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The Second Law of Thermodynamics is Obvious for Emotivist Cynicism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 442 times Debate No: 75165
Debate Rounds (3)
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(To be clear, the point of this debate isn't to justify a position, but to show how crazy it is such that people don't believe in it.)

Let us say that human nature is emotionally defined and that people act in their own self-interest. I don't agree with this, and this does not necessarily mean that people will pursue profit. For example, people can also screw around with discourse ethics in order to prop up their own social status. They do this because they just don't care. It isn't about maximizing financial capital, but political capital instead.

After this, let us say that people can choose to do nothing, and in fact, emotional cynicism encourages this such that people are lazy. That is consciousness can exist in reality, but exist in a null state. Therefore, it becomes feasible for us to live in a world where literally, every "thing" is a "person". Just because things don't act until acted upon doesn't mean there isn't someone on the inside.

In turn, let us say that due to human nature's emotional quality, people don't think before they act to figure out how to get things done. Again, I don't agree with this, but let's say it's true. That is basically, human nature constantly bullies each other around to do things for it, but let us say that due to human nature's emotionally cynical quality, once people are bullied around, they don't do anything. They'd rather die than do.

In turn, we can believe that the natural world around us is constantly composed of people who perpetually bully each other around, mess each other up, and don't get things done.

Therefore, the world should become perpetually more chaotic AKA it should constantly have more entropy.

Therefore, the second law of thermodynamics is obvious.


If people are lazy, then they would be unlikely to bully each other around and mess each other up because doing so takes energy. It is more likely that they would do nothing.
Debate Round No. 1


Being lazy is not necessarily the same as being a sloth. Yes, it can entail being unwilling to work, but a more complete definition entails not caring to do what you're supposed to.

In turn, yes, lazy people can do nothing, but they can also try to get as much as they can for as little as possible. Therefore, they're willing to make the effort to make others make an effort for them.

On top of this, in reality, lots of matter exists at rest while entropy is constantly rising. There is no need to believe these two forms of laziness are incompatible.


So if people are lazy, it means getting as much as they can for as little as possible.

Therefore, lazy people will only bully others if they can get something from it. We can assume that the value of what they get has to be greater than the effort they put in to obtain it.

Conversely, the bullied person will only do the action the bully wants if the consequences of not doing it are worse than the bother of doing it.

This means that the interaction is efficient, and is conserving energy.

For example, suppose I'm going to get coffee and the bully tells me to get her one too. So I get two coffees. It takes less energy than it would have if we had each got our own coffee. The system is more efficient.

That's why we have these hierarchical structures in organizations, because if we boss each other around, we get more efficiency of scale and specialization etc. So I don't see how bullying is naturally chaotic. It's the opposite.

Debate Round No. 2


Being lazy means not doing what you're supposed to. It can mean getting as much as one can for as little as possible, but it doesn't have to. For example, an engineer who invents an efficient machine isn't lazy.

You're also taking a one-dimensional understanding of bullying and ignoring the difference between local and global entropy. The second law of thermodynamics applies to the universe in general, not to specific scenarios. Local entropy can fall while global entropy is rising. In the short-run, yes, conceding to the bully is the path of least resistance, but it comes at the sacrifice of one's sense of self. This leads to cognitive dissonance since one isn't in charge of one's own being, so at best, one defects from the bully. At worst, one contests the bully and refuses to go along with the program.

In fact, we even see this in nature when it comes to the behavior of liquids and gases. If you push a liquid or gas from a certain direction, it doesn't move towards the opposite direction unless contained by a solid. Instead, it spreads out. On the other hand, solids have limited durability, and eventually, they break down from being pushed so much. We must remember that for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Hierarchic organizations do not necessarily exist for the sake of bullying like you described. They also exist for the sake of entrusted adjudication as well as voluntary management.


I don't think the 2nd law of thermodynamics is obvious for emotivist cynicism or from any other perspective. I've always found it baffling. Pro's scenario, involving lazy, self-interested bullies as things doesn't make it any more obvious. It's as perplexing as ever. The resolution is defeated.

Thank you for the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
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