees of effectiveness in each possibility and this can include a goal. Such as robbing a bank (goal) to become rich (goal), we can argue whether this is the best goal to achieve extreme wealth and I would not find this argument contentious in the slightest. Now we are arguing about 'fact', true/false claims.

We may ask, "why do you want to become rich?" and there will be a variety of answers for this. We can then ask "is becoming rich (goal) the best way to achieve stated desire (goal) and once again we can have an argument that I would not find contentious at all. The reason that this kind of thinking is not particularly relevant to our discussions is because they are hypothetical examples with hypothetical people, where you have not attempted to measure a goal by its effectiveness to conclude in the desired manner. Although we could question whether this was actually possible or not if this had been done, my point here is to give an understanding of this topic whereby the implementation of our values is separated from the values themselves. We cannot measure the actual values but we can value the implementation of them (as means to an end). This usually gives us leave to question in this true/false manner a great deal of subjects, since there are few goals that are goals in of themselves.

This is kind of true/false argument I have called "an argument of alignment" and the reason for that is because we are not necessarily dealing with a goal which leads to another goal in a casual manner which can be measured by science. These are goals where the only causality is personal interpretation, goals that are important without reason and measurements which complicate the matter of measuring methodology. There are also goals which attempt to achieve things that others do not view as being worthwhile or perhaps even desirable. So we discredit them and certainly there are issues such as the prison example where some kind of prioritisation of goals becomes necessary, yet naturally in a public forum environment will become contentious. So some may say robbing a bank is not a good way to get rich because we ought to prioritise our freedom, or because you might harm others and similar differences in priority. We may say that happiness should be ones goal in life but not at the expense of other peoples happiness or safety, bullying others may prove enjoyable yet others would condemn it. This is where some people start to feel the need to elevate their view above others using what means possible, reject the causal link that surely exists for some between bullying and their personal satisfaction. Or to force their prioritisation of things on others, using philosophical arguments like "if everyone did that then it wouldn't be sustainable" or whatever crap people spout. No longer talking about causality or reasonable true/false claims...

Perhaps you would agree that you have been prone to such views? Demonising behaviour that deviates from your priorities, discrediting methodologies that require things you disagree with and so on? Talking about a rational person who thinks for himself as being also kind, empathetic and essentially ideal? Speaking about someone who would destroy the world as deranged and misguided in a hypothetical (a causal argument then, I assume). Now I find this argument difficult because you say these things, then when you talk without hypotheticals or examples, I mostly agree with what you are saying. Sometimes you disavow what you have said without explaining why you said it in the first place, I am rather lost as to who's fault this confusion is but it is the reason we talk in circles. To me this is not a throwaway subject, from my positions here I establish more views and philosophies and my view on values, objectivity and nihilism are just the foundations for those views. This debate has never been about that yet it always has incorporated elements of it.
My point is that you are human and thus have needs/wants, if they are not met then this is objectively bad for 'you'. It's not objectively bad for the universe, just for you.

By the way you still didn't answer who is happier the happy pig or unhappy man? I am assuming from your answers so far that you say both are equally happy/unhappy.
There is a prioritisation required here which involves free will, not wants/needs. Often times we value things above our wants/needs, duty and responsibility and such. You say it is okay to go to war against Hitler, yet as far as your personal well-being goes this is extremely detrimental, perhaps you would have this view of a war which had no purpose or a purpose you did not agree with. There is no such thing as "objectively bad", you are asserting that my goal as a human is to have my needs/wants met and you have no basis for this, that is a matter of free will. Your entire argument here presupposes that there is no prioritisation available (as you did in the past with welfare arguments) and there is ALWAYS prioritisation available to you. When a woman kills herself in wartime to avoid being raped, if a man jumps into the ocean to rescue children yet drowns as a result (read about this happening in a newspaper just last week), enter solitary confinement to avoid being killed by other inmates or whatever the case may be, here are easy examples that likely align with your own personal prioritisation. Examples outside of that may include chastity for religious reasons or certainly deciding a whim over a life long dream... Without going into great depth, clearly we have the option to deny ourselves of things we want/need and clearly we want/need differently from person to person so how I ask, does any of this result in an objective truth to what the best goal is...?

As for unhappy human vs happy pig, I don't have my own answer for this but ultimately it all comes down to your interpretation of happiness. Is happiness defined using scientific methods, philosophically defined or what is it? The answer changes based on what you define happiness as and how you measure it. As usual, my view is that it is completely subjective.

