Making iambiguous's day

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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:14 pm

iambiguous wrote:So, in a wholly determined world, how does the human mind wrap itself around the following distinction:

1] The remote control -- an inanimate object -- is a device programmed to turn on the TV.
2] I choose to use the remote control to turn on the TV.


gib wrote: One involves the feeling of choosing, the other... well who knows what it feels like. But make no mistake, there is no reason to assume the feeling of choosing is real choosing... at least not in the sense of breaking with the laws of physics.


In a wholly determined universe, we might think that we have volition, we might feel that we have volition. But, as with the remote control, we function solely within the laws of physics. Mind is just this mysterious matter that has somehow evolved [only as it ever could have evolved] to embody this illusion of choosing freely.

And now matter has evolved to the point where the minds of neuroscientists are compelled to discover how this works.

But: The only way they will come to understand why it works how it works is to discover the ontological nature of existence itself.

But, again: Whatever that might possibly mean.

In particular when we shift gears and explore the extent to which teleology is a factor too.

Would not the matter that we call "mind" need to be equipped with a quality that we have come to call "free will" or "autonomy" or "volition"?


gib wrote: No, it needn't. It only needs to be equipped with the feeling of being free.


And, unlike the remote control, it does. Only it does so because it could not not have done otherwise. So it would seem this makes us both entirely different and entirely the same as mindless matter. Or the mindful matter of the shark and the octopus -- they "choose" only as they have been programed genetically/instinctively/naturally to do so per the laws of matter embodied in the evolution of life on earth. Of which we are just the most recent incarnation.

Let's just say that "compatibilists" are able to grasp this sort of thing in a manner that I am not. At least not "here and now".


gib wrote: Remember, compatibilists only believe that free will is the condition under which you get what you want or intend, not that it defies the laws of nature.


But they are no less compelled to believe this, right? We get what we want or intend, but only because we are compelled to want and intend this instead of that.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, but am I stuck because I am failing to think this through properly -- in a manner such that I would not be stuck? Or is being "stuck" the only thing that I was ever going to be anyway?


gib wrote: Those aren't mutually exclusive.


If I am stuck because I fail to think this through properly, I am either able to freely choose to think it through in another way [the right way], or I am not. And, if I am not, that was never going to change.

iambiguous wrote:What I believe is that morality is based on the necessity to create "rules of behavior" in any particular human community. And this is derived from the fact that we come into the world with wants and needs that "out in the world of actual human interactions" come into conflict. Sometimes the conflict revolves around ends, sometimes around means. But each of us has accummlated a "sense of reality" here. I just happen to predicate my own on the manner in which I have come to understand the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. And that has precipitated my dilemma above.


gib wrote: Morality as "rules of behavior" that a community arrives at and agrees upon in order to maintain a semblance of social cohesion is definitely very different from feelings of guilt or inspiration, of anger or love, of pressure from society or a desire to help society.


But both aspects -- in an enormously complex interplay of variables -- are inherently intertwined organically [historically, culturally, experientially] in any particular community out in any particular world. To subsist and then to sustain the community, rules of behavior are vital, necessary. Our emotional reactions however are just one more manifestation of this in the mind of any particular individual in any particular context.

And it is here that I introduce the components of my own assessment: dasein, confliicting goods, political economy.

gib wrote: It's the latter which I'm calling "morality" and they all play a pivotal roll in constituting one's conscience. To me, the conscience is just a set of feelings, instincts, and intuitions, not a set of clearly defined rules. At best, it is a set of tendencies. That's why for me, there is no "objective morality." Instead there are feelings that arise "in the moment"--senses of right and wrong, of guilt or sympathy--that, at least in my case, so happen to coincide with what most people call "moral" and "immoral".


For me "conscience" is mindful matter that intertwines nature and nurture, id and ego, instinct and reason, consciousness, subconsciousness and unconsciousness, into a frame of mind such that, unlike any other matter before it, is able to make that mysterious leap from the world of either/or to the world of is/ought. If, in fact, even that is not just an illusion in a wholly determined world.

And this part...

"...there are feelings that arise 'in the moment' --senses of right and wrong, of guilt or sympathy--that, at least in my case, so happen to coincide with what most people call 'moral' and 'immoral'".

...is [for me] just subsumed in this part....

iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind, morality [here] is just another existential contraption.


gib wrote: Are you telling me you've never felt guilt? Never felt inspired to help another person?


Yes, but, again, the actual guilt that I feel is just the embodiment of dasein. Had the variables in my life been very different -- had, for example, I not been drafted and sent to Vietnam -- I may well have never felt this guilt at all. Or I may well have felt inspired to hurt rather than help this person.

In other words...

iambiguous wrote:...from my frame of mind, this too is no less an existential contraption. To the extent that I am able to nudge others here to my own frame of mind is the extent to which the "angst" may well creep in. After all, I didn't just wake up one morning and tumble over into my dilemma. And my reaction to it has as well evolved over the years.


gib wrote: We're both trying to nudge each other closer to each of our respective frames of mind.


Yes, but I always interject here to point out the crucial distinction between that which can be assessed as either true or false, and that which we believe "in our head" to be either one or the other but which we are not able to demonstrate empirically, materially [out in the world of human interactions that come into conflict] that all rational men and women are obligated to believe in turn.

And that is the difference between the worlds encompassed by mathematics, science and logic and the worlds embodied instead in human value judgments, identity and political economy.

gib wrote: What seems strange to me is why you would want to bring another person into a state of angst rather than allow that other person to being you out of angst.


On the contrary, what I do here is to note the angst that I construe as being embodied in this...

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

...and probe the narratives of those who argue that their own behaviors are not.

It is only to the extent that they come instead to see my own arguments as more reasonable that they are ever likely to feel this angst.

And yet, paradoxically, being entangled in my dilemma can also precipitate a liberating frame of mind. Why? Because to the extent that you are convinced that morality is just an existential contraption, is the extent to which you are not anchored to "doing the right thing".

On the other hand, that is just right around the corner from the narcissistic sociopath isn't it? With moral nihilism, you can go in either direction: might makes right or democracy [moderation, negotation, compromise].

With the objectivists, on the other hand, they start out with one or another rendition of right makes might.

gib wrote: This is the crux of your problem. You're so ready to dismiss the advice others give you in response to your requests for it, so ready to dismiss the answers to the questions you yourself pose, in virtue of the fact that they're just going to come across as "existential contraptions" that you don't even allow yourself the opportunity to be persuaded by them.


All I can do here is to point out the many times in the past that I was in fact unable to dismiss the arguments of others -- and found myself abandoning Christianity for one or another new objectivist frame of mind: Objectivism, Marxism, Trotskyism, democratic socialism, social democracy, liberalism.

