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To All Materialists and Nihilists

charleslb
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11/28/2010 1:26:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
So, my "debate" here with materialists and nihilists (and libertarians) has gotten to a point where we're making no real progress. Materialists just keep asserting that all there is is matter in motion and "enlightened self-interest" making the world go around and motivating all human behavior. And I just keep asserting that this is a superficial view, that aesthetics and ethics, i.e. spirituality are fundamental to existence too. Neither of us is really "proving" the superiority of our worldview.

But of course materialists argue that they have empiricism on their side, and I argue that morality and feelings key us into important truths too. And thus we get bogged down. Who's really being unreasonable and hardheaded here? Is it obviously moi? Aren't materialists and skeptics actually believers too, staunch believers in their own perspective? Aren't they also subject to intellectual stubbornness? Don't objectivity and self-interest become out-and-out articles of faith for some of them, articles that they can't easily let go of?

This isn't consistent with the self-image of materialists and radical skeptics but isn't it true of some ostensibly critically-minded individuals, don't they subject everything under the sun but their own basic beliefs to critical analysis?

At any rate, what parts of my argument do they find so unreasonable and anti-empirical? I invite anyone to read and pick through the following words and tell me what's so deplorably supernaturalistic and airy-fairy?

The constructive and creative and aesthetic possibilities inherent in reality are preferred and favored by the nature of reality. These preferred possibilities constitute "values", objective and distinct values, that are reflected in human traits such as our proclivity to create and appreciate art, in the value many of us place on life, in life-affirming feelings such as empathy and compassion, etc.

Ah, but how do we know, how can we say that these preferred possibilities exist, in any objective sense? This is arguably an empirically evident fact! We can observe all around us that nature and the universe swings in the direction of creativity, growth, and elegance. Diversity with underlying and often intricate interdependence is the uncanny MO of the world.

The materialist can and will dismiss this as just the cumulative result of random processes. According to scientistic materialists "values" simply emerge accidentally from these haphazard processes.Those with moral and spiritual sensibilities, on the other hand, hold that it's values intrinsic in the process of creation that drives it, that drives everything, that even produces consciousness and becomes self-aware of the goodness and beauty of being, a consciousness that's experienced both personally by us and cosmically by what one might call "God".

Yes, even God can be understood as an objective aspect of nature, of this reality of ours, not a supernatural myth made up to comfort scared primitives or used by unscrupulous high priests and kings to manipulate naïve peasants. Values and spirituality can all be viewed naturalistically as features of the objective reality we know empirically, the matter of materialists becomes not an illusion but simply not the whole story.

No, those of us with moral and spiritual sensibilities don't reject everything that materialists believe, we just don't settle for it, for the one-dimensional, vapid, dismal view of reality that materialism arrogantly and reductively asserts. And yes, materialists/skeptics can be arrogant fundamentalists haughtily priding themselves on being "tough-minded" every bit as much as transcendentalists can pompously pride themselves on being "deep".

Who's more entitled to his arrogance though, who's correct, the materialist /skeptic/nihilist with his/her belief that "objective" facts are real but that objective values are just what we subjectively read into those facts. Or the adherents of the ethical and spiritual point of view, who hold that our subjectivity is not just our imagination and emotions running away with our minds, rather it's an inner awareness of the very real values dimension of objective reality. Yes indeed, who's correct? Neither side can ever really prove its case beyond a shadow of an unreasonable doubt, therefore dogmatists will never see the merits in the arguments of the other side and concede.

Tragically, dogmatists will remain in a permanent and unproductive stalemate, for them the debate promptly gets stalled and remains that way. Those whose thoughts are still flexible are the only ones who can step outside of this philosophical Mexican standoff and help humanity make progress in the evolution of its understanding , they're the ones who will intrepidly bring about the next great paradigm shift that will take us beyond both materialism and supernaturalism.

A caveat then, closed-mindedness is the way of the philosophical systems of the past, open-mindedness and inclusiveness is the way of progress and the future. Open-mindedness is a sine qua non of intellectual life and human growth, closed-mindedness is deadly.

