Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:57 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:"Full on freedom" means that you let everything take its natural course. I agree that this is far from the best option out there. (Indeed, I stated this clearly and explicitly in the very post you responded to.) But what options remain after we take that one away? You act as if only one option remains -- to control pretty much everything.

Actually that's the way it is now and has been for a long time. Most strong sensory experiences are quickly stopped in restaurants. Repeated loud noises, creates of most smells considered unpleasant by most people, even just going to nearby tables and making rude faces. Those get you thrown out. We have had an exception in this category of smoking and now it also has generally been removed in most Western countries. For some reason this one strong, considered unpleasant by many sensory experiece got a pass. No doubt in part because so many people were addicted. You couldn't shoot up in the restaurant or smoke a joint, but you could smoke. I am not sure what everything you think I want to control. I am probably more tolerant when it comes to a wide range of behaviors in a restaurant than most people. They just don't bother me, much, though I wouldn't want the toad wanker. But it's really odd that eating, where the sense of smell is such a large part of the experience, has this odd exception. I understand why, but when it is brought up, it is as if one can do anything, but poor smokers. But that's not the case. You can't do anything. Even in dives and diners there are lots of things you just cannot do if it interferes with other eaters.

But is that so? I wouldn't say so. I think you're presenting a false dichotomy here -- either we control nothing (we give other people complete freedom) or we control everything (we give other people little to no freedom.)
No. I'm just talking about smoking. I don't think it should get an exception.

I understand -- and indeed, I appreciate -- that you want to create an environment for non-smokers. And yes, you have to fight for that, which means, you can't just leave it up to nature. The question is merely what's the best way to fight for such a thing and whether the approach you're praising is actually better than doing nothing.
I could in principle and for principle accept the loss that the market might create. I don't find anywhere to eat out that feels good except a few vegan places, though I'm not a vegan. That's what it was like in the 50s and 60s. NOW, since so many people are now used to not experiencing smoking, I probably would end up with places. I'd be fine with banning it on all flights. Or I fly with my cymbals and fart spray.

And sometimes I will go into restaurrants that allow smoking with my cymbals and fart spray. I mean, if the idea is freedom, well, then they can deal with mine.

Most people think you have to have a perfect permanent solution. So for some reason, if they are in favor of markets determining outcomes, then in the 80s say we would have had near total smoking restaurants. I think it's fine to restrict something that goes against the idea of the establishment, enjoying food. And then reevaluating after 5 years. See if the market creates diversity.

But if the idea is no rules, let the market and invdividual restaurant decide and smokers are expecting freedom, they are valuing freedom and seeing me as an enemy of freedom, it will take me just a minute and a half with a hockey horn and me squeezing my zits and moaning to show them th
at it is just their own freedom they give a shit about.

And if the smokers are willing to put up with antics, shit it's be a great catharis for me. I would have fun coming up with unpleasant sensory experiences, perhaps make fun of people's looks and outfits - might be worth the second hand smoke.

If the restaurant owners throw me out, I can scream at the smoker's: hypocrites, defend me. Of course conversations with addicts are generally pretty predictable.
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Magnus Anderson » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:49 pm

KT wrote:No. I'm just talking about smoking. I don't think it should get an exception.


Yes, you are talking about smoking. That's what I thought too. But note that my use of "nothing" and "everything" is not a literal one. It's a hyperbole. Thus, when I say that you want to control everything, I do not mean it literally, as in you want to control every part of the world, but more like "You want to force every restaurant to prohibit smoking".

Obviously, you want to create an environment for non-smokers. We both agree that leaving it up to other people (and the rest of the environment) is not the best option. Thus, someone has to intervene. But intervene exactly how? You are acting as if there's only one way to intervene (when in reality there are countless ways to do so) and that if you're not intervening in that particular way (by using threats -- which is what laws are about -- to force every restaurant to prohibit smoking) that you're necessarily not intervening.

Actually that's the way it is now and has been for a long time. Most strong sensory experiences are quickly stopped in restaurants. Repeated loud noises, creates of most smells considered unpleasant by most people, even just going to nearby tables and making rude faces. Those get you thrown out. We have had an exception in this category of smoking and now it also has generally been removed in most Western countries. For some reason this one strong, considered unpleasant by many sensory experiece got a pass.