And, come on, how could you ever possibly be certain that I don't allow myself the opportunity to be persuaded by others?

You would have to be inside my head "here and now" and know with a degree of certainty what my motivations and intentions actually are. And "I" will be the first to admit that I don't even know that for sure myself.

gib wrote: If you could only be persuade, for example, that 2 + 2 really does equal 4, you'd have an epiphany: Hmm... maybe that does make sense after all... and then all the quandaries about whether it only makes sense because it could not have ever not made sense go away. You suddenly see why it makes sense--why it has to make sense. <-- The logic is there, the answers are there. You just have to allow yourself to believe in something objective again.


I don't have to be persauded [nudged] that two chickens plus two more chickens equals four chickens. That is true objectively for all of us.

But suppose someone tries to persuade [nudge] me into believing that eating the chickens is immoral.

Unless I am misunderstanding your point here.

gib wrote: I can understand where you're going with this. Obviously, my 2 + 2 = 4 example is just a place to start--math 101 so to speak--and I understand how it's hard to see the manner in which the logical of that example carried over to the logic of whether abortion is morally right or morally wrong. But that's where my relativism comes in. Once you think in relativistic terms, it's incredibly easy: abortion is right for the pro-choice faction, but wrong for the pro-life faction.


But what does this sort of "analysis" have to do with an actual particular abortion out in a particular context out in a particular world? The pro-choice folks come up with their incredibly easy answer and the pro-life folks then parry with their own.

Then what?

And how are the answers that they come up with any less embedded existentially in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?

Again, I can only assume that I am not really understanding your point.

gib wrote: You think Turd ever questioned whether the validity his thoughts were really grounded or just forced upon him because he could never have not had those thoughts? You remember that example? The rant you linked us to at which Turd was ranting something about politics? He seemed pretty certain in his convictions, didn't he? You think that state of mind came along with even a remote sense of self-doubt? I don't think so. His post reads like he's absolutely cock-sure of his opinion. Why? Because all the validity you need is in the moment of having the experience--whether that be a thought, like Turd's, or feelings of guilt and inspiration, like mine, or feeling trapped in a dasein-based dilemma, like yours... it's not really a matter of whether these thoughts, feelings, insights, etc. are really valid or not--they're valid on their face--it's a question of how you can have conflicting, yet still valid, thoughts, feelings, insights, etc.--the pro-life advocates being right and at the same time the pro-choice advocates also being right. <-- And again, relativism fixes this nicely.


Yes, Turd -- like Satyr/Lyssa, James S. Saint, Jacob, AutSider, uccisore etc etc etc -- is a run of the mill moral/political objectivist. And some of these folks stick God in there somewhere and some don't.

But it still always comes down to the extent to which they are able to force their own moral agendas on others "out in the world" by acquiring the capacity to enforce particular laws and political agendas.

What they might think [in their head] about "morality" here at ILP is of little or no consequence to/for the rest of us, right?

And [from my frame of mind] the extent to which they cannot persuade me that their own value judgments are not subsumed in the manner in which I have come to understand the existential realtionship between identity, morality and power is the extent to which I am not likely to be "nudged" more in their own direction.

iambiguous wrote:But would not the scientists basically do the same regarding human camoflage? We may well just be octopi with brains able to delude oursleves that we are able to be more clever when we trick our opponents. But, really, biologically, isn't it just the same sequence of matter intertwining only as it ever could have out in any particular world. For any particular species.


gib wrote: Yes, but again, I don't know why you think this has to be a "delusion". Just as the piston is still a player in the operations of the engine, the 'I' is still a player in our contrived plans on how to camouflage. Yes, it all comes down the natural laws, but you seem to think of these laws as "outside" the immanent physical systems that they govern. The way I see it is that our conscious subjective reasons for camouflaging, and hashing out the plans for how to camouflage, are the laws of nature that make it happen.


Sure, I will readily acknowledge that you are conveying something important that is just not within my grasp here and now. Or, on the other hand, I am conveying to you something equally important if elusive.

But it is as though you are arguing that the reason we choose to adopt various personas in our interactions with others -- the games that we play -- is what creates the interactions in the first place. As though to suggest that the reason the dominos topple over as they do is in order to create the design/pattern that we see on the floor.

"I" am a player but the play unfolds only as it ever could have. And then we discuss the extent to which the part that I play in it is a "delusion".

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: Why do you even think they make sense when you only think them because you couldn't have ever not thought them?


Since my arguments about dasein are clearly just another existential contraption, even if it could be shown that I have some capacity to think and feel of my own volition that it is a reasonable frame of mind, I am still acknowledging that it may well not be.


gib wrote: Because that's the only thing you can do. But then doesn't that seem reasonable?


To speak of something as reasonable is to suggest that it might have been spoken of in an unreasonable manner. But if it is spoken only as it ever could have been spoken then the idea of an unreasonable utterance seems, well, silly?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:16 am

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Those aren't mutually exclusive.


If I am stuck because I fail to think this through properly, I am either able to freely choose to think it through in another way [the right way], or I am not. And, if I am not, that was never going to change.


That's right, and either way we can say you "failed to think it through properly." (assuming I'm thinking it through properly)

iambiguous wrote:But both aspects -- in an enormously complex interplay of variables -- are inherently intertwined organically [historically, culturally, experientially] in any particular community out in any particular world. To subsist and then to sustain the community, rules of behavior are vital, necessary. Our emotional reactions however are just one more manifestation of this in the mind of any particular individual in any particular context.


Whether or not this is true, it is useful to note that we obviously mean different things by "morality".

iambiguous wrote:For me "conscience" is mindful matter that intertwines nature and nurture, id and ego, instinct and reason, consciousness, subconsciousness and unconsciousness, into a frame of mind such that, unlike any other matter before it, is able to make that mysterious leap from the world of either/or to the world of is/ought.


I think this leap is made because the conscience prescribes actions--actions that determine future outcomes, future states of affairs--actions that, in virtue of not yet having occurred, don't quite fall under the "is" category--they present opportunities to make the world into something that hasn't yet come to pass, and therefore requires different visors through which to be seen than the "is" visors--namely the "ought" visors. In asking what actions to take, we are asking: what outcome ought to occur.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Are you telling me you've never felt guilt? Never felt inspired to help another person?


Yes, but, again, the actual guilt that I feel is just the embodiment of dasein. Had the variables in my life been very different -- had, for example, I not been drafted and sent to Vietnam -- I may well have never felt this guilt at all. Or I may well have felt inspired to hurt rather than help this person.