How do we know when a lie is preferable, without being wise after the event?
Past experience? I am just talking about reality, you may hold a philosophy that says disavow all lies because 99% of the time you will make the right choice by following the truth but in hypothetical terms, a lie can be useful. In practical terms, we must make our own judgements on the matter.
It is fair to say that the majority of what I have talked about is evolution via natural selection. To be honest both terms are often used interchangeably (incorrectly as you point out) and not being a biologist I have likely made mistakes and not been clear myself.
A lot of what you are saying becomes less contentious if we exclude evolution and simply talk about natural selection, I am not a biologist either (nor even well read on the subject) and usually I refrain from holding opinions on anything I am ignorant of, really I am just asking you to do the same. Clearly we both have elementary understandings of this topic and while perhaps that is above the average person, some level of care to the integrity concerning our views is a philosophical imperative to me and I believe it should be for others as well. It is easier for me to say that because none of my views rely on any understanding regarding this subject whereas yours do, however I do know that as far as "evolution" is concerned, much of what you said contradicts my own understanding and without evidence, it is difficult to take seriously.
Natural selection seems to me (as far as free will is concerned)
I'm not sure what you mean here, can you elaborate? For example my initial response is to ask how free is free will?
I am saying that many variables exist in evolution such as natural selection and free will, an example of free will influencing evolution would be cultural and historical events. Certainly not everyone's free will influences evolution but certainly Hitler probably did, as will the current race war in South Africa or the mass migration of refugees in Europe. All of these are consequences caused by choices made by freely thinking individuals. There are obviously many more influences than just free will and natural selection as I detailed previously.

As far as how "free" is free will goes, I would ask what is an obstruction to the freedom of our wills? Personally I view free will as completely free because I don't view things like personality, biology and other influences as obstructions, they do not stop us from acting freely they merely influence our thinking. So naturally I would not think of women the same if my biology was altered, thus changing how I would interact with them and the same is true of other men, we may talk about involuntary actions such as erections or blushing but I would say that is separate from your "will". All actions regarding my will are of my own volition, I can act against my nature, my personality, my philosophies and such whenever I choose. I may never do this, this may be a meaningless possibility for some but in concept, free will is totally free. In reality, many strong influences, misunderstandings and circumstances "force our hand", in practical terms they do, but this is separate from the concept.

So I could give credence to a view that free will is obstructed if you were to define some influences as obstructions but personally I don't, any suggestion about something which influences or obstructs free will requires serious documentation and evidence. I am happy to say that there are influences (or obstructions) to free will that involve themselves in the process of evolution but I don't take this subject lightly, observation is insufficient, real evidence is required to demonstrate it to me. So while some topics in the subject may be true, I will remain sceptical, and hostile towards those who would push their views as facts without that real evidence I believe necessary.

Eduk
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » September 22nd, 2017, 6:54 am