(And no, for any snide cynics out there who will come back with the accusation that I'm quite closed-minded about my own views, no I'm not, not really. I reject many "traditional" ethical and religious ideas, I include in my worldview many modern and scientific notions and values, and I agree with the cultural relativists that much of what people believe is just culturally determined as opposed to objective. The reason that some of you find me to be intellectually obstinate is not that my mind is closed, it's simply that someone disagreeing with you so persistently is exasperating to you. Instead of being honest with yourselves about this you project your exasperation and intolerance onto me and view me as a dumbly dogged dogmatist. You might perhaps look in a mirror.)
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Cerebral_Narcissist
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11/28/2010 1:31:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 1:26:52 PM, charleslb wrote:
So, my "debate" here with materialists and nihilists (and libertarians) has gotten to a point where we're making no real progress. Materialists just keep asserting that all there is is matter in motion and "enlightened self-interest" making the world go around and motivating all human behavior. And I just keep asserting that this is a superficial view, that aesthetics and ethics, i.e. spirituality are fundamental to existence too. Neither of us is really "proving" the superiority of our worldview.

Okay I'll bite. In what way are aesthetics and ethics fundamental to existence, bith are man made concepts and the universe would still exist without them. Do you have any evidence for the existence of spirituality?

You are very good at waffling, you dont appear to be able to debate.

But of course materialists argue that they have empiricism on their side, and I argue that morality and feelings key us into important truths too.

Important, possibly. Truths... no.

I lost interest after this.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Atheism
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11/28/2010 1:49:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Would you just shut up with these forum rants?
Instead of acting superior to those who defer from your philosophies, how about you debate someone who actually cares enough to read your posts. I am sure you will be monumentally thrashed if you debated, say, Cody_Franklin, who has been destroying your posts anyways.
Leave the long rants to debate.
I miss the old members.
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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11/28/2010 1:53:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Another one? I've replied to EVERY post in the other thread and not only did you disregard my first response where my position was laid out completely, you instead decided to pick and choose which sentences you wanted to try and refute from the following posts! Come on, charleslb. You challenged nihilism and I answered, why are you starting a new one? Finish the old one where you have yet to justify ONE thing!
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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11/28/2010 1:55:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 1:49:38 PM, Atheism wrote:
Would you just shut up with these forum rants?
Instead of acting superior to those who defer from your philosophies, how about you debate someone who actually cares enough to read your posts. I am sure you will be monumentally thrashed if you debated, say, Cody_Franklin, who has been destroying your posts anyways.
Leave the long rants to debate.

I'll have a debate challenge finished up by the end of the night. "On balance, capitalism is more humanitarian than communism."
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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11/28/2010 2:07:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 1:55:56 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I'll have a debate challenge finished up by the end of the night. "On balance, capitalism is more humanitarian than communism."

Haha I might debate that with you for fun just cuz I'm really bored. Obviously the huge communist following on DDO will be very supportive...
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J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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11/28/2010 2:10:01 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 2:07:59 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 11/28/2010 1:55:56 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I'll have a debate challenge finished up by the end of the night. "On balance, capitalism is more humanitarian than communism."

Haha I might debate that with you for fun just cuz I'm really bored. Obviously the huge communist following on DDO will be very supportive...

Lol, you'd seriously argue for communism? We still have to do our free will debate...
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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11/28/2010 2:24:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 2:10:01 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/28/2010 2:07:59 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 11/28/2010 1:55:56 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I'll have a debate challenge finished up by the end of the night. "On balance, capitalism is more humanitarian than communism."

Haha I might debate that with you for fun just cuz I'm really bored. Obviously the huge communist following on DDO will be very supportive...

Lol, you'd seriously argue for communism? We still have to do our free will debate...

The free will debate would be absolutely pointless. If you'd like to debate against what free will actually is (i.e. against causation, like what PCP believes) then I'm down -- but I'm not going to waste my time arguing semantics over our freedom to "will" something, considering we believe the exact same thing. It would just be a BS argument about compatibilists being annoying and manipulative with their terminology; nobody gets anything out of this discussion.