My point is that if you've actually felt guilt, felt inspiration, then we're talking about something subtly different than an "existential contraption" (I'm assuming that term refers to abstractions or concepts--for example, divinity, cooperation, war, weekends--which aren't quite the same thing as emotions or feelings). If you want to say that anything the brain produces is an "existential contraption" then there is no limit to what counts. The brain produces our visual experiences of the world--if this counts as an "existential contraption", then you have as much reason to doubt the reality of the concrete world you see everyday as you do the morality of aborting babies.

iambiguous wrote:And, come on, how could you ever possibly be certain that I don't allow myself the opportunity to be persuaded by others?


To the extent that you allow yourself to be persuaded by others, you are able to pull yourself out of your dilemma. But from what I gathered, what keeps you stuck in your dilemma is the fact that any objectivist frame of mind offered to you is going to come across as an existential contraption. My point is that if you allow yourself to be persuaded by one or another objectivist frame of mind at all, it's because you decided in that moment to suspend your usual practice of labeling that frame of mind an "existential contraption".

iambiguous wrote:I don't have to be persauded [nudged] that two chickens plus two more chickens equals four chickens. That is true objectively for all of us.


Ok, it's just that your response to this was to point out that we can only ever be convinced of this because we couldn't have not been convinced of this--i.e. we only believe it because we are determined to believe in it--as if it might be blatantly false and yet we would still be convinced of it.

iambiguous wrote:But what does this sort of "analysis" have to do with an actual particular abortion out in a particular context out in a particular world? The pro-choice folks come up with their incredibly easy answer and the pro-life folks then parry with their own.

Then what?


Then they have to decide whether or not they actually want to resolve their differences. If not, then they have to go to war. Otherwise, they begin the process of moderation, negotation, compromise.

But that's them. I was responding to you and your dilemma of not having an objective answer the question of what's really morally right and morally wrong. I'm trying to explain that if you agree with me about the experience being its own verification (the example of 2 + 2 = 4 being the most obvious case), then it's just a matter of picking one or another morality--which ever "speaks" to you, which ever seems most plausible--and allowing yourself to be persuaded by it. I'm saying it's the same psychological process by which you are persuaded that 2 + 2 = 4, except a lot more complex and difficult to demonstrate. If Turd can do it, so can you. Every human brain has the capacity to be persuaded by one or another objectivist morality. The only reason you are "stuck" is because you're trying to be stuck. It isn't that difficult for a human brain to be persuaded by a rational-sounding argument, or to be persuaded by one's personal feelings or preferences. But you seem to have committed yourself to an impossible standard, a standard that doesn't allow you to be persuaded as easily as that. You go so far as to require a demonstration that a proposed objective morality is true despite that you can only be so convinced because you are determined to be so convinced, that you could not have not been so convinced. But how could you ever recognize such a demonstration? I'm saying that this approach is a deadend and that you are better off backtracking, being more open to an objectivism that "speaks to you"--even if you know it's your own bias and emotional prejudices that fuel your belief in it--at least it's a way of having something to believe in.

Yes, our emotional biases, personal history, subjective ways of looking at things, will all culminate together to give rise to convictions and so-called self-evident truths that clash with those of others, others who are going through the same life process. <-- In that regard, what I'm offering to you is not a solution to your dilemma--at least not prong #2 of your dilemma--and I've made that clear many times in this thread--what I'm offering you is a *potential* way out of prong #1 of your dilemma--a way of believing in something that doesn't result in the fragmentation of the 'I'--and that will make prong #2 a little more bearable.

iambiguous wrote:But it is as though you are arguing that the reason we choose to adopt various personas in our interactions with others -- the games that we play -- is what creates the interactions in the first place. As though to suggest that the reason the dominos topple over as they do is in order to create the design/pattern that we see on the floor.


Well, it's in order to create something--or to achieve some objective, serve some purpose--the pattern of dominoes we end up seeing is just how it's represented to us through the senses. What that pattern feels like to the dominoes themselves, I couldn't even guess, but I know it would be the objective they are aiming for (and whatever they're experiencing would be the reasons/justifications).

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Because that's the only thing you can do. But then doesn't that seem reasonable?


To speak of something as reasonable is to suggest that it might have been spoken of in an unreasonable manner. But if it is spoken only as it ever could have been spoken then the idea of an unreasonable utterance seems, well, silly?


So then your own view doesn't seem reasonable to you?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:14 pm

To speak of something as reasonable is to suggest that it might have been spoken of in an unreasonable manner.


No. It simply means that it was one way (reasonable) rather than another (unreasonable). You are comparing in your mind what was at one moment in time (reasonable) with what was at another moment in time (unreasonable). This is a comparison between two memories. It's also possible to compare a memory, what was in the past, with a fantasy, what never was in the past but was merely fabricated in your mind. Either way, none require that our past is mutable. And it isn't. Our past is immutable. Nobody can go back in time and change how they acted. Also, nobody can pause the flow of time in order to choose how they will act the next moment. Time flows, it does not wait, decions are made at each instant with zero hesitation.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:13 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:If I am stuck because I fail to think this through properly, I am either able to freely choose to think it through in another way [the right way], or I am not. And, if I am not, that was never going to change.


That's right, and either way we can say you "failed to think it through properly." (assuming I'm thinking it through properly)


Bottom line [one of them]: we believe that the other may or may not have failed to think it through properly, but we have no way in which to determine [to demonstrate] which one either did or did not.

And that's before we take it out into the world of actual is/ought interactions. Or explain how both prongs are intertwined "in reality".

iambiguous wrote:But both aspects -- in an enormously complex interplay of variables -- are inherently intertwined organically [historically, culturally, experientially] in any particular community out in any particular world. To subsist and then to sustain the community, rules of behavior are vital, necessary. Our emotional reactions however are just one more manifestation of this in the mind of any particular individual in any particular context.


gib wrote: Whether or not this is true, it is useful to note that we obviously mean different things by "morality".


Sure, but what we can't resolve is whether or not there is a meaning here that all rational men and women are obligated to embrace. And, if there is, whether or not it is within their capacity to embrace it autonomously.

iambiguous wrote:For me "conscience" is mindful matter that intertwines nature and nurture, id and ego, instinct and reason, consciousness, subconsciousness and unconsciousness, into a frame of mind such that, unlike any other matter before it, is able to make that mysterious leap from the world of either/or to the world of is/ought.


gib wrote: I think this leap is made because the conscience prescribes actions--actions that determine future outcomes, future states of affairs--actions that, in virtue of not yet having occurred, don't quite fall under the "is" category--they present opportunities to make the world into something that hasn't yet come to pass, and therefore requires different visors through which to be seen than the "is" visors--namely the "ought" visors. In asking what actions to take, we are asking: what outcome ought to occur.