If we agree there is a reality, then surely your sensory input has no bearing on the objective truth of that reality... I do not give credence to the idea that reality does not exist
But why do you not give credence to the idea that reality does not exist. For example you cannot prove that reality is real or not real, so an agnostic approach to the reality of reality should be the most reasonable?
Don't get me wrong, I'm with you, I believe reality is real. But you have to have reasons for why you believe this? For example I think therefore I am is, when you think about it, quite profound. If you were not, could you think that you were?
For me many data points all point in the direction that reality is real but the majority of my reasons boil down to Occam's razor or the above quote from Descartes.
Also I would say sensory input is as a result of reality. If reality were different then sensory input would likewise be different. Evolution has seen to this because it has selected (via natural selection) organisms who's sensors and comprehension is closer to reality on the level in which they operate. For example quantum mechanics is incomprehensible (currently), no one knows how it works they just know that it does. It is logical that our brains would struggle to understand quantum mechanics as it is at a level we don't experience directly. It is also pretty amazing, to me, that we are so adaptable that we can chip away at such understanding and come up with practical results (ie your computer wouldn't exist without quantum mechanics).
whereby the implementation of our values is separated from the values themselves. We cannot measure the actual values
If there is no objective 'right' then yes all goals are equal. And we agreed there is no objective 'right' so therefore all goals are equal. But I want to make two points.
1. Your goals are not equal to yourself. All outcomes are not equal to yourself. For example you could argue philosophically that all experience is the same, if you are in a prisoner of war camp or living with your family it's all the same. Personally I don't buy into that, but you might?
2. Goals can be selected against via natural selection. This does not make them 'wrong' but it does make them not exist. So it is possible to measure goals against outcomes. Granted you can say well to exist or not to exist it's all the same objectively (not subjectively of course) and I agree. But still at the end of the day if you don't exist then, while there is nothing 'wrong' with that, you aren't in a position to argue right or wrong.
because we are not necessarily dealing with a goal which leads to another goal in a casual manner which can be measured by science. These are goals where the only causality is personal interpretation, goals that are important without reason and measurements
Can you give me some examples of said goals?
This is where some people start to feel the need to elevate their view above others using what means possible, reject the causal link that surely exists for some between bullying and their personal satisfaction. Or to force their prioritisation of things on others, using philosophical arguments like "if everyone did that then it wouldn't be sustainable" or whatever crap people spout.
But we have already agreed that it is perfectly reasonable to defend your own interests? It's totally valid for me to criticise behaviour which I believe to be harmful to my goals? I just can't claim an objective truth.
Demonising behaviour that deviates from your priorities, discrediting methodologies that require things you disagree with and so on? Talking about a rational person who thinks for himself as being also kind, empathetic and essentially ideal? Speaking about someone who would destroy the world as deranged and misguided in a hypothetical
If there is no objective right or wrong then I can't demonise people objectively. I can certainly discredit them though from a subjective view? I said someone might be misguided or damaged or unhappy and you see that as demonisation? If being unhappy is the same as being happy then it isn't demonising someone to say they are unhappy.
And yes I believe that a person who thinks for themselves is more likely (note more likely, not certain) to come to outcomes which I would generally approve of. Again this is not unreasonable of me, by your own arguments. I also believe that many people doing things which I would generally disagree with are indeed damaged in various ways. For example I had a good friend, when I was 10, whose parent was abusive to him. He did not grow up to be a well adjusted happy person. Now of course you can argue a free thinking, happy individual is the same as physiologically damaged unhappy person. My only argument is that they are not the same to themselves.
you are asserting that my goal as a human is to have my needs/wants met and you have no basis for this, that is a matter of free will.
But real life goals are complex. As you pointed out you may highly endanger your life to achieve a goal you feel is more important to you. In the case of war for example you are endangering your life in order to paradoxically save your life (and the lives of your loved ones).
Regarding needs/want/free will/value, call it what you will. If you are an unconscious robot (and to some extent we all are, Sam Harris for example argues we are 100% robots and free will is an illusion, an argument I don't buy into) then needs/wants/value doesn't come into it. So it is only to the extent that you have free will that you can apportion value to goals. This is by no means straightforward as the biggest motivators for actions are emotions (which are not conscious). In the end it's a hard to distinguish mess even if you do believe there is free will.
So certain needs you can't psychologically ignore. For example you could decide to starve yourself to death. Now this is a possible thing to do, but it's hard and not everyone could do it. Same goes for many and varied things, food, warmth, love, sex etc. So it would be better to describe a human as an unconscious need machine with a sliver of free will and consciousness able to partially steer the boat.
So the question remains as to what that free will 'wants'. Now when I say your goal is your wants, what I mean is that you want what you want. I don't know how it could be otherwise. To me this describes humans well, but I am open to differences of opinion?
a lie can be useful. In practical terms, we must make our own judgements on the matter.
I already agreed with that. My point was that in general it is better to be closer to the truth than further away from the truth (this is not the same thing as lying). For example if you know the truth will get you killed then it's better to lie. My point is that you have to know when a lie is of benefit, in order to know that then you must know the truth.
much of what you said contradicts my own understanding and without evidence, it is difficult to take seriously.
Please be more specific. I confess to not being an expert, but I don't believe I have said anything that goes against the biological consensus (although I likely expressed it badly). We have already agreed that it is better to be closer to the truth than further away if your goal is survival (that was my number one point). Now I never once said our goal 'should' be survival. All I said is that if it isn't then that will likely effect your chances of survival and hence your chances of existence. By which I return to my earlier point that we are a product of our environment (or a product of reality).
I am saying that many variables exist in evolution such as natural selection and free will
I am not sure why you categorise free will and natural selection in this manner. For example you have the free will to jump off a cliff and this would naturally select against that kind of implementation of free will. It is not a case of either/or?
All actions regarding my will are of my own volition
I am not convinced. There is an interesting book called the psychology of persuasion which talks about unconscious influence. Take for example the famous parable of the sour grapes, this is an example of something who didn't achieve what they wanted then deciding that they did not in fact want it. Sour grapes works both ways (I call in sweet grapes) as in you get something you don't want but you then decide you do want it.
Also to be somewhat more complex. As I understand the way our brain works when you think things neural pathways are created. Once created it becomes easier to think the same thing and harder to think of something else. Hence the extreme difficulty of changing ones mind. Now for example my wife has been brought up believing that cold weather causes colds. This is a common belief. Of course it's wrong in all but the most superficial way. Germs cause colds, and cold weather can increase the life span of germs on things like door handles. But even though the germ theory is a scientifically recognised fact my wife still doesn't believe it is true, she can't shake the beliefs she was brought up with (and she is far from alone in this). So let us imagine that logically she agreed and decided (using free will) to change her mind. This is a non trivial task, her neural pathways are all setup to believe one thing so she must (not consciously of course) create new pathways and stop using the old ones.
So long story short, I don't agree that we are entirely free no.
To give another (perhaps silly example) I had a waking dream some time ago. I decided to jump off of a tall building because it seemed like a good opportunity to do so. I then stepped to the edge of the tall building (it being a dream there was instantly one there). I could then not jump off because I was afraid. In real life this happens too, we don't know how we will react in extreme circumstances. Would you jump into the sea to save a child, you might like to think so but in reality maybe you couldn't. Likewise each time it happened again you still wouldn't 'know' what you could or couldn't do, regardless of what you wish you could do.
I believe that we like to think of ourselves as individuals, but I'm not convinced really. I think we are more like a collective. Sometimes we can 'beat' our nature and sometimes we do not. And we cannot perfectly predict when we can't or when we can. We do not perfectly know ourselves, indeed it is quite easy to somewhat grasp schizophrenia by simply thinking very hard about the strangers in your head.
Unknown means unknown.