But anyway, why wouldn't I argue for communism? I've argued for much more absurd things than that. Only debating what you think you know and what other people will agree with shows incompetence and weakness as a debater. The whole point isn't to be right -- it's to make stronger arguments. I like to challenge myself. Some people won't even defend what they actually believe and need petitions to do so lol *cough* Doing debate after debate in favor of capitalism on this site is nothing to be impressed about. So sure, bring on communism. Why not...
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J.Kenyon
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11/28/2010 2:30:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 2:24:42 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 11/28/2010 2:10:01 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/28/2010 2:07:59 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 11/28/2010 1:55:56 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I'll have a debate challenge finished up by the end of the night. "On balance, capitalism is more humanitarian than communism."

Haha I might debate that with you for fun just cuz I'm really bored. Obviously the huge communist following on DDO will be very supportive...

Lol, you'd seriously argue for communism? We still have to do our free will debate...

The free will debate would be absolutely pointless. If you'd like to debate against what free will actually is (i.e. agent causation, like what PCP believes) then I'm down -- but I'm not going to waste my time arguing semantics over our freedom to "will" something, considering we believe the exact same thing. It would just be a BS argument about compatibilists being annoying and manipulative with their terminology; nobody gets anything out of this discussion.

I think agent causation is compatible with determinism. I don't think my version of compatibilism is what you think it is.
Danielle
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11/28/2010 3:15:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 2:30:09 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I think agent causation is compatible with determinism. I don't think my version of compatibilism is what you think it is.

Well, I think you know what I advocate (hard determinism) -- the philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs. I reject the notion of free will -- the philosophical doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice, and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces. Compatibilists attempt to reconcile these things by saying we're determined (accepting causation), but noting that our freedom to "will" things means we're free willed. Well. F*cking DUH. If that's your position, then no thank you... but if you disagree otherwise, then lemme know.

Regarding this debate, I'm assuming communism is defined the same as it is on Wikipedia: a sociopolitical movement that aims for a stateless and classless society structured upon common ownership of the means of production, free access to articles of consumption, the end of wage labour and private property in the means of production and real estate. Wiki says capitalism, in contrast, is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are made by private actors in the free market; profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses and companies. I'm assuming you'll agree. Would you like to be Pro or Con? If Pro, you should probably make the debate 4 rounds and include those or similar agreed upon definitions in R1. I'm ready asap.
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J.Kenyon
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11/28/2010 3:22:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 3:15:58 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 11/28/2010 2:30:09 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I think agent causation is compatible with determinism. I don't think my version of compatibilism is what you think it is.

Well, I think you know what I advocate (hard determinism) -- the philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs. I reject the notion of free will -- the philosophical doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice, and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces. Compatibilists attempt to reconcile these things by saying we're determined (accepting causation), but noting that our freedom to "will" things means we're free willed. Well. F*cking DUH. If that's your position, then no thank you... but if you disagree otherwise, then lemme know.

That's definitely NOT my position. That's classical compatibilism, I'm a modern compatibilist.

Regarding this debate, I'm assuming communism is defined the same as it is on Wikipedia: a sociopolitical movement that aims for a stateless and classless society structured upon common ownership of the means of production, free access to articles of consumption, the end of wage labour and private property in the means of production and real estate. Wiki says capitalism, in contrast, is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are made by private actors in the free market; profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses and companies. I'm assuming you'll agree. Would you like to be Pro or Con? If Pro, you should probably make the debate 4 rounds and include those or similar agreed upon definitions in R1. I'm ready asap.

The only reason I want to debate this is because I don't like charleslb. I chose the topic based on my opponent, not the other way around. We can do free will or antitrust or something like that later.
Danielle
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11/28/2010 3:25:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 3:22:09 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
That's definitely NOT my position. That's classical compatibilism, I'm a modern compatibilist.

So what exactly do you disagree with?

The only reason I want to debate this is because I don't like charleslb. I chose the topic based on my opponent, not the other way around.

Well, I'm assuming you hate communism regardless of who's debating it with you lol.
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J.Kenyon
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11/28/2010 3:34:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 3:25:43 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 11/28/2010 3:22:09 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
That's definitely NOT my position. That's classical compatibilism, I'm a modern compatibilist.