But the conscience [from my frame of mind] is no less an existential contraption. And it exist all along the political spectrum such that "right" and "wrong" behaviors become entangled in conflicting goods out in a world where, ultimately, power prevails.

Then it becomes a matter of whether or not future opportunities are already encompassed in a present that was already encompassed in a past. Thus to call them "opportunities" is just another manifestion of the illusion of free will.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Are you telling me you've never felt guilt? Never felt inspired to help another person?


Yes, but, again, the actual guilt that I feel is just the embodiment of dasein. Had the variables in my life been very different -- had, for example, I not been drafted and sent to Vietnam -- I may well have never felt this guilt at all. Or I may well have felt inspired to hurt rather than help this person.


gib wrote: My point is that if you've actually felt guilt, felt inspiration, then we're talking about something subtly different than an "existential contraption" (I'm assuming that term refers to abstractions or concepts--for example, divinity, cooperation, war, weekends--which aren't quite the same thing as emotions or feelings). If you want to say that anything the brain produces is an "existential contraption" then there is no limit to what counts. The brain produces our visual experiences of the world--if this counts as an "existential contraption", then you have as much reason to doubt the reality of the concrete world you see everyday as you do the morality of aborting babies.


Again: If "I" was never not going to feel this guilt, what counts then is that the guilt felt is inherently part and parcel of my own particular existence unfolding only as it ever could have.

In other words, in terms of how events actually unfold, how is the existence of mindful matter really any different from the existence of mindless matter other than in producing this illusion that the events unfold because I willed them to unfold one way rather than another?

That's the part I can't wrap my head around here.

iambiguous wrote:And, come on, how could you ever possibly be certain that I don't allow myself the opportunity to be persuaded by others?


gib wrote: To the extent that you allow yourself to be persuaded by others, you are able to pull yourself out of your dilemma. But from what I gathered, what keeps you stuck in your dilemma is the fact that any objectivist frame of mind offered to you is going to come across as an existential contraption. My point is that if you allow yourself to be persuaded by one or another objectivist frame of mind at all, it's because you decided in that moment to suspend your usual practice of labeling that frame of mind an "existential contraption".


First of all, to the extent that mind is just more matter embedded in immutable laws, whatever I choose to do is only as it ever could have been.

But, assuming some level of autonomy, there does not appear to be a way for philosophers to establish a frame of mind such that the manner in which I root morality in dasein and conflicting goods is obviated -- subsumed in a moral narrative that all rational men and women are in fact obligated to embody.

In other words, let the objectivist demonstrate to me how the behaviors that they choose are not merely political prejudices embedded in a psychological defense mechanism allowing them to convince themselves that a "real me" can be in touch with "objective morality".

If free will is an illusion then everything that we do is inherently part and parcel of the existential mechanism called "I". It always revolves around the extent to which "I" is autonomous. I merely suggest that this autonomy, if it does exist, is circumscribed by the manner in which I root "I" subjectively/subjunctively in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

But that doesn't make the objective reality rooted in mathematics, science, nature, logic etc., go away.

iambiguous wrote:I don't have to be persauded [nudged] that two chickens plus two more chickens equals four chickens. That is true objectively for all of us.


gib wrote: Ok, it's just that your response to this was to point out that we can only ever be convinced of this because we couldn't have not been convinced of this--i.e. we only believe it because we are determined to believe in it--as if it might be blatantly false and yet we would still be convinced of it.


We invented the word "chicken" in the English language because chickens actually do exist. And we invented numbers because sometimes there are more than one of them. So if I say, "take my 2 chickens, put them with your 2 chickens and then you'll have the 4 chickens needed to pay your debt" that can be understood as objectively true for all of us.

The words exactly correspond to the context. It can never be blatantly false if in fact it is unequivocally true. And it is true in either a wholly detrmined world or in a world where I could have freely chosen not to give you my chickens.

Back then to the part where you are making some important point here that I keep missing.

I merely shift gears to prong 2 and speculate on an exchange in which one of us argues that eating chickens is immoral in a world where we do in fact have some capacity to freely choose not to eat them.

iambiguous wrote:But what does this sort of "analysis" have to do with an actual particular abortion out in a particular context out in a particular world? The pro-choice folks come up with their incredibly easy answer and the pro-life folks then parry with their own.

Then what?


gib wrote: Then they have to decide whether or not they actually want to resolve their differences. If not, then they have to go to war. Otherwise, they begin the process of moderation, negotation, compromise.


But my point [embedded in my dilemma] is that there is no resolution here. There is only might makes right or democracy and the rule of law. Unless of course, within any particular human community, everyone is able to agree on a frame of mind embodied in right makes might.

Until, that is, they bump into another community also invested in right makes might --- but it it's a different right.

And thus all of this...

gib wrote: I'm trying to explain that if you agree with me about the experience being its own verification (the example of 2 + 2 = 4 being the most obvious case), then it's just a matter of picking one or another morality--which ever "speaks" to you, which ever seems most plausible--and allowing yourself to be persuaded by it.


...is no less entangled [for me] in an existential contraption. I take my leap but I have no illusion that it is anything other than a subjective/subjunctive leap.

That, in other words, in a world of contingency, chance and change, any new experiences, new relationships and new sources of information and knowledge may well prompt me to leap in another direction instead. It's always profoundly precarious and problematic.

gib wrote: Every human brain has the capacity to be persuaded by one or another objectivist morality. The only reason you are "stuck" is because you're trying to be stuck.


Again, how can you know this? I am stuck because the manner in which I have come "here and now" to construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy seems reasonable to me. As it relates to conflicting behaviors out in the world of is/ought.

gib wrote: It isn't that difficult for a human brain to be persuaded by a rational-sounding argument, or to be persuaded by one's personal feelings or preferences. But you seem to have committed yourself to an impossible standard, a standard that doesn't allow you to be persuaded as easily as that. You go so far as to require a demonstration that a proposed objective morality is true despite that you can only be so convinced because you are determined to be so convinced, that you could not have not been so convinced.


No, I merely note that folks on both sides of an issue like abortion are able to articulate "rational sounding arguments". But we can't live in a world where both arguments prevail. Then I suggest that "moderation, negotiation and compromise" seems the least dysfunctional recourse.

Instead, the objectivists insist that only their own standard must prevail. And it has become the one true standard because "in their head" they are convinced of it.

gib wrote: But how could you ever recognize such a demonstration? I'm saying that this approach is a deadend and that you are better off backtracking, being more open to an objectivism that "speaks to you"--even if you know it's your own bias and emotional prejudices that fuel your belief in it--at least it's a way of having something to believe in.