Judaka
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » September 23rd, 2017, 10:38 am

But why do you not give credence to the idea that reality does not exist.
I define reality as "the state of things as they are" so even if everything I believe to be true is false, things would still be a certain way.
1. Your goals are not equal to yourself. All outcomes are not equal to yourself. For example you could argue philosophically that all experience is the same, if you are in a prisoner of war camp or living with your family it's all the same. Personally I don't buy into that, but you might?
People prioritise their goals and we hold opinions about the goals of others, this is obvious. This means subjective evaluation is not equal, no contention here.
You say one thing is objectively bad (due to our needs) but some things are subjectively bad, your basis for this is establishing a rule and making a logical argument (an argument of validity). I have explained on many occasions the problem with this but a valid argument doesn't create objective facts. You can measure goals by their relation to your needs, by the individuals opinions in hindsight, by the importance it has to the individual and the importance it has to their other ambitions. You can do it, but it is a farce to call it something other than opinion, and that is what you do.
Goals can be selected against via natural selection
A causal relationship, to be judged by the individual at their leisure. Personally I don't evaluate my goals by their likelihood to give me children and for those who do, opinion.
Can you give me some examples of said goals?
Lofty goals such as "I want to become an honourable man" - what is honourable? How many honourable things must a man do to be considered honourable? Similar goals include all manner of values and desires, "I want to make a difference in the world", "I want to become a better man" and so on.
But we have already agreed that it is perfectly reasonable to defend your own interests? It's totally valid for me to criticise behaviour which I believe to be harmful to my goals? I just can't claim an objective truth.
Ah but you do... Did you not just say that it was objectively wrong for me to throw away my life long dream for a whim? Or that denying oxygen is objectively bad for one? Would this not be an objective truth if it were true? Also although you do believe it to be an objective truth, you claim that men who think for themselves will.... and that men who want to destroy the world are.... You establish causal relationships by making these assertions in hypothetical contexts, forgoing the possibility of anecdotal observation or gut feelings.

However in regards to defending your own interests, I believe it is fine to lie, twist and hold bias in situations of uncertainty to pursue a desired outcome. If while doing this, you tried your best to maximise the pros and minimise the cons then you would be in a very similar place to myself. I say what I say because you seem to value the truth above such outcomes and because you argue this in the context of a philosophy forum where the merit in lying about your beliefs seems limited from my perspective. All I ask from others is consistency, a philosophy that achieves something useful to the philosopher while also making logical sense. If in your analysis, your views are beneficial to you then by all means, indulge in them.
I can certainly discredit them though from a subjective view? I said someone might be misguided or damaged or unhappy and you see that as demonisation? If being unhappy is the same as being happy then it isn't demonising someone to say they are unhappy.
You are not demonising the person, you are demonising the affliction by insinuating a causal link with negative connotations. If I characterised your beliefs as the product of a misguided, damaged mind - although these things are not "objectively bad", you would still feel as though I was assaulting the credibility of both you and your beliefs no? You can do whatever you want as far as discrediting something goes, no prerequisites for that.
So it would be better to describe a human as an unconscious need machine with a sliver of free will and consciousness able to partially steer the boat.
Free will to me, means that I am autonomous and self-determining, it does not mean that my options are unlimited nor that my will is unadulterated by the various influences existing internally and externally. What diminishes my free will is open to interpretation, certainly I cannot will myself to do things that I am incapable of doing such as flying or casting spells. Whether the various influences that exist are considered obstructions or influences seems to be, a philosophical distinction. Not much thought goes into the things you are describing personally, I eat when I am hungry, I sleep when I am tired, I look for warmth when I am cold and cool myself when I am hot, I find it an absurd notion that this goes against the notion of free will. It means nothing to me, you might talk about psychological needs and emotions but still there is free will. I have a plethora of options available to me so wide in scope that I cannot even comprehend them all. How I entertain myself, the words I speak, the foods I eat, the places I work at, the friends I keep, the things I think and everything that matters to me - I believe I have complete control over. Again it is a matter of influence vs obstruction, I eat foods that I like and rarely eat anything else - is that an obstruction to free will or a habit that I can break if I desire? I think there is no truth, you can simply decide what it means.
Now when I say your goal is your wants, what I mean is that you want what you want. I don't know how it could be otherwise. To me this describes humans well, but I am open to differences of opinion?
I think this is an oversimplification, certainly if you are going to argue that "humans" have a predetermined goal regardless of what they want then saying goals = wants is contentious. If I want to lose weight and eat banana cakes, are they both goals? If I said "my goal is to lose weight so I won't eat banana cakes anymore" would that be a nonsensical statement to you? Since eating banana cake is something I want (a goal). So wants are not goals, but goals must be wants. If I tell my child to get good exam results and he works towards this, couldn't I call that a goal? Not a want though... Anyway a goal is just a characterisation for an outcome, I used the word goal in a certain context to make a point but I am talking about the characterisation of outcomes by both the individual and others (such as yourself).
For example you have the free will to jump off a cliff and this would naturally select against that kind of implementation of free will
My view is that free will is free will, therefore cannot be selected against.
Take for example the famous parable of the sour grapes, this is an example of something who didn't achieve what they wanted then deciding that they did not in fact want it. Sour grapes works both ways (I call in sweet grapes) as in you get something you don't want but you then decide you do want it.
Ironically I strongly promote this kind of thinking, where possible. Where this is sub-conscious, is it obstruction or influence... who can be the judge of this?
Once created it becomes easier to think the same thing and harder to think of something else
You consider habits obstructions of free will? Haven't you ever broken a habit before of your own volition?
Would you jump into the sea to save a child, you might like to think so but in reality maybe you couldn't. Likewise each time it happened again you still wouldn't 'know' what you could or couldn't do, regardless of what you wish you could do.
We do not "know ourselves" and this "self" seems like an obstruction because it implies there is something that governs us beyond free will, I can understand the argument but ultimately you move your own legs and arms, clearly we are more than just our wills. We can train our bodies and our minds, soldiers shoot at cut-outs of men so they learn to shoot to kill, the average man possesses a psychological obstacle to killing so easily that must be removed. Does this mean we are not free to will ourselves to kill or does it mean something else, as I have said, I can understand the argument that this demonstrates an obstruction to free will but I still believe we are free. If I am running and I am tired, feel like giving up, I cannot freely decide to continue - it requires effort... is this an obstruction of free will? I would say no, I have the option either way. So even though in practical terms, the urge to stop may always defeat my desire to continue, free will remains intact.