So what exactly do you disagree with?

I don't think constraint or lack thereof has anything to do with the free will issue. Constrained decisions can still be free and unconstrained decisions can still fail to be free. I base my view of freedom on the role of the agent with an emphasis on higher-order desires, psychological factors, and counterfactual theories of causation.

The only reason I want to debate this is because I don't like charleslb. I chose the topic based on my opponent, not the other way around.

Well, I'm assuming you hate communism regardless of who's debating it with you lol.

Yes, I hate communism. I'd rather debate you on a less cut and dry topic, though. My only real interest here is to put Charles in his place.
Danielle
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11/28/2010 3:48:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 3:34:56 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I don't think constraint or lack thereof has anything to do with the free will issue. Constrained decisions can still be free and unconstrained decisions can still fail to be free. I base my view of freedom on the role of the agent with an emphasis on higher-order desires, psychological factors, and counterfactual theories of causation.

You say "constrained decisions can still be free" which right away sounds like the traditional compatibilist semantics argument -- that our decisions may be constrained (caused) but still free, which is exactly what I don't want to argue. However you continue to say that unconstrained decisions can still fail to be free - which I would debate - because there's no such thing as unconstrained (uncaused) decisions. You can label your view as "modified" or "contemporary" or what have you but at the end of the day you're still reconciling two different ideals instead of favoring one over the other. Hence, I doubt I'll be interested.

Yes, I hate communism. I'd rather debate you on a less cut and dry topic, though. My only real interest here is to put Charles in his place.

Less cut and dry topic? Are you saying communism can never win? Lol I'm a Labor Studies and Employment Relations major, so pro-labor arguments are not exactly foreign to me. Obviously I've got no chance in hell to win considering most members here probably wank off and jizz to the concept of capitalism, but so what... I know that going into it, so this would just be for fun :)
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J.Kenyon
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11/28/2010 3:58:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 3:48:00 PM, theLwerd wrote:
At 11/28/2010 3:34:56 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
I don't think constraint or lack thereof has anything to do with the free will issue. Constrained decisions can still be free and unconstrained decisions can still fail to be free. I base my view of freedom on the role of the agent with an emphasis on higher-order desires, psychological factors, and counterfactual theories of causation.

You say "constrained decisions can still be free" which right away sounds like the traditional compatibilist semantics argument -- that our decisions may be constrained (caused) but still free, which is exactly what I don't want to argue.

No, that's not what I'm saying at all. A classical compatibilist would hold that if someone puts a gun to my head and asks for my wallet, my compliance is constrained, and hence not free.

However you continue to say that unconstrained decisions can still fail to be free - which I would debate - because there's no such thing as unconstrained (uncaused) decisions.

That's not what I mean by unconstrained decisions. See above.

You can label your view as "modified" or "contemporary" or what have you but at the end of the day you're still reconciling two different ideals instead of favoring one over the other. Hence, I doubt I'll be interested.

Modern compatibilism has almost nothing in common with classical compatibilism. A debate like this would focus largely on the consequence argument, which I think would be fun.

Yes, I hate communism. I'd rather debate you on a less cut and dry topic, though. My only real interest here is to put Charles in his place.

Less cut and dry topic? Are you saying communism can never win?

No, I mean it's largely a matter of quoting textbooks and finding statistics.

Lol I'm a Labor Studies and Employment Relations major, so pro-labor arguments are not exactly foreign to me. Obviously I've got no chance in hell to win considering most members here probably wank off and jizz to the concept of capitalism, but so what... I know that going into it, so this would just be for fun :)

Eh, if you want to alright. I want to take Charles on first. It shouldn't take too long ;)
charleslb
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11/28/2010 7:49:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 1:53:47 PM, annhasle wrote:
Another one? I've replied to EVERY post in the other thread and not only did you disregard my first response where my position was laid out completely, you instead decided to pick and choose which sentences you wanted to try and refute from the following posts! Come on, charleslb. You challenged nihilism and I answered, why are you starting a new one? Finish the old one where you have yet to justify ONE thing!