Okay, you take that leap to an "objectivism that speaks to you" and you either permit women to choose abortion or you don't.

Me, I cannot just not believe that both sides make reasonable arguments. I cannot just not be tugged and pulled in both directions.

So, what do you do? You take that same leap but somehow in your head you convince yourself that it was the right one. But it's the right one only because that is the particular leap that you took.

The part about dasein, conflicting goods and political economy doesn't go away, but at least you are able to shove them away far eoungh to feel less fractured and fragmented than someone like me. You have been able to construct a psychological scaffold in your head such that it all feels a little less unbearable to you.

Then on to this:

iambiguous wrote:But it is as though you are arguing that the reason we choose to adopt various personas in our interactions with others -- the games that we play -- is what creates the interactions in the first place. As though to suggest that the reason the dominos topple over as they do is in order to create the design/pattern that we see on the floor.


gib wrote: Well, it's in order to create something--or to achieve some objective, serve some purpose--the pattern of dominoes we end up seeing is just how it's represented to us through the senses. What that pattern feels like to the dominoes themselves, I couldn't even guess, but I know it would be the objective they are aiming for (and whatever they're experiencing would be the reasons/justifications).


I guess we're stuck here then. I read the point you make here but I am not able to understand how it is related to the point I made that prompted it.

We create something in order to achieve some purpose. So, is that more the cause or the effect?

It would be like someone in, say, North Korea who, at a domino toppling event, created a design that depicted Kim Jong-un as an immoral monster. Now, in a world where human autonomy is a factor, what can we say about his aim such that the manner in which we react to his value judgment is different from the manner in which our senses react to the design itself.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Because that's the only thing you can do. But then doesn't that seem reasonable?


To speak of something as reasonable is to suggest that it might have been spoken of in an unreasonable manner. But if it is spoken only as it ever could have been spoken then the idea of an unreasonable utterance seems, well, silly?


gib wrote: So then your own view doesn't seem reasonable to you?


If what I do feel is only as I ever could have felt it, then to speak of that as reasonable is only to further what could only have ever been.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:01 pm

We invented the word "chicken" in the English language because chickens actually do exist.
Chickens are existential contraptions.

A dasein dude can ask "which particular chicken in which particular context" you are talking about.

He can say that the definition of chicken is just a bunch words dependent on the meaning of other words.

He can say that two or more people can have a conflict about what a chicken is or is not. And nothing will make those arguments go away.

He can say that you can't demonstrate a chicken so that all reasonable men and women are obligated to accept that it is a chicken.

None of this bothers Iambig. For him, "chickens actually do exist". He manages to maintain this arbitrary division between the objective world and the world of identity and value judgements. :D

Carry on. :wink:
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:05 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:
To speak of something as reasonable is to suggest that it might have been spoken of in an unreasonable manner.


No. It simply means that it was one way (reasonable) rather than another (unreasonable).


Again, down to earth:

1] Is it reasonable or unreasonable to speak of a Senate vote on Neil Gorsuch to fill a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court?

2] Is it reasonable or unreasonable to speak in favor of a yes vote?

With the former it is easy to speak of an unreasonable frame of mind. It is unreasonable to argue that Neil Gorsuch is not being voted on to fill this vacancy. It is in fact unreasonable.

Now, how would it be demonstrated that either a yes vote or a no vote reflects the optimal or the only rational point of view. Rather than, as I surmise, being embedded in particular political prejudices.

How, in other words, would our reaction to the vote not be embedded in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?

What will your reaction be if the Republicans nuke the proceedings?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:39 pm

phyllo wrote:
We invented the word "chicken" in the English language because chickens actually do exist.
Chickens are existential contraptions.


Well, chickens do exist if that's what you mean.

Here's one account:

"Proof that fearsome T-Rex evolved into a chicken. Palaeontologists have long accepted that birds are a form of dinosaur. Now the theory that the most feared dinosaur of all, Tyrannosaurus Rex, evolved into the modern-day chicken has been given scientific backing with the discovery of some pre-historic collagen." From the Daily Mail, U.K.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... icken.html

phyllo wrote: A dasein dude can ask "which particular chicken in which particular context" you are talking about.


Not pertaining to the actual evolution of the chicken embedded in the evolution of life on earth. That transcends dasein as I have come to encompass it re the world of is/ought.

In the is/ought world dasein revolves largely around the question of consuming the chicken --- eating the flesh of animals.

Is this in fact rational or irrational?

Is this in fact something that philosophers and scientists can ascertain?

phyllo wrote: He can say that the definition of chicken just a bunch is words dependent on the meaning of other words.

No, he can say that a definition of this sort -- "a domestic fowl kept for its eggs or meat, especially a young one" -- is true objectively for all of us. These words [among English language speaking folks] are simply words that we invented in order to describe what a chicken is.

phyllo wrote: He can say that two or more people can have a conflict about what a chicken is or is not. And nothing will make those arguments go away.


No, not pertaining to the definition above. Yes, pertaining to the arguments broached regarding the rights of animals.

phyllo wrote: He can say that you can't demonstrate a chicken so that all reasonable men and women are obligated to accept that it is a chicken.


Not this dasein dude.

Unless of course this is all just an exercise in irony on your part. Tongue in cheek as it were? :wink:
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:51 pm

It's an exercise to determine if you can see the biases and the arbitrary way that you draw the line between objective and non-objective.

You can't see.

I won't waste any more time trying to explain it to you. I will always remember this with a chuckle. :lol:
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:01 pm

phyllo wrote:It's an exercise to determine if you can see the biases and the arbitrary way that you draw the line between objective and non-objective.

You can't see.

I won't waste any more time trying to explain it to you. I will always remember this with a chuckle. :lol:



Note to others:

He's got me, right? :lol:
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:35 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Magnus Anderson wrote:
To speak of something as reasonable is to suggest that it might have been spoken of in an unreasonable manner.


No. It simply means that it was one way (reasonable) rather than another (unreasonable).


[..]

What will your reaction be if the Republicans nuke the proceedings?


I think you're changing the subject.

If I understood you correctly, your point was that the distinction between reasonable and unreasonable makes no sense in the case that "everything that happened in the past could not have happened any other way".

This phrase simply means that we cannot go back in time. Because we cannot go back in time, we cannot change our past decisions. It does not mean that if we COULD go back in time and attempt to change our past decisions that the outcome would be the same.

To say that the distinction between reasonable and unreasonable makes no sense simply because we cannot go back in time is akin to saying that the distinction between white skin and black skin makes no sense simply because a white child's father cannot go back in time and choose a black woman as his wife.