Calling free will a sliver of control is a joke to me but it really is a matter of interpretation. Humans are creatures of habit and we seek pleasure, if you interpret that as obstructions to free will then your argument starts to become increasingly convincing.

Eduk
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » September 27th, 2017, 5:59 am

Lofty goals such as "I want to become an honourable man" - what is honourable? How many honourable things must a man do to be considered honourable?
An interesting question. Is there an answer? If there is an answer can it be measured?
Did you not just say that it was objectively wrong for me to throw away my life long dream for a whim? Or that denying oxygen is objectively bad for one?
Well it would be objectively bad for YOU yes? You are a being. I am also a being. I can experience my being, to an extent. I can use empathy to imagine that you have experiences which are at least somewhat alike to my own. If you were sitting in Starbucks reading a book and sipping on coffee and I placed a plastic bag over your head then I think there is an almost 0% chance that you would consider the current lack of oxygen to be equal to the previous oxygen surplus.
Now you could say ok but that is just my subjective opinion that no oxygen is bad. What I am saying is that it is an objective fact as to whether you do or do not have that subjective opinion.
If I characterised your beliefs as the product of a misguided, damaged mind - although these things are not "objectively bad", you would still feel as though I was assaulting the credibility of both you and your beliefs no?
Yes but what I am saying is that in this scenario it is possible to be more right or more wrong. I experience my life, I am of the personal opinion that it is better to be an unhappy man than a happy pig, so therefore some goals are better than other goals to ME.

I may be wrong. But I think the key difference between what I have been trying to express since the start of this conversation and what you have been trying to express is that you, I think, see goals as being objectively equal to an individual. Now I would agree goals are objectively equal (as in meaningless) to the universe, but I see goals as being very unequal from the subjective experience of the individual. And I believe that the subjective experience of the individual is a real thing.

Above you question whether a person is objectively worse off if they throw away a life long goal for a whim. The answer is of course they could be, depending on the person, the life long goal and the whim. That individual person will experience a difference based off of their choices.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not dealing in absolutes. Let us imagine two people X and Y. Person X desires goal A and the other goal B. The two goals are mutually exclusive. Let us imagine that according to their nature both goals are genuinely beneficial. We could even imagine that goal A would be a preference to 99% of the human species. Now if you ask me is goal A better than goal B objectively, then I say no they are objectively the same. Is goal A better for person X? Yes it is objectively better for person X. Is goal A better for 99% of the population? Yes. Is goal A better for person Y? No. These are the distinctions I'm trying to make.

Now in the real world of course we don't have perfect information, we can't always be 100% sure that goal A is better for person X. My other point though was that just because we don't have perfect information doesn't change whether goal A is better for person X or not.