Is it illegal for restaurants to let their customers make repeated loud noises and create smells considered unpleasant by most people?

I am not sure what everything you think I want to control. I am probably more tolerant when it comes to a wide range of behaviors in a restaurant than most people. They just don't bother me, much, though I wouldn't want the toad wanker. But it's really odd that eating, where the sense of smell is such a large part of the experience, has this odd exception. I understand why, but when it is brought up, it is as if one can do anything, but poor smokers. But that's not the case. You can't do anything. Even in dives and diners there are lots of things you just cannot do if it interferes with other eaters.


I am a non-smoker and I want to be surrounded by non-smokers (though I am obviously much more tolerant of the smell than you are.) So that's not the issue.
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:21 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:Is it illegal for restaurants to let their customers make repeated loud noises and create smells considered unpleasant by most people?
No, they act as vigilantes. Sort of like if restaurant owners restricted free speech, the topics one can engage in. So, you don't need a low. It's mob rule. And no one complains about the reduced freedom. There are laws against public nudity, which also hold in restaurants which are often quite warm. No one seems to complain about that sensory experience being restricted.

But actually now that we have had a long time with tremendous restrictions on smoking and smoking is going down in the West, you could probably let the market handle it. But you needed, I think, a period of universal restriction to break the hallucination that smoking should be an exception. People were choking on that shit everywhere, so they didn't even know what fresh air smelled like. Now they have a taste for it.

Purists are no doubt outraged. And purists one the other side would be outraged if we now tried market driven regulation. But then the purists never noticed other restritions on freedoms, because they were mesmerized by cultural norms and couldn't even see them.

And the last thing you need is a purist who can't see purely.

The country is an oligarchy. Banks create money out of nothing, which devalues the dollar which means people have to default on loans and return real property to compensate banks for creating money out of nothing. So, there are a lot of lives of noisy desperation. I figure a ten ban on smoking in restaurants is not a threat to freedom in the big picture. Sort of like some people need to be locked into rehab just to detox. OK, we've detoxed. It wasn't pure freedom, but then the people I have seen calling for pure freedom (with restrictions for bodily harm, of course) don't even seem to be able to put up with the free expression of emotions. Or notice other restrictions that they themselves use social pressure to remove.

There is no pure street to walk on. Or pure walkers. It's already a compromise. What can lead, in the long run, to more real freedom. I think we've conceived of this as defending freedom way too long. We don't think that way about people hitting themselves on the head with hammers. The freedom faction would help the maitre d' drag them out into the street or call for a psychiatric intervention via police.

It's like gearing the entire restaurant and hotel industry to snake handling Christians. If that had been some how the norm and they liked to do it before meals as a kind of prayer. And everything bent around their odd habit. We can restrict their freedom. Every restaurant had baskets for the snakes and bite kits and anyone complaining was seen as restriction freedom or freedom to worship. And if these snake handlers had a good deal of money no restaurant would want to keep them out. And some employees in these restaurants got bitten. Because a few people working decades in smoking envinronments will die, even as non-snake handlers, I mean smokers.

There is actually very little freedom, but here I should want to dig in with smokers where I eat. Nah, I'll be a temporary hypocrite since everyone else seems at least that if not permanent.
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby unnatural » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:49 am

That 'very little freedom ' we have today is still way more than the human species as had in all of it's known collective history, except for maybe the earliest beginnings, about which we know very little.
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:34 am

KT wrote:No, they act as vigilantes. Sort of like if restaurant owners restricted free speech, the topics one can engage in. So, you don't need a low. It's mob rule. And no one complains about the reduced freedom. There are laws against public nudity, which also hold in restaurants which are often quite warm. No one seems to complain about that sensory experience being restricted.


Is it a reduction of freedom for a restaurant to forbid something that noone wants to do anyway?

I would answer with a "No".

But actually now that we have had a long time with tremendous restrictions on smoking and smoking is going down in the West, you could probably let the market handle it. But you needed, I think, a period of universal restriction to break the hallucination that smoking should be an exception. People were choking on that shit everywhere, so they didn't even know what fresh air smelled like. Now they have a taste for it.