One is either reasonable or not. This is, however, a property, not of one's being as a whole, but of a single moment in one's life. Thus, one can be reasonable one moment and unreasonable another. One can start one's life as an uninterrupted sequence of unreasonable moments, and then, through practice and education, gradually shift to an uninterrupted sequence of reasonable moments.

But of course not everyone can do so. One must be capable of improvement. If one is not, one will forever be unreasonable.

The only relevant question is the meaning of reasonable/unreasonable.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:46 pm

If I understood you correctly, your point was that the distinction between reasonable and unreasonable makes no sense in the case that "everything that happened in the past could not have happened any other way".

This phrase simply means that we cannot go back in time. Because we cannot go back in time, we cannot change our past decisions. It does not mean that if we COULD go back in time and attempt to change our past decisions that the outcome would be the same.
No. He's saying that he did not have the option of choosing between reasonable and unreasonable actions. The configuration of the universe made him act in a certain way.

The definitions of reasonable and unreasonable are irrelevant.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:00 pm

This is what he said:

Biguous wrote:To speak of something as reasonable is to suggest that it might have been spoken of in an unreasonable manner. But if it is spoken only as it ever could have been spoken then the idea of an unreasonable utterance seems, well, silly?


It appears to me that he's saying that the idea of unreasonable decisions seems silly in the case that we cannot go back in time and change our decisions.

I also want to comment on this:

The configuration of the universe made him act in a certain way.


This is an anthropomorphism. The process of calculation, which only sentient beings such as humans can engage in, is ascribed to the universe. The universe, these naive determinists say, determines every event using certain calculations (a.k.a. laws.) The universe as some kind of God that performs mathematical calculations . . .
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:17 pm


This is an anthropomorphism.
No it isn't. I'm not making claims about the universe having will or making decisions or anything of that nature. He's an atom bouncing around in a mechanical universe with no ability to choose or decide or control anything.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:47 pm

If you think that the universe operates by laws, no less by immutable laws, rather than that sentient beings such as humans create laws based on their limited forever-expanding experience, i.e. a set of observations they have accumulated throughout their lives, in order to assume the unknown, and most importantly, to predict the future so that they can prepare themselves for it, then that is an example of anthropomorphization.

But I wasn't responding to what you said in that sentence. I was responding to what Biguous has been saying in this thread and on this forum in general.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:02 pm

But I wasn't responding to what you said in that sentence. I was responding to what Biguous has been saying in this thread and on this forum in general.
He's saying that ideas like reasonable/unreasonable or good/bad or right/wrong don't make sense if there is no choice.

If is unreasonable, it is because he cannot avoid being unreasonable. He cannot choose to be reasonable in the situation in which he is unreasonable. He can't alter the way he is.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:10 pm

Good and bad are words we use to describe the quality of correspondence between what is expected and what is realized.

When I expect to hit a 3-pointer and when I observe that I did hit it, that is good. Otherwise, it is bad.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:38 pm

They have an idealized notion of concepts such as choice and free-will. To them, these entail the ability to go back in time.

First, they want the ability to pause the flow of time so that they can ponder over choices as much as they want. We can think of pause as a balance between forward and backward flows of time. Time still moves forward, decisions are still made without any waiting, with no hesitation, but one is quickly returned to the previous point in time thus nullifying the effect of the automatic decision.

Then, once they make their decision, they want to be able to return to that same point in time whenever they realize their decision was less than ideal.

As you can see, they are perfectionists who cannot tolerate mistakes and who want to make sure that their past contains nothing but right decisions. It is actually them who want to eliminate the distinction between right and wrong and that by using time travel in order to erase everything about their past that is less than ideal.

Strange fellows, aren't they?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:32 am

Even computers, which are manmade and thus predictable in all relevant aspects, can have a sense of good and bad.

They can also possess what we may understand to be free-will in the empirical, which is to say down-to-earth, sense of the word. Free-will, not as an ability to go back in time and change your decisions, but as an ability to make your own choices without undesirable influences.

They can also choose between several alternatives, and not only that, they can also learn from the consequences of their choices.

Computers have no consciousness -- a first-person experience of reality -- only awareness -- a map of reality that is not accompanied by any kind of first-person experience of it.

They also cannot go back in time and change their decisions.

Despite all of this, they can have a sense of good/bad, choose between several options on their own and learn from the consequences of their choices.

I don't think it's difficult to imagine a computer program that has all of these properties.

What is necessary for such a program is:

1. that it has awareness of the external world (e.g. outputs such as computer monitor)

2. that it has some idea of what it wants to do, otherwise known as a goal, which is just a description of the state of the external world it wants to bring about

3. that it can affect the external world in some way, say by sending "signals" to it, which in programming terms would be commands that are issued in order to change the state of the outputs

4. that it has a memory of every combination of posited goal, signal sent in order to achieve that goal and subsequent output state

The computer program would work in the following manner:

1. posit some goal
2. go through the memory in order to assign the probability of success in relation to the posited goal to every possible signal that can be sent
3. choose the signal with the highest probability of success
4. if the highest probability is shared among several signals, randomly pick one
5. send the chosen signal
6. declare "good" if output equals goal otherwise declare "bad"
7. store the tuple (goal posited, signal sent, output state) in the memory
8. return to step 1

This is incredibly simple stuff. It's strange when people fail to understand it.

Let's put forth some definitions then.

CHOOSING
the act of using some kind of logic to rank a finite set of options in an effort to determine the highest ranked option so that we can act upon it

FREE-WILL
the ability to choose on our own, using whatever logic we want, instead of choosing in a way that is not our own

GOOD/BAD
words describing the quality of correspondence between what was expected and what was realized

LEARNING
memorizing every expected-realized pair in order to be better informed when making decisions in the future

The above computer program is clearly performing actions of choosing and learning. It also has a sense of good/bad (learning cannot function without it anyways.) And finally, it has free-will but only because it cannot violate it. The computer program can be destroyed and in this way stopped from exercising its free-will. It can also be reprogrammed but this would only change what it wants to do -- it wouldn't go against its free-will. What the computer program cannot be made to do is to do something it does not want to do. It simply does not have the ability that is necessary to expose it to the risk of acting against its will.

That would be all.

So again, I have to ask, what is Biggy's problem?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:03 pm

Gib wrote:If your dilemma revolves around finding a demonstration of a truly objective morality, then I agree. If on the other hand, your dilemma revolves around finding ways to resolve conflict, then frankly I'm surprised at this point why you don't see how an approach like mine might be a feasible alternative to the traditional objectivist's approach.


I would like to ask you to help me understand the exact steps necessary to take in order to "demonstrate a truly objective morality". What has to be done? If by any chance you happen not to know what has to be done, would you agree it is meaningless to speak of such a process then?