Now the final point I've been trying to make is that goal A or goal B will be better for long term survival of the human species. Or of course they could be the same. Now again we don't have perfect information of the present or the future so it would be practically impossible to sort out every goal into better or worse categories. But again our knowledge is irrelevant to whether a goal is better or worse. Finally this does not mean to imply that long term survival is better than extinction, objectively they are the same. My only point is that things which have gone extinct have gone extinct. It is a statement about what is. It is to be highly expected that organism's wants align strongly with long term species survival (or gene survival).

Your points on free will are interesting, but getting slightly off topic :) I look at it like this (which I think is somewhat similar to Dennett) if I put you in a prison cell and said you are free to go wherever you wish in the cell then I doubt you would consider this freedom? But at the same time I agree with your comments about not being free to fly wherever I wish not being an issue with me. So from my perspective I am free 'enough'. Not absolutely free but practically free. Of course there could be some beings who look at my life and consider my freedom to be the same as to how I would look at the freedom of an imprisoned man. That is entirely possible, so I could imagine it is possible to be more free. But having said all that, I am largely with you, in that I believe we are practically free.

I have seen people like Sam say 'pick a city' and they have likened this to a 'free' choice. They have then said ah but you didn't choose anything, the choose was presented to you and the 'thinking' hidden. So they question free will, they believe all choice to be the same. I do not agree with this 'proof' as I don't see picking a city at random to be a free choice, but I can see their point. So again I don't think we are absolutely free. I also believe some people are more free than other people. Personally I like freedom but do not know exactly how free I am :)
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Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » September 27th, 2017, 10:39 am

An interesting question. Is there an answer? If there is an answer can it be measured?
If I picked something less ambivalent such as "I want to beautiful" you might start to try to measure this scientifically, since there are some things we know about what people find attractive and they are largely the same. The problem here isn't that we couldn't have an answer nor that the answer can't be measured, it's that the answer is always going to be contentious. You can try to force an answer on others where it might not be necessarily relevant to them but ultimately this is always going to be something where interpretation has a role to play. Even beauty is culturally viewed as a contentious and subjective concept, however a great deal of concepts fall under the category of requiring interpretation. Even things that can be measured easily such as strength or height, does not determine whether you view yourself as "strong" or "tall" and so if these were your goals, interpretation would play a larger role than your actual strength or height, because it is your interpretation that determines when you have reached your goals. This is why my view of dealing with goals mostly comes down to deciding good goals rather than good methods of acquisition, it may require training your mind. That is why a view such as Sam Harris' is absurd to me, I feel an entirely large aspect to the issue of human psychology is missed by many scientifically minded people which is probably more important than any inbuilt goals we have.
Well it would be objectively bad for YOU yes? You are a being. I am also a being. I can experience my being, to an extent. I can use empathy to imagine that you have experiences which are at least somewhat alike to my own. If you were sitting in Starbucks reading a book and sipping on coffee and I placed a plastic bag over your head then I think there is an almost 0% chance that you would consider the current lack of oxygen to be equal to the previous oxygen surplus.
Now you could say ok but that is just my subjective opinion that no oxygen is bad. What I am saying is that it is an objective fact as to whether you do or do not have that subjective opinion.
Nobody is saying your opinion does not objectively exist, this doesn't by any stretch make your opinion objectively true and I felt I already covered this distinction previously. I am not denying that by and large our subjective desire is to maintain our personal well-being and this extends to most humans but that just means a lot of people hold a similar subjective view, however objective vs subjective is not a popularity contest. I think you mostly missed the point of my last comment, which is that whether we use popularity, well-being, continuation of the species or whatever measurement you decide to choose is irrelevant as far as objectivity goes, it just makes what you are saying valid. If I say that "things which kill me are objectively bad" then say something which would kill me is objectively bad, my argument is valid but the problem here is that my premise is entirely fictional. The idea of something being objectively bad requires a specific kind of context, I thought we agreed on this... Yet here you are making the exact opposite argument, I can appreciate that perhaps you've accepted this truth only recently so your implementation of it is off but the contradiction here is absolute. You need to be consistent here and then based on your answer I can respond properly.
I experience my life, I am of the personal opinion that it is better to be an unhappy man than a happy pig, so therefore some goals are better than other goals to ME.
That is an argument of validity, I appreciate such arguments as highly valuable because they guide us and make us consistent in our thinking and goals but it isn't evidence of objective truth.
I may be wrong. But I think the key difference between what I have been trying to express since the start of this conversation and what you have been trying to express is that you, I think, see goals as being objectively equal to an individual. Now I would agree goals are objectively equal (as in meaningless) to the universe, but I see goals as being very unequal from the subjective experience of the individual. And I believe that the subjective experience of the individual is a real thing.
This isn't contentious because you didn't describe the inequality of the subjective experience as objective, which is not what you say just one line down from this comment. We both agree there is inequality from a subjective perspective, I find the terminology a bit cringed but in terms of preference there is inequality between outcomes and this is undeniable. The disagreement lies in what can be measured and compared and the main contention here is to what degree others can determine the correctness of how the subjective experience experiences the various outcomes available. To what extent can they be critiqued, how can we do it?