Each time you force others to act against their will, you are producing a degree of antagonism and/or a degree of slavish mindset. The larger the population and the longer it lasts, the worse the effects. Such must be taken into account so as not to end up with slavish non-smokers. I think it's more important to have a healthy brain (free from dissonance) than to be a non-smoker (hell, it's even better than being perfect in every other way.) Ultimately, both are important, but priorities must be set. The method of governance where a very small group of people forces a very large group of people to obey one and the same law produces slaves. Indeed, tobacco addiction might be a direct result of such a governance. Beside that, it's more difficult to make decisions for others than to make decisions for yourself. And when a small group of people is making decisions for a large group of people, the chances they will screw it up are rather high.

There is no pure street to walk on. Or pure walkers. It's already a compromise.


Don't overdo "the compromise business". There are certain things that shouldn't be compromised. Things such as whether you're using your own brain to make decisions or merely succumbing to external pressures.
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:19 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:Is it a reduction of freedom for a restaurant to forbid something that noone wants to do anyway?
People know what they want? They wanted to smoke cigarretes? Why did those companies waste so much money on advertising and faking medical research? People get used to stuff. Norms can be created at the whim of a corporate pr team. Dislikes are created all the time. And then a few years later they are wants even needs.

And restaurants, all the time, stop people from doing things they want to do. And people in all sorts of positions enforce social norms all the time, to such a degree people think they want so suppress emotions, keep their bodies rigid all the time. Parenting schooling social outcasting are constantly reducing freedom. Of course some of this has some reasonable arguments in favor of it, but some of it does not. And these norms aren't even noticed, so the losses of freedom in them are considered 'things no one wants' when they don't even know themselves or the authority figures they have given in to or notice they are losing freedom.

I've worked in restaurants. People want to do all sorts of things that get restricted. I've picked funny directly offensive ones (given our norms), but people from pagan or indigenous cultures would be breaking norms all over the place in restaurants without trying to be obnoxious. Freedom is often confused with choosing from this appropriate range - like freedom to buy puma over nike or have this fashion guru over another. Emotions on the other hand one must choose to suppress. It's not even a norm in most people's minds.

People don't even know what they want or what others want. Hiding from each other and themselves just how constrained and restricted it all actually feels.

Each time you force others to act against their will, you are producing a degree of antagonism and/or a degree of slavish mindset.

Sure, so let's focus on the most gut direct area: emotions and their expression. The smoking issue is a tiny little pathological aberration created by corporations that manipulated and lied about the contents and effects of the product long enough for it to be normalized. So, we have people who can't go an hour without a cigarrette, who were susceptible to peer pressures or pr created archetypes - iow people less free to resist manipulation - taking tremendous space. And somehow it is antifreedom to want to push back on that. (right, I get it, you think I can push back). But if non-smokers actually felt their feelings they would want to express themselves in the restaurants and these bizzarre rude addicts who don't give a shit that they are diminishing the enjoyment and health of all the people around them. They would want to yell at them.

But our society does not allow this kind of emotional expression. And the supposedly freedom loving restaurant owner would throw out people being honest about how they feel and expressing it.

What I keep trying to say is that the context lacks freedom that is not even noticed. Because we have so normalized a kind of slavery - where we all have to act rational and controlled and cold and hide how we feel and THIS is enforced, already and you could easily call in the cops to enforce NOT expressing emotions. Disturbing the peace, etc. The laws are already there and courtrooms are savage versions of this slavery.

So, in a context where I cannot react emotionally and honestly to the self-abusive freedom of people who are less capable of maintaining their own freedom than I am, I don't buy the freedom defense.

And it can sure seem like my anti-smoking legislation would be a small group telling a majority, because so few people even know they are slaves to the hatred of emotion. For example.

I mean, in the posts I wrote I left room several times for me accepting their freedom if I can be free. But that seems off the table.

Don't overdo "the compromise business". There are certain things that shouldn't be compromised. Things such as whether you're using your own brain to make decisions or merely succumbing to external pressures.
A brain containing also a limbic system.

