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Brave New World

wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
We just finished reading it in English.

In Brave New World, society provides complete happiness and stability, but sacrifices freedom and truth, implementing a utility monster in the form of conditioning, where fetuses and young children are taught to love their jobs, their life, and sex. When troubled, they are encouraged to take soma, an effective drug causing pleasurable hallucinations.

Is manufacturing happiness by manipulating preferences justified?

Because our preferences are out of our control in real life, are we losing liberty if they are artificially manipulated?

What is more important than happiness?

Is liberty a means to an end? If so, what is that end; if not, what is the inherent good in liberty?

What is the highest good in society and why?
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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10/25/2011 8:21:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:
What is the highest good in society and why?

I am inclined to say freedom, but obviously security is important too.
Freedom breeds happiness; if one is free to do as they please they can pursue whatever makes them happy. I feel like people are too willing to give away their freedom in exchange for false security. With freedom comes to choice to invest in however much security will make you feel safest.

inb4 "if people were free to do as they choose, they will kill each other".
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

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OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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10/25/2011 8:22:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:
We just finished reading it in English.

In Brave New World, society provides complete happiness and stability, but sacrifices freedom and truth, implementing a utility monster in the form of conditioning, where fetuses and young children are taught to love their jobs, their life, and sex. When troubled, they are encouraged to take soma, an effective drug causing pleasurable hallucinations.

Is manufacturing happiness by manipulating preferences justified?

Because our preferences are out of our control in real life, are we losing liberty if they are artificially manipulated?

What is more important than happiness?

Is liberty a means to an end? If so, what is that end; if not, what is the inherent good in liberty?

What is the highest good in society and why?

It's kind of ironic that this is my favorite book, and that I happen to be a utilitarian.

Mill distinguishes between two different types of pleasure: Lower and higher. I shouldn't have to elaborate too much on which category the soma falls into. Interestingly, it can also be viewed as a peculiar utopia: It's basically drugs and sex 24/7. That concept has been lambasted in philosophical literature since Plato but I'd certainly prefer it to the situation I'm currently in which is work all the time. There are certainly worse states to be in.

There's also the deeper question of human nature: Is drugs and sex all the time truly conducive to happiness, or do humans have a natural desire to explore the natural world that will suffer if not attended to? It's a great book and it's been a while since I read it, but I love Huxley as a writer. Straight from the horses mouth.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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10/25/2011 8:26:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
^^ You're a utilitarian? Why?
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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10/25/2011 8:30:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:21:58 PM, tvellalott wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:
What is the highest good in society and why?

I am inclined to say freedom, but obviously security is important too.
Freedom breeds happiness; if one is free to do as they please they can pursue whatever makes them happy. I feel like people are too willing to give away their freedom in exchange for false security. With freedom comes to choice to invest in however much security will make you feel safest.

If you find the value in freedom to be its role as a means to happiness, then why not just make everyone happy by Freudian engineering? If happiness could only be perfect without freedom, would you still prefer the latter?
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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10/25/2011 8:34:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:26:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
^^ You're a utilitarian? Why?

I can't get myself involved now since Plato is keeping me busy, do you want a meta-ethical justification or do you have gripes about it?
tvellalott
Posts: 10,864
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10/25/2011 8:37:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:30:24 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:21:58 PM, tvellalott wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:
What is the highest good in society and why?

I am inclined to say freedom, but obviously security is important too.
Freedom breeds happiness; if one is free to do as they please they can pursue whatever makes them happy. I feel like people are too willing to give away their freedom in exchange for false security. With freedom comes to choice to invest in however much security will make you feel safest.

If you find the value in freedom to be its role as a means to happiness, then why not just make everyone happy by Freudian engineering? If happiness could only be perfect without freedom, would you still prefer the latter?

What a mindfvck of a question.
Is happiness more important than freedom?
I don't know. :/

I'll think about it and get back to you.
"Caitlyn Jenner is an incredibly brave and stunningly beautiful woman."

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socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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10/25/2011 8:42:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:34:53 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:26:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
^^ You're a utilitarian? Why?

I can't get myself involved now since Plato is keeping me busy, do you want a meta-ethical justification or do you have gripes about it?

Metaethical or normative would be nice.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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10/25/2011 8:51:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:42:57 PM, socialpinko wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:34:53 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:26:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
^^ You're a utilitarian? Why?

I can't get myself involved now since Plato is keeping me busy, do you want a meta-ethical justification or do you have gripes about it?

Metaethical or normative would be nice.

Utilitarianism is normative.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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10/25/2011 8:59:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:51:59 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:42:57 PM, socialpinko wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:34:53 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:26:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
^^ You're a utilitarian? Why?

I can't get myself involved now since Plato is keeping me busy, do you want a meta-ethical justification or do you have gripes about it?

Metaethical or normative would be nice.

Utilitarianism is normative.