You have said that it is objectively bad to sacrifice a lifelong dream for a whim despite the individuals intentions or desires no? It is just objectively bad to make that sacrifice; I asked on what basis you say that and you have come back to this point of subjective experience, which is really my argument about why you can't do what you are trying to do. You need to recognise that what you are saying comes from an argument of validity, you are making conditions that you assess in tandem with the context which isn't present in either the universe or the individual's understanding.
Above you question whether a person is objectively worse off if they throw away a life long goal for a whim. The answer is of course they could be, depending on the person, the life long goal and the whim. That individual person will experience a difference based off of their choices.
I can think of examples where this is not contentious, contexts where no gain was available and the outcome is disadvantageous for the individual by every conceivable measurement but this is seldom what we deal with in reality. I read about people blinding themselves and then saying they have never been happier, people who kill over parking disputes and all manners of nonsense but rarely can it be said that you are just going to be objectively worse off by doing something. Not just in hindsight of a failed gambit, something like cutting off your own hand for no reason, something that extreme is required. So I can agree theoretically that they might be but why "of course"? Why of course if you are not dealing in absolutes, why of course when so few things can be said to be objectively worse where a person has complete control and there was no gambit involved, to chose a bad outcome with certainty it would occur, where they knowingly had superior alternatives?

I might humour some examples, like drug addicts, alcoholics and people of this nature, where they lack control over their desires but you speak with certainty that an unknown goal is going to make me objectively better off than a whim as though you have beside you, a hierarchy of outcomes applicable to all options, to dictate what is good and what is bad to that individual. I am not talking morally, I mean that there is some way of calculating an outcome as objectively superior to another outside of the context of functionality in your mind. You either agree with what we said earlier, that we can only say one method is objectively better at achieving a certain outcome, objectively measuring probability and causality but that this alone makes something objectively better. If there is another way, justify it, if not then apply the same logic to all questions regarding objectivity.

Alternatively and more likely, you are making arguments of validity and measuring the functionality of a methodology to attain goals which neither the universe nor the individual necessarily desire or prioritise. To me this is an absurd thing to do, you will say my actions and choices are objectively worse than your preferences on the basis that they do not accomplish the goals you have decided I should aspire towards? Do you understand what I am saying here? If so then do you feel what I described is justified?
I do not agree with this 'proof' as I don't see picking a city at random to be a free choice, but I can see their point
There is a causality to the choices we make, free will is rarely used to make decisions without some reasons/influences. I think that choices often have many prerequisites that can be interpreted as obstructions but really aren't and teaching soldiers to shoot to kill is a perfect example of that. For many, in our nature resides a fear of violence that corrupts the purity of our decision making but it can be dealt with if we choose and similarly obstacles of context such as moving cities, require prerequisites to be satisfied first or else the decision will be forced and pointless. Demonstrating a causality in our thought process is easy, the question is whether that causality is an obstruction or an influence, what I see is that our habits, values, thoughts, speech, mannerisms and everything that makes you, YOU, can be changed if you work at it. That means to me, that we have great control over who we are and what we think but whether we choose to exercise that power or not will certainly vary from individual to individual.

Eduk
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Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » September 27th, 2017, 11:15 am

interpretation would play a larger role than your actual strength or height
Yes and no. Height is relative of course, but there are more useful and less useful interpretations. For example I could be four foot high and describe myself as tall. So everyone is tall by my definition (assuming I am being consistent). So being tall now has no meaning according to my definition (or little meaning). If you knew this about me and I was describing a friend who you had never seen and I said they were tall you would have no additional information on the person I was talking about.
The idea of something being objectively bad requires a specific kind of context, I thought we agreed on this... Yet here you are making the exact opposite argument,
No I wasn't. I was explaining it is objectively bad to YOU. Please note the use of the word YOU. That is the context. If we agree that your subjective experience is an objective thing then it is possible for something to be 'bad' to YOU. Again please note the use of the word YOU.
Why of course if you are not dealing in absolutes, why of course when so few things can be said to be objectively worse where a person has complete control and there was no gambit involved, to chose a bad outcome with certainty it would occur, where they knowingly had superior alternatives?
I said of course it COULD be. Please note the use of the word COULD. I didn't say of course it would be. I said it depended on you, the goal and the whim.
you will say my actions and choices are objectively worse than your preferences on the basis that they do not accomplish the goals you have decided I should aspire towards?
But I have not said that. Please give me an example of a choice you have made where I have said you should not have made that choice. Also in a scenario where I did do such a thing then I could be more wrong or more right (or the same of course). I am not definitely wrong without context, I could be wrong and I could be right, the reality of the situation will define that.
That means to me, that we have great control over who we are and what we think but whether we choose to exercise that power or not will certainly vary from individual to individual.
Yup I basically agree. For me it's similar to is the universe real. If real then carry on as we are, if not real then carry on as we are. Similarly I believe, like you, that we are free enough to be considered moral agents and therefore again if you are free I should carry on as I am and if you are not free then I should carry on as I am.
Unknown means unknown.