Now there's a devil's advocate, tongue in cheek aspect to my responses here. But another side is me completely accepting my sense of freedom. And I think there is a gauze of bs over this issue. Real freedom is not remotely in the sights of people. So, a damaged, confused group of people are being looked at as expressing their freedom when in fact it is generally their lack of freedom - addiction - that is being couched as a freedom, while other freedoms are suppressed and this suppression is so taken for granted that it is not even noticed. And the freedom to express oneself emotionally is restricted by law. It's a complicated set of applications of a variety of laws, but it is enforced. And of course the training we get, the brainwashing, starts early so people confuse this lack of freedom with being mature or civilized or rational or cool and the taboo is never actually looked at.

So, again, I am willing to let the smoker's avoid a general legislation, in the name of freedom, if they and others who support freedom will support natural impulses to be expressed freely that we have been trained to see as pathological. that they will support freedom of experssion and see the suppression of emotional expression as something not to be legislated away. Which it has been.

What is the right move in a society when many norms are toxic to bodies. And I don't mean smoking. I mean, for example with emotions? You are concerned about a minority dictating to a majority. What if a minority gave the minority a norm that the majority now enforces, having given up their freedom already? The advantage of using freedom as a value is that one can sidestep majority and minority as criteria. The problem is that the values are in the air, already, so much so that people can't even see where their freedom has been taken. So, they wake up when they aren't allowed to smoke in a restaurant.
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Magnus Anderson » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:10 am

KT wrote:People know what they want? They wanted to smoke cigarretes? Why did those companies waste so much money on advertising and faking medical research? People get used to stuff. Norms can be created at the whim of a corporate pr team. Dislikes are created all the time. And then a few years later they are wants even needs.


I agree that people generally do not know what they really want. Not an easy thing in the slightest. And yes, I believe this is due to external interference (such as businesses trying to sell their products.) Nonetheless, I insist that people tend to be aware of their individual wants; and when they voice them, they also become apparent to others. Thus, it is pretty easy to determine what someone wants (even if it's not what they really want) which is why it is easy to see that lots of people want to smoke and noone actually wants to make unpleasant smells. And that's the only thing that matters with regard to what I'm trying to say here.

And what I'm trying to say here is that if you want to help people build resistance to manipulation, you need to stop manipulating them (and not merely change the goal of manipulation.) And this means you need to stop trying to force them to act against their will.

In other words, if they don't want to quit smoking, you need to respect that decision (even if it is not an expression of what I call "true want") and leave them alone i.e. you must stop trying to change their minds by threatening them. Instead, you have to focus on creating an environment that will allow them to learn at the highest speed that is possible for them.

Provide them with an environment that facilitates learning, and if smoking is truly bad for them, they will eventually stop smoking. Merely force them to stop smoking by means of threats and they will learn nothing (other than, perhaps, how to avoid being punished.)

And restaurants, all the time, stop people from doing things they want to do.


And I stop myself doing what I want to do all the time. Am I reducing my freedom? In some sense, yes I am. But in another, the important one, not really. And if someone was trying to stop me from doing something I want to do but that I'd rather not do, then that too wouldn't count as a reduction of my freedom.

The smoking issue is a tiny little pathological aberration created by corporations that manipulated and lied about the contents and effects of the product long enough for it to be normalized. So, we have people who can't go an hour without a cigarrette, who were susceptible to peer pressures or pr created archetypes - iow people less free to resist manipulation - taking tremendous space.


I agree with all of that.

But then you say:

And somehow it is antifreedom to want to push back on that.


Did I ever say that?

What I'm saying is that it is anti-freedom to force other people to act against their will (e.g. by forcing every restaurant to forbid smoking.)

But if non-smokers actually felt their feelings they would want to express themselves in the restaurants and these bizzarre rude addicts who don't give a shit that they are diminishing the enjoyment and health of all the people around them. They would want to yell at them.

But our society does not allow this kind of emotional expression. And the supposedly freedom loving restaurant owner would throw out people being honest about how they feel and expressing it.