I meant meta ethical since utilitarianism necessarily presupposes it. So a normative justification is obvious, and a meta ethical justification is just fun(since the various justifications can get humerous).
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
sadolite
Posts: 8,842
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10/25/2011 9:05:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:
We just finished reading it in English.

In Brave New World, society provides complete happiness and stability, but sacrifices freedom and truth, implementing a utility monster in the form of conditioning, where fetuses and young children are taught to love their jobs, their life, and sex. When troubled, they are encouraged to take soma, an effective drug causing pleasurable hallucinations.

Is manufacturing happiness by manipulating preferences justified?

Because our preferences are out of our control in real life, are we losing liberty if they are artificially manipulated?

What is more important than happiness?

Is liberty a means to an end? If so, what is that end; if not, what is the inherent good in liberty?

What is the highest good in society and why?

Free will and freedom are 10000 more important than happiness. Happiness is reletive to your conditions. people can be happy in a prison camp. You can't be happy all the time.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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10/25/2011 9:17:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 9:05:20 PM, sadolite wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:
We just finished reading it in English.

In Brave New World, society provides complete happiness and stability, but sacrifices freedom and truth, implementing a utility monster in the form of conditioning, where fetuses and young children are taught to love their jobs, their life, and sex. When troubled, they are encouraged to take soma, an effective drug causing pleasurable hallucinations.

Is manufacturing happiness by manipulating preferences justified?

Because our preferences are out of our control in real life, are we losing liberty if they are artificially manipulated?

What is more important than happiness?

Is liberty a means to an end? If so, what is that end; if not, what is the inherent good in liberty?

What is the highest good in society and why?

Free will and freedom are 10000 more important than happiness. Happiness is reletive to your conditions. people can be happy in a prison camp. You can't be happy all the time.

What is the intrinsic value of freedom?
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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10/25/2011 9:47:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:59:47 PM, socialpinko wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:51:59 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:42:57 PM, socialpinko wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:34:53 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:26:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
^^ You're a utilitarian? Why?

I can't get myself involved now since Plato is keeping me busy, do you want a meta-ethical justification or do you have gripes about it?

Metaethical or normative would be nice.

Utilitarianism is normative.

I meant meta ethical since utilitarianism necessarily presupposes it. So a normative justification is obvious, and a meta ethical justification is just fun(since the various justifications can get humerous).

The thing about meta-ethics is that I feel it's abstract and often a post hoc justification for normative views. It really seems to start with our conception of "the good" - which I define as a communal, sort of species-wide self-interest. The function of morality is to further the well-being of our species (and other sentient beings as our circle of morality expands) and absolute rules or maxims which fly in the face of well-being I consider morally untenable, regardless of however consistent they may be.

I could certainly cite meta-ethical views that I'm partial to, but that would distract from what I feel is the main issue.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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10/25/2011 10:38:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:


Is manufacturing happiness by manipulating preferences justified?

What is manipulation? Envirionmental and genetics "manipulate" me all the time.

Because our preferences are out of our control in real life, are we losing liberty if they are artificially manipulated?

Define "artificial". My preferences are artificial in the sense that they are just created via interactions in my brain due to environment and genetics.

What is more important than happiness?


Subjetively, we strive towards happiness. In that sense, for the individual, happiness is what is most imporant.

Is liberty a means to an end?

I'd say so.

If so, what is that end; if not, what is the inherent good in liberty?

Liberty is necessary since only individuals can know their subjective values. Liberty is about the individual's choice to pursuit his or her own happiness and so that individuals can be away from others who try to take away their pursuit of happiness.


What is the highest good in society and why?

There is no society in a normal sense. Only individuals achieve goals.
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Ren
Posts: 7,102
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10/25/2011 11:45:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:
We just finished reading it in English.

In Brave New World, society provides complete happiness and stability, but sacrifices freedom and truth, implementing a utility monster in the form of conditioning, where fetuses and young children are taught to love their jobs, their life, and sex. When troubled, they are encouraged to take soma, an effective drug causing pleasurable hallucinations.

Is manufacturing happiness by manipulating preferences justified?

Because our preferences are out of our control in real life, are we losing liberty if they are artificially manipulated?

What is more important than happiness?

Is liberty a means to an end? If so, what is that end; if not, what is the inherent good in liberty?

What is the highest good in society and why?

Brave New World is a satire meant to exemplify the societal ideal that most first world nations are currently attempting.
MarquisX
Posts: 925
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10/26/2011 12:37:30 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Happiness over freedom? Freedom is much more important,because with freedom I can pursue my own happiness.
Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive
jat93
Posts: 1,440
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10/26/2011 2:26:14 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 8:37:39 PM, tvellalott wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:30:24 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:21:58 PM, tvellalott wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:
What is the highest good in society and why?