I would also ask you to provide me with an example of morality -- I suppose a simple moral statement would suffice -- but most importantly, I would like to understand what it means for morality to be "truly objective".

Truth value can only be assigned to factual statements. What Biguous calls a matter of is. Basically, truth value describes whether an imagined event to which it is assigned has been observed in the past (true) or not (false.)

Suppose we have a moral statement such as "abortion is wrong". What does it mean to speak of it as being either true or false? Nothing. Because it refers to no specific event. On the other hand, if someone said "mothers who abort their unwanted babies are happier than those who do not" that would be a factual statement that can be verified through observation.

When someone says "abortion is wrong" that is an imperative, not a declarative, sentence. It is meant to force you to abandon the use of abortion. To ascribe truth value to imperative sentences is insanity . . .

So what does "objective morality" mean in the face of the fact that moral sentences tend to be imperative rather than declarative?

I fear you are using words you do not understand the meaning of.

The other question I want to ask -- both you and Biguous but also everyone else on this topic or otherwise familiar with Biguous -- is what does he really want to achieve?

Apparently, finding a demonstration of a truly objective reality is out of the way considering the fact that moral sentences tend to be imperative. You can't find something if that something is non-sensical. Imperative sentences cannot have a truth value.

The only thing left is . . . conflict resolution. He's basically looking for a way to resolve moral disagreements and make everyone agree. This is why he's constantly forcing us to demonstrate the practical application of our observations in resolving moral disagreements . . . though they were never meant to have such a use. Otherwise, he judges them as being unworthy, merely mental fabrications having nothing to do with reality, simply because they are useless in resolving moral disagreements.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:44 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
gib wrote:If your dilemma revolves around finding a demonstration of a truly objective morality, then I agree. If on the other hand, your dilemma revolves around finding ways to resolve conflict, then frankly I'm surprised at this point why you don't see how an approach like mine might be a feasible alternative to the traditional objectivist's approach.
I would like to ask you to help me understand the exact steps necessary to take in order to "demonstrate a truly objective morality". What has to be done? If by any chance you happen not to know what has to be done, would you agree it is meaningless to speak of such a process then?


Yes, I'd say it's meaningless. Remember, this is what Biggy requires to resolve his dilemma, not what I require or believe in. I was responding to this:

iambiguous wrote:I mean this: that your values and the values of those you come into conflict with do not seem able to be resolved using the tools of either philosophy or science. They are instead rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. And calling yourself a "subjectivist" doesn't make that any less applicable. Or so it seems to me. You might convince him to change his mind and come over to your side [or the other way around] but that doesn't make my dilemma go away. Well, not if you're me.


So if Biggy requires finding a demonstration of a truly objective morality in order to resolve his dilemma, then he's right that being a subjectivist or persuading a person over to one's own point of view won't help.

Magnus Anderson wrote:I would also ask you to provide me with an example of morality -- I suppose a simple moral statement would suffice -- but most importantly, I would like to understand what it means for morality to be "truly objective".


Well, since I'm not an objectivist, this might be rather difficult to do. But morality to me is whatever my conscience tells me. For example, if I see a child wounded in the ditch, I would feel obligated to do something. <-- But I recognize that is a personal feeling, not an objective mandate. As a subjectivist, I'm content to regard it as morality for me, but not morality independently of me.

Magnus Anderson wrote:Truth value can only be assigned to factual statements. What Biguous calls a matter of is. Basically, truth value describes whether an imagined event to which it is assigned has been observed in the past (true) or not (false.)

Suppose we have a moral statement such as "abortion is wrong". What does it mean to speak of it as being either true or false? Nothing. Because it refers to no specific event. On the other hand, if someone said "mothers who abort their unwanted babies are happier than those who do not" that would be a factual statement that can be verified through observation.

When someone says "abortion is wrong" that is an imperative, not a declarative, sentence. It is meant to force you to abandon the use of abortion. To ascribe truth value to imperative sentences is insanity . . .


I'm more or less in agreement with this, only instead of saying that assigning truth value to moral or subjective statements is meaningless, I'd say it is relative. Something is only right or wrong relative to a person and their conscience.

Magnus Anderson wrote:So what does "objective morality" mean in the face of the fact that moral sentences tend to be imperative rather than declarative?


dunno. :confusion-shrug:

Magnus Anderson wrote:I fear you are using words you do not understand the meaning of.


Remember, these are Biggy's terms, not mine.

Magnus Anderson wrote:The other question I want to ask -- both you and Biguous but also everyone else on this topic or otherwise familiar with Biguous -- is what does he really want to achieve?


I have my opinions, but I'll leave that one to Biggy.

Magnus Anderson wrote:The only thing left is . . . conflict resolution. He's basically looking for a way to resolve moral disagreements and make everyone agree. This is why he's constantly forcing us to demonstrate the practical application of our observations in resolving moral disagreements . . . though they were never meant to have such a use. Otherwise, he judges them as being unworthy, merely mental fabrications having nothing to do with reality, simply because they are useless in resolving moral disagreements.


From what I've gathered so far, Biggy wants a way of knowing that when he picks one side of a moral conflict over another--say pro-life over pro-choice--he's made the right decision. <-- I think it goes deeper than this, but that seems to be what he's willing to discuss on the surface.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:45 am

iambiguous wrote:Again: If "I" was never not going to feel this guilt, what counts then is that the guilt felt is inherently part and parcel of my own particular existence unfolding only as it ever could have.

In other words, in terms of how events actually unfold, how is the existence of mindful matter really any different from the existence of mindless matter other than in producing this illusion that the events unfold because I willed them to unfold one way rather than another?

That's the part I can't wrap my head around here.


Are you referring to the fact that if we are just mindful matter, then we can't be responsible for any of our actions? Or be obligated to act in any particular way?

iambiguous wrote:First of all, to the extent that mind is just more matter embedded in immutable laws, whatever I choose to do is only as it ever could have been.


There are other ways of defining "choice" than "violating the laws of nature".

iambiguous wrote:But, assuming some level of autonomy, there does not appear to be a way for philosophers to establish a frame of mind such that the manner in which I root morality in dasein and conflicting goods is obviated -- subsumed in a moral narrative that all rational men and women are in fact obligated to embody.


There doesn't have to be. Intelligent men and women all around the world subject themselves to being persuaded by one or another objective-sounding arguments for this or that morality all the time. Unless your brain suffers some kind of critical defect, so can you.

iambiguous wrote:We invented the word "chicken" in the English language because chickens actually do exist. And we invented numbers because sometimes there are more than one of them. So if I say, "take my 2 chickens, put them with your 2 chickens and then you'll have the 4 chickens needed to pay your debt" that can be understood as objectively true for all of us.