What I keep trying to say is that the context lacks freedom that is not even noticed. Because we have so normalized a kind of slavery - where we all have to act rational and controlled and cold and hide how we feel and THIS is enforced, already and you could easily call in the cops to enforce NOT expressing emotions. Disturbing the peace, etc. The laws are already there and courtrooms are savage versions of this slavery.

So, in a context where I cannot react emotionally and honestly to the self-abusive freedom of people who are less capable of maintaining their own freedom than I am, I don't buy the freedom defense.


I am aware of your penchant for emotions (and their raw expression.)

Why do you have this idea that "freedom loving" means "allowing everyone to do as they please"? The entire business is a bit more complex than that (quite a bit) but I guess reducing it to simple ideas such as "Let's allow everyone do as they please" is the easiest thing to do.

So, a damaged, confused group of people are being looked at as expressing their freedom when in fact it is generally their lack of freedom - addiction - that is being couched as a freedom, while other freedoms are suppressed and this suppression is so taken for granted that it is not even noticed.


If you take a random person off the streets, and force them to act against their will, they will have less freedom than they did before even if the freedom they had before is next to none.

Thus, when you take a smoker, whose freedom has already been compromised, and you force him to stop smoking against his will, you end up with a non-smoker who has less freedom than the smoker he was before.

That's the entire point. Everything else is just a misunderstanding.

And the freedom to express oneself emotionally is restricted by law. It's a complicated set of applications of a variety of laws, but it is enforced. And of course the training we get, the brainwashing, starts early so people confuse this lack of freedom with being mature or civilized or rational or cool and the taboo is never actually looked at.


Just for a record. I am a non-smoker, I share that with you. But I most definitely don't share your need for vulgar emotional expressions (such as yelling at restaurants.)
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:12 pm

Yo, Gloom, you're up:

iambiguous wrote:
Gloominary wrote: As I'm an agnostic, I don't derive my values or politics from God.
I don't derive them from philosophical abstractions like Kantianism or Platonism either.
Nonetheless, my values and politics aren't wholly subjective, nor wholly objective.


Mine too.

In fact I created a thread in order to explore what I construe to be a profoundly problematic existential dichotomy/dilemma.

The OP focused on my values and politics pertaining to abortion:

If there is one thing I am clearly preoccupied with at ILP, it is relationship between moral and political value judgments and the existential tajectory of the lives that we live.

And, in almost every thread in which I post about this relationship, I eventually get around to this:

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.

This because in it are embedded two experiences that were of fundamental importance in shaping and then reconfiguring my own moral and political narratives.

Over the years, I have gone from an objectivist frame of mind [right vs. wrong, good vs. evil] to a way of thinking about morality in human interactions that basically revolves around moral nihilism.

And, then, in turn, this resulted in my tumbling down into a philosophical "hole" such that for all practical purposes, "I" became increasing more fragmented.

This hole:

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.

In other words, I am no longer able to think of myself as being in sync with the "real me" in sync with "the right thing to do".

So, I decided to create this thread in order for others to at least make the attempt to describe their own value judgments existentially. Values as they became interwined over the course of their lives in "experiences, relationships and information, knowledge and ideas."

The part where theory is tested in practice out in particular contexts out in particular worlds.

This thread is not for those ever intent on providing us with "general descriptions" of human interactions. Interactions that are then described almost entirely using technical or academic language.

Instead, this thread is for trying to explain [to the best of your ability] why you think you came to value some behaviors over others. Linking both the experiences you had and the ideas that you came upon that shaped and molded your thinking in reacting to them.


And this is what I attempt to explore with others in regard to their own value judgments and politics. Be it in regard to abortion or to Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism. To believe that something is rational about these things is not the same as demonstrating to others that they are obligated to think the same. Or be called irrational. If not a "scumbag".

So, abortion or authoritarianism in regard to what context? Involving what behaviors coming into conflict over what set of circumstances?

In regard to mathematics, the laws of nature, the brute facticity of the empirical world, the rules of language, etc., there is a lot that one can be an authority regarding. But who can claim to be an authority in resolving whether or not it is more rational to be a capitalist rather than a socialist. What of political "science" then?