Judaka
Posts: 235
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » September 30th, 2017, 2:34 am

Yes and no. Height is relative of course, but there are more useful and less useful interpretations. For example I could be four foot high and describe myself as tall. So everyone is tall by my definition (assuming I am being consistent). So being tall now has no meaning according to my definition (or little meaning). If you knew this about me and I was describing a friend who you had never seen and I said they were tall you would have no additional information on the person I was talking about.
Well you can make entirely reasonable things sound absurd by using hyperboles, which is all your example does here, I think you know full well what I am talking about and it wasn't this. I said a "larger" role, not "the only role" which is all your example debunks. It's relative but what percentage of the tallest people can be described as tall is open to interpretation and there can be significant variations between those definitions without making the word meaningless.
No I wasn't. I was explaining it is objectively bad to YOU. Please note the use of the word YOU. That is the context. If we agree that your subjective experience is an objective thing then it is possible for something to be 'bad' to YOU. Again please note the use of the word YOU.
My subjective experience objectively exists therefore things can happen to it that are objectively bad, is that your logic? Either way I am pretty lost here, what is "objectively bad to you", if something is "bad to me" then surely that is subjective? In fact that would be the very definition of subjectivity... Unless you are saying something is "bad at achieving something" which is the the context I thought we agreed was the only context where "objectively bad" made sense then this indeed falls out of that context. Putting a paper bag over my head is an objectively bad method of allowing myself to breathe, for example.
I said of course it COULD be. Please note the use of the word COULD. I didn't say of course it would be. I said it depended on you, the goal and the whim.
Yes, why "of course" COULD it be objectively bad? That is what I meant. I would say it couldn't be objectively bad either way.
But I have not said that
My point is that you are human and thus have needs/wants, if they are not met then this is objectively bad for 'you'. It's not objectively bad for the universe, just for you.
Here's an example of that, aren't you saying here that there are actions which eschew needs/wants which conclude in "objectively bad results for me"? Perhaps you are not telling me "don't make choices which eschew your needs/wants" but you are telling me that such choices would conclude in objectively bad results for me. Don't think I ever claimed you said what I should do, just that if I choose a certain way, the result will be objectively bad "for me", which is what I am saying is untrue and precarious as a belief. I guess I would need to clarify what this "for you" distinction means to you because to me, when something is objectively true, that doesn't require or benefit from any context, thus making what you are saying confusing and open to multiple interpretations.

Eduk
Posts: 2103
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Eduk » September 30th, 2017, 5:51 am

Yes, apologies. I'm an not being 100% clear, depending on interpretation.
Subjective and objective are tricky concepts.
Let me try to give an example.
Let us imagine that you placed your hand deep in boiling water. Now the vast majority of people would experience huge pain. This would be a subjective experience. Some people may after the event say that it didn't hurt. Or didn't hurt much. Now they could be lying or simply wrong, memory tends to dull pain. Or they could be correct in a manner. With enough training and force of will a rare individual could rationalise the pain and decide that pain was not painful. They still would experience the same nerve impulse but not the same phycological trauma. A bit like if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears does it make a sound. Of course there could be other extreme circumstances going on and enough adrenaline going on or concentration elsewhere that it might have barely even registered at the time. A bit like in a game of rugby you can take a heavy blow without really feeling it that in isolation would really hurt.
You could say that objectively various chemicals are getting sent round the body. You could say that objectively parts of the brain are firing in a manner which showed a pain response. A manner which causes unconscious reactions like pulling the hand away or fainting. You could say that objectively damage was being done to the hand. Which objectively could impinge on various free actions the individual may take. Then things start to get subjective. How much did it hurt. What is pain. And so on.
So when I say the majority of people would objectively feel pain. I don't mean that pain is objective. I am talking about their subjective experience. All I am saying is the subjective experience exists. And that for a majority of people the subjective experience is not random. It is tied into physical properties of the world.
Again some people differ. And putting your hand into boiling hot water is not objectively bad for the universe, as that is a meaningless sentence. It is however objectively bad for most people's subjective and objective experience.
I know you think of these subjective and objective as being entirely unrelated. But I don't see how you can have subjectivity without objectivity.
Again back to the tree falling example. It's horrendously hard to categorise the world into neat separate concepts.
Unknown means unknown.

Judaka
Posts: 235
Joined: May 2nd, 2017, 10:10 am

Re: Best world scenario

Post by Judaka » September 30th, 2017, 8:11 am

Even if I suffer harm that is experienced as pain, why is this objectively bad for my "subjective and objective experience" (what on earth is objective experience?)? Who gets to decide whether it was objectively bad for me or not, what is the method used to determine this?

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