The words exactly correspond to the context. It can never be blatantly false if in fact it is unequivocally true. And it is true in either a wholly detrmined world or in a world where I could have freely chosen not to give you my chickens.

Back then to the part where you are making some important point here that I keep missing.

I merely shift gears to prong 2 and speculate on an exchange in which one of us argues that eating chickens is immoral in a world where we do in fact have some capacity to freely choose not to eat them.


Yes, I see your point that a line is drawn between "is" and "ought"--but when you bring in the argument that we cannot do anything, feeling anything, be convinced of anything, given that it could not have been any other way, I don't see how the is/ought line is relevant. The only difference I see is that when it comes to "ought" questions, the determining laws of nature that operate on our brains seem to force us to arrive at radically different conclusion--we ought to eat chickens vs. we ought to be vegetarians, we ought to allow a woman her free choice to abort her unborn baby vs. we ought to defend the life of that unborn baby--whereas when it comes to "is" questions, the determining laws of nature that operate on our brains seem to force us (with the exception of a few abberations and occasional brain farts) to arrive at the same conclusion. But as I see it, they are still laws of nature that could just as well force us to to arrive at fallacious and delusional conclusions, shared among us all as they may be. This is why I say that the argument about being stuck in a deterministic universe applies even to mathematical logic and concrete sensory experience.

iambiguous wrote:Okay, you take that leap to an "objectivism that speaks to you" and you either permit women to choose abortion or you don't.

Me, I cannot just not believe that both sides make reasonable arguments. I cannot just not be tugged and pulled in both directions.

So, what do you do? You take that same leap but somehow in your head you convince yourself that it was the right one. But it's the right one only because that is the particular leap that you took.

The part about dasein, conflicting goods and political economy doesn't go away, but at least you are able to shove them away far eoungh to feel less fractured and fragmented than someone like me. You have been able to construct a psychological scaffold in your head such that it all feels a little less unbearable to you.


My point is that insofar as you are able to do this too (and you are), you are not "stuck" in your dilemma.

iambiguous wrote:It would be like someone in, say, North Korea who, at a domino toppling event, created a design that depicted Kim Jong-un as an immoral monster. Now, in a world where human autonomy is a factor, what can we say about his aim such that the manner in which we react to his value judgment is different from the manner in which our senses react to the design itself.


I would simply say that there is a wide diversity of different configurations according to which our brains are wired, configurations that determine how we react to such value judgements. Comparing this to how our brains are configured to process visual information such as the pattern of dominoes depicting Jong-un, there seems to be very little diversity.

iambiguous wrote:If what I do feel is only as I ever could have felt it, then to speak of that as reasonable is only to further what could only have ever been.


What you are doing here is, at one moment, allowing yourself to see the reasoning of your own views (your nihilism, your arguments about dasein, the reality of your dilemma), and then in the next moment, withdrawing from those views and looking at them as existential contraptions of a brain that could never have not had those views. My point is that you can withdraw yourself into this skeptical frame of mind with anything, and that if you ever want to be convinced of something, stop this habit of withdrawing. You know I'm right because, with the exception of these moments when you withdraw, you are convinced of the reasoning of your own views. <-- And further, I'm saying that it's no different with anyone else and their views.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:45 pm

Gib wrote:I'm more or less in agreement with this, only instead of saying that assigning truth value to moral or subjective statements is meaningless, I'd say it is relative. Something is only right or wrong relative to a person and their conscience.


A moral statement such as "X is wrong" is neither factual, because it does not say that some event occurred in the past, nor predictive, because it does not say that some event will occur in the future. Instead, it is an imperative. It says "do X instead of Y or Z". Thus, neither factual truth value (true/false) nor predictive truth value (probability) can be assigned to it.

A factual statement would be something like "I did X then Y happened". This is either true or false. Either you have memory of these events, in which case you say they are true, or you don't, in which case you say they are false. (There are, of course, indirect methods of assigning truth value, such as reasoning, that can override negative judgments, but that's irrelevant here.)

When someone says that "X is right" they are in most instances saying that they will do X instead of Y or Z. That does not mean they did any kind of thinking beforehand. It simply means they are going to do X.

From what I've gathered so far, Biggy wants a way of knowing that when he picks one side of a moral conflict over another--say pro-life over pro-choice--he's made the right decision. <-- I think it goes deeper than this, but that seems to be what he's willing to discuss on the surface.


And what does "the right decision" mean?

What exactly does he want? Does he even know what he wants?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:16 pm

There is a difference between imperative, factual and predictive right.

When I say "X is right" that is an imperative right.

When I say "I did X and then Y, which I wanted to happen, happened" that is a factual right.

When I say "if I do X then I predict that Y, which I want to happen, will happen" that is a predictive right.

Predictive right can produce a factual wrong and predictive wrong can produce a factual right.

Once again: what does Biguous really want?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:52 pm

Once again: what does Biguous really want?
He wants confirmation that he did nothing wrong in his life, that he made no mistakes and that he could not have done anything in any other way. He wants to feel that he cannot be criticized by others and he need not criticize himself. That is what brings him peace.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:48 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:And what does "the right decision" mean?


It means choosing the morally correct side. Biggy is disillusioned to the fact that everyone who argues one side or another of a morally controversial subject has their own rendition of a "rational justification" for that side. Because of this, he has given up simply weighing the arguments of each side and coming to the most rational conclusion he can on that basis. Instead, he wants something beyond this, something above rational-sounding arguments. He wants something on the order of a mathematical proof that demonstrates which side is right and which side is wrong. <-- He wants that to be the basis on which he decides which side to align himself with. He feels that anything less would be to risk being persuades by one's own biases, one's own leaps of logic, one's own unconscious motives, etc.--you know, things that hold us back from being as strictly rational as we could be, things that prevent us from knowing that we've got it right rather than merely deceiving ourselves into thinking we've got it right.

I'm convince not only that such a bias-free, such a deception-free, rationality, or demonstration of proof, doesn't exist, but is incoherent, for the only context in which such a rationality or demonstration of proof exist is in the moments when we try to construct our reasons and justification as a means of defending ourselves against our opposition. I'm convinced that there's more to the reasons and justification we come up with in those moments than formal logic. I'm convinced that the emotion, the biases and prejudices, the unconscious motives, all have their own brand of "logic" with which they contribute to the reasons and justifications for this or that moral position, and accounts for the undeniable diversity on moral positions and arguments for them.

^ This is difficult for me to explain not only to Biggy but to anyone because it hinges on my theory of consciousness and meaning, on all subjective experience being rooted in its own unique brand of "justification".
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