As for "feelings" how are they not in turn rooted subjunctively in the lives that we live. Ayn Rand claimed she could grasp her own emotions in a wholly rational manner. And so could others she insisted. Only, they had damn well better be feeling the same emotions that she did about...everything?

So, let's just say that in regard to this..

Gloominary wrote: My reason, and intuition tell me which courses of action are possible, and the likely consequences of them, that's the more-or less objective part, my feelings tell me which consequences I prefer, that's the subjective part.
I take the course of action whose consequences I prefer.
If I take x action in x situation, get the consequences I was expecting, and like the consequences, I'm more likely to take that or similar actions in the same or similar situations in the future.
Conversely, if I take x action in x situation, don't get the consequences I was expecting, and don't like the consequences, I'm less likely to take that or similar actions in the same or similar situations in the future.


...we probably grapple with "I" in different ways. Especially when "X" becomes an actual situation in which there are conflicting moral narratives and political agendas regarding what it means "for all practical purposes" to be an Authority.

But the very last thing the moral and political objectivists here want to imagine is true is that my point of view is not only reasonable, but applicable to them.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:12 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
Magnus Anderson wrote:The problem is the kind of influence they exert. They don't want you to understand anything (since it would take too long) as much as they want you to act in a specific way. (Clockwork orange style.) The goal being to bypass your brain rather than to correct it. If they succeed, they create an internal dissonance -- a conflict between what you really think is true and what you can't help but feel obliged to believe is true. And noone wants that for themselves EVEN IF what they really believe is false and what they are forced to believe is true.

That's a different take on it.
You want to be free, even to be irrational, or selfish.
I agree to some extent, we need some leeway to be irrational, and selfish.
Not sure to what degree I agree.


I wouldn't put it that way. I would rather say "I want to do what I want to do rather than what I feel compelled to do but do not really want to do". Depending on how you define the word "rational", such an act may or may not be rational. And selfishness is in no way implied.

It's a subtle point. It might be helpful to consider that a human being is made out of many individual inclinations that either cooperate with each other or compete against each other. When they cooperate, they all agree and whatever you want is truly what you want (whatever that is, no matter how stupid it is compared to what someone else is doing.) When they don't, then you simultaneously want to do and to not do something -- you are in a state of internal dissonance. And when you do something in spite of the fact there are parts of you that rebel against the idea, then you're betraying yourself and not really doing what you really want.

The above is a distinction (using my own words) between "true want" and "false want". And in a sense, doing what you "truly want" is the definition of rationality (and the opposite of irrationality.) Most importantly, you cannot "truly want" what you do not truly want :) When you obey "false wants", you are actually being governed from the outside (either as a consequence of someone's intention or as a consequence of some sort of coincidence.)

I get it, you want to do what you want to do.

I hear yuh.
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:04 pm

iambiguous wrote:Yo, Gloom, you're up:

iambiguous wrote:
Gloominary wrote: As I'm an agnostic, I don't derive my values or politics from God.
I don't derive them from philosophical abstractions like Kantianism or Platonism either.
Nonetheless, my values and politics aren't wholly subjective, nor wholly objective.


Mine too.

In fact I created a thread in order to explore what I construe to be a profoundly problematic existential dichotomy/dilemma.

The OP focused on my values and politics pertaining to abortion:

If there is one thing I am clearly preoccupied with at ILP, it is relationship between moral and political value judgments and the existential tajectory of the lives that we live.

And, in almost every thread in which I post about this relationship, I eventually get around to this:

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.

This because in it are embedded two experiences that were of fundamental importance in shaping and then reconfiguring my own moral and political narratives.

Over the years, I have gone from an objectivist frame of mind [right vs. wrong, good vs. evil] to a way of thinking about morality in human interactions that basically revolves around moral nihilism.

And, then, in turn, this resulted in my tumbling down into a philosophical "hole" such that for all practical purposes, "I" became increasing more fragmented.

This hole:

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.

In other words, I am no longer able to think of myself as being in sync with the "real me" in sync with "the right thing to do".

So, I decided to create this thread in order for others to at least make the attempt to describe their own value judgments existentially. Values as they became interwined over the course of their lives in "experiences, relationships and information, knowledge and ideas."

The part where theory is tested in practice out in particular contexts out in particular worlds.