I am inclined to say freedom, but obviously security is important too.
Freedom breeds happiness; if one is free to do as they please they can pursue whatever makes them happy. I feel like people are too willing to give away their freedom in exchange for false security. With freedom comes to choice to invest in however much security will make you feel safest.

If you find the value in freedom to be its role as a means to happiness, then why not just make everyone happy by Freudian engineering? If happiness could only be perfect without freedom, would you still prefer the latter?

What a mindfvck of a question.
Is happiness more important than freedom?
I don't know. :/

It is indeed a mindfvck. I've tried grappling with this for years but no matter what I think of or read, I can't decide. I think that if you are being forced to be happy, the happiness will never be as complete as if you had found it by yourself. Forced happiness just can't possibly measure up to free happiness. Maybe creating the illusion of free pleasure and instilling it in everybody would be a different story. Ah, this is one of those questions that makes my mind want to explode.
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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10/26/2011 9:54:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 11:45:08 PM, Ren wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:
We just finished reading it in English.

In Brave New World, society provides complete happiness and stability, but sacrifices freedom and truth, implementing a utility monster in the form of conditioning, where fetuses and young children are taught to love their jobs, their life, and sex. When troubled, they are encouraged to take soma, an effective drug causing pleasurable hallucinations.

Is manufacturing happiness by manipulating preferences justified?

Because our preferences are out of our control in real life, are we losing liberty if they are artificially manipulated?

What is more important than happiness?

Is liberty a means to an end? If so, what is that end; if not, what is the inherent good in liberty?

What is the highest good in society and why?

Brave New World is a satire meant to exemplify the societal ideal that most first world nations are currently attempting.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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10/26/2011 9:59:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/26/2011 12:37:30 AM, MarquisX wrote:
Happiness over freedom? Freedom is much more important,because with freedom I can pursue my own happiness.

So the good of freedom is happiness?

In Brave New World, technology is developed such that happiness can be perfect at the cost of freedom. If your happiness is better without your freedom, why keep freedom?
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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10/26/2011 10:06:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 10:38:50 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/25/2011 8:15:15 PM, wjmelements wrote:


Is manufacturing happiness by manipulating preferences justified?

What is manipulation? Envirionmental and genetics "manipulate" me all the time.

You have the correct meaning of manipulation. Is directing the manipulation of preferences justified, given we don't have control over them in the first place? That is, are we violating freedom by influencing decision if our influence is merely replacing random chance?

Do we have a right to random development?

Because our preferences are out of our control in real life, are we losing liberty if they are artificially manipulated?

Define "artificial". My preferences are artificial in the sense that they are just created via interactions in my brain due to environment and genetics.

Absolutely. Artificial here means man-made.

What is more important than happiness?


Subjetively, we strive towards happiness. In that sense, for the individual, happiness is what is most imporant.

Now, if we each strive towards happiness in our own subjective way, is happiness the objective highest good? Is it the ultimate standard for judging the effect-value of behavior?
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Rockylightning
Posts: 2,862
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10/26/2011 11:11:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
You must choose between peace of mind, but loss of decisions.

Or control of one's actions, and chaos.

Or you can take the half baked hybrids.
leemadison11
Posts: 11
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11/25/2011 1:45:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think that freedom, especially the freedom of thought, experience and emotion is far more important than security. The characters in [url=http://www.shmoop.com...]Brave New World[/url] are numbed to any kind of experience that isn't pleasure and this is stagnation. The entire human experience is reduced to a few bodily functions and happy pills. Yes, definitely freedom.
DevinKing
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11/26/2011 10:09:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/25/2011 9:17:11 PM, wjmelements wrote:
What is the intrinsic value of freedom?

--I think it is kind of hard to measure the intrinsic value of freedom against happiness when you are both using a different measuring stick for "value." Whether happiness or freedom is an end in and of itself is a subjective question since their is no real objective measure for value. Value is notoriously subjective (as discovered by all those who study economics), and is famously stated in the following quote: "everything is worth what the purchaser will pay for it." Essentially, the value of anything is what an individual will give up to obtain it. This is the only useful measure of value I have ever come across.

--Dig deep enough into the origins of people's motives and you will find that not all are based on the expectation of happiness or pleasure (although most are based on these two things). Think of impulsive decisions or self-sacrifice. There are not many exceptions to pleasure based decisions but they do exist and they offer an interesting insight. That is, even happiness is a means to an end, although not necessarily to the individual. That end is life, living, survival. But more survival of the species, or at least one's offspring. How many parents would give up their own happiness or freedom in order to save their child's life?

--As far as security vs. liberty, I think that any one of us would choose life without freedom or happiness over death. This is why security triumphs over both. Dead people have no freedom.
After demonstrating his existence with complete certainty with the proposition "I think, therefore I am", Descartes walks into a bar, sitting next to a gorgeous priest. The priest asks Descartes, "Would you like a drink?" Descartes responds, "I think not," and then proceeds to vanish in a puff of illogic.