This thread is not for those ever intent on providing us with "general descriptions" of human interactions. Interactions that are then described almost entirely using technical or academic language.

Instead, this thread is for trying to explain [to the best of your ability] why you think you came to value some behaviors over others. Linking both the experiences you had and the ideas that you came upon that shaped and molded your thinking in reacting to them.


And this is what I attempt to explore with others in regard to their own value judgments and politics. Be it in regard to abortion or to Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism. To believe that something is rational about these things is not the same as demonstrating to others that they are obligated to think the same. Or be called irrational. If not a "scumbag".

So, abortion or authoritarianism in regard to what context? Involving what behaviors coming into conflict over what set of circumstances?

In regard to mathematics, the laws of nature, the brute facticity of the empirical world, the rules of language, etc., there is a lot that one can be an authority regarding. But who can claim to be an authority in resolving whether or not it is more rational to be a capitalist rather than a socialist. What of political "science" then?

As for "feelings" how are they not in turn rooted subjunctively in the lives that we live. Ayn Rand claimed she could grasp her own emotions in a wholly rational manner. And so could others she insisted. Only, they had damn well better be feeling the same emotions that she did about...everything?

So, let's just say that in regard to this..

Gloominary wrote: My reason, and intuition tell me which courses of action are possible, and the likely consequences of them, that's the more-or less objective part, my feelings tell me which consequences I prefer, that's the subjective part.
I take the course of action whose consequences I prefer.
If I take x action in x situation, get the consequences I was expecting, and like the consequences, I'm more likely to take that or similar actions in the same or similar situations in the future.
Conversely, if I take x action in x situation, don't get the consequences I was expecting, and don't like the consequences, I'm less likely to take that or similar actions in the same or similar situations in the future.


...we probably grapple with "I" in different ways. Especially when "X" becomes an actual situation in which there are conflicting moral narratives and political agendas regarding what it means "for all practical purposes" to be an Authority.

But the very last thing the moral and political objectivists here want to imagine is true is that my point of view is not only reasonable, but applicable to them.

Sometimes life throws us a clear, distinct picture of something.
Other times it throws us an ink blot.
That's what a pregnant woman/mother is, an ink blot.
Is it two humans or is it one?
When does the second human being begin exactly, at conception, when its heart or brain get activated, at birth?

And when do we want it to begin?
Do we want to have the option to terminate pregnancy, because some aren't ready to be parents, because some get raped, because some embryos/fetuses/unborn babies are deformed or harm the mother?
The thing about embryos/fetuses/unborn babies is, whatever label you assign them, they can't protest, it's entirely up to us, they have no say.

Life is full of ink blots, and conflicting moral values, like sacrificing the individual's life or wishes for what we believe to be the greater good.
Life often isn't simple, easy, it's challenging, ambiguous, I totally get that, some don't, and some don't want to, or pretend not to, because they don't want to have an honest conversation about life, they want to impose their will, like you've said, the right/might makes might/right folks.
Wherever life tends to be complicated, it'll tend to come down to the individual, their cognition, and their feelings about things.
On the other hand, perhaps there's a risk of taking it too far in the other direction, and then you become a Pyrrhonian skeptic, who can't make heads or tails out of anything, or one of those nihilists from the Big Lebowski.
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:37 pm

A serial killer is unambiguously a sociopath or insane.
However, a pro-choicer is not necessarily a sociopath, insane or stupid.
Likewise, a pro-lifer is not necessarily a sociopath or so on.
There's two ways to look at it, a pregnant woman/mother is one human being or two, and there's multiple moral values to consider, deontological and consequential.
For the rightwing objectivist, serial killers and pro-choicers are morally equivalent.
For the leftwing objectivist, serial killers and pro-lifers are morally equivalent.
For the half-nihilist, serial killers are not morally equivalent to pro-choicers, or pro-lifers.
For the full-nihilist, serial killers are morally equivalent to both pro-choicers, and pro-lifers.
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:59 pm

So what does one do on abortion and other morally ambiguous phenomena when they're fully aware of their ambiguousness?
Insofar as they're perceivers, to borrow MBTI, they'll feel more fragmented about it, and suspend judgment, or lean a bit more right or left.
Insofar as they're judgers, they'll feel less fragmented about it, still feel compelled to pick a side, take a strong stance, altho they'll sympathize with the opposing side, at least a bit.
Or insofar as they lean deontologist, they'll lean right, or consequentialist, they'll lean left.
Or they may follow their peer group.
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:16 pm

And what ought we do in these matters, as a society?
I agree, we ought to collaborate and compromise, ideally, altho there is a limit to what people are willing to tolerate, even when they know the phenomena in dispute are partly or fully ambiguous.
As a society, on many things, we may be reaching that point, where we can no longer agree to disagree, where secession, or even more extreme measures, are on the table.
Perfect harmony is impossible, at some point, conflict becomes inevitable, it's unfortunate, but it is what it is.
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Gloominary » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:31 pm

Compromise is easy when the sailing is smooth, it's when the storms come that relationships between individuals, and demographics, truly get put to the test.
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:26 pm

Gloominary wrote:Sometimes life throws us a clear, distinct picture of something.
Other times it throws us an ink blot.
That's what a pregnant woman/mother is, an ink blot.
Is it two humans or is it one?
When does the second human being begin exactly, at conception, when its heart or brain get activated, at birth?

And when do we want it to begin?
Do we want to have the option to terminate pregnancy, because some aren't ready to be parents, because some get raped, because some embryos/fetuses/unborn babies are deformed or harm the mother?
The thing about embryos/fetuses/unborn babies is, whatever label you assign them, they can't protest, it's entirely up to us, they have no say.


Yeah, in regard to the evolution of biological life on earth, culminating in the human species embedded in biological imperatives that include human reproduction, human sexuality, unwanted pregnancies and abortion, there are many, many, many actual objective facts that "all rational men and women" are obligated to accept. But: what about "all virtuous men and women"? What objective truths can be pinned down in regard to morality when it reaches the part where an abortion is either being considered or has in fact already been performed?

How do we assess personal opinions here as more or less rooted in political prejudices rooted in dasein...or instead in arguments that philosophers or deontologists or ethicists or theologians or scientists etc., are able to provide so as to allow us to pin down the most rational and virtuous behaviors?

How are the "ink blots" not rooted in the arguments that I make in my signature threads?

In particular, in regard to abortion, on this thread: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=194382

In other words, in regard to any authoritarian assessment? Left, right, liberal, conservative, socialist, capitalist, religious, philosophical, scientific, etc.

Gloominary wrote:Life is full of ink blots, and conflicting moral values, like sacrificing the individual's life or wishes for what we believe to be the greater good.
Life often isn't simple, easy, it's challenging, ambiguous, I totally get that, some don't, and some don't want to, or pretend not to, because they don't want to have an honest conversation about life, they want to impose their will, like you've said, the right/might makes might/right folks.


The ones I call objectivists, given my own connotation, spin, subjective assessment of what that means in regard to moral and political value judgments.

But: no less a "personal opinion" rooted in dasein. I would never try to argue that I actually do come the closest to explaining -- either rationally or morally -- the "human condition" here going all the way back to a complete understanding of existence itself; and presuming the existence of human autonomy.

Gloominary wrote:Wherever life tends to be complicated, it'll tend to come down to the individual, their cognition, and their feelings about things.


Here we can just agree to disagree. The relationship between I and We is, in my view, embedded more in the historical evolution of political economy, than in any "philosophical" or "ideological" assessment. Where "we" ends and "I" begins seems embedded in nothing less than an extraordinarily complex intertwining of genes and memes given particular historical, cultural and experiential interactions in all manner of diverse communities.

Most of our individual lives here are entangled in contexts awash in any number of existential variables that are either beyond our full understanding of or control over.

That's why I tend to embed objectivism more in human psychology here: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=185296

Again, it's not what the objectivists believe but that they believe in something -- anything -- they can anchor "I" to in order to secure a comforting and consoling foundation to keep what I construe to be an essentially meaningless human condition at bay.

In a No God world.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Socialists and Scientific Authoritarianism

Postby Urwrongx1000 » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:35 pm

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