In my other thread I attempted to show how the philosophies of nihilism, radical skepticism, relativism, and ethical egoism, all of which deny the objective validity of morality and hold that the only legitimate reason to do anything is self-interest, are all pragmatically-speaking poor philosophies because they would not necessarily incline one to take a stance against such flagrant evils as slavery. This is significant for these philosophies because it does seem that for many of the nihilists and libertarians at this site "enlightened self-interest" is the be all and end all of human motivations, that the sole criterion by which they evaluate a belief or action is the question "Is it in my interest to believe or do such a thing?" In other words, pragmatism is a distinct element in their nihilist or egoistic worldview.

Now then, Webster's defines pragmatism as the view "that truth is preeminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief", so it's a serious problem for nihilism and egoism if they would permit cruelty and crimes against humanity. If these two isms would allow their touters to apathetically accept or actively engage in highly harmful, palpably pernicious conduct, if they tend to, or even only part of the time produce vicious consequences, then this would seem to invalidate them by their own standards of judgment!

This is why all the nihilists who've replied to this and my previous post are being so evasive about facing any real-world scenarios in which self-interest might not motivate one to do the right thing vis–à–vis "moral" issues. If it turns out that nihilism and egoism are indifferent to and would permit or even conduce to injustice and some of the malignant realities prevalent in the world, then these philosophies don't even pass muster by their own lights. So, once again I throw out the challenge to all nihilists and egoists (ideological believers that self-interest alone would guide us all to behavior that would produce a world worth living in) to show me how it is that self-interest, rigorous logic, and a categorical rejection of non-objective concepts such as "truth" and "morality" would do such a good job, a superior job (superior to morality and religion) of guiding us to do the humane rather than the cruel thing, of producing a "kinder and gentler" society, a socially just power structure, and an all-around happy humanity? How is it, for example, that nihilist philosophy and self-interest would deter someone from committing war crimes if it seemed like a pragmatically good way to ensure one's survival and to win?

It seems like many nihilists and egoists at this site assume and rationalize that what's conventionally considered to be "evil" behavior would always have unattractive pragmatic results and that this would always dependably discourage those guided by rational self-interest from becoming evil. If this is so then it's quite a lucky coincidence for them! But alas nihilists/egoists have no such luck in their corner, if evolution has blindly and amorally programmed us to just do the selfish and survival-oriented thing, well, certainly it hasn't also programmed us to perform the rationalizing mind games that would always make it turn out so that self-interest causes "good", prosocial behavior (when we rationalize it tends to be the other way around, we rationalize to justify mean, not nice conduct). No, in the real, red in tooth and claw, world of evolution selfishness often leads to quite anti-social and ugly behavior indeed. So, again, I'd like nihilists/egoists to enlighten me as to how they come to the conclusion that self-interest is this great trustworthy, virtually infallible non-moral compass that nine times out of ten will do a better job than religious and ethical teachings at inducing us to be non-harming, responsible, constructive, and happiness-spreading boys and girls? Yep, show me how life in a nihilist's/egoist's world would work this way in both theory and practice.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Danielle
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11/28/2010 8:00:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 3:58:18 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
A debate like this would focus largely on the consequence argument, which I think would be fun.

If you're talking about what Dennett ascribes to, belle and I already talked about it in the last thread where we discussed free will so I'm pretty sure I know where the dissent lies. Essentially the argument is that there are cases where a coerced agent's choices are still free, because such coercion coincides with the agent's personal intentions and desires. This is where it gets into biology (psychology), right? Different layers of conscious choice and whatnot...

However what I'm getting at is that hard determinists (like myself) don't deny this; they simply disagree with describing this process as "free will," because the agent's intentions and desires are not free -- that is they are the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs. In other words, UNLESS you deny that every act, event, decision, etc. is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs, then we have nothing to debate, because we'd agree on everything except terminology... and I have no desire to debate semantics.

Now, you say this will mostly become a debate about the consequence argument. Does that mean we each sit and regurgitate logic proofs both for and against this argument straight from our philosophy text books? Meh, I'd rather pass, at least for now. I'll definitely think about it but I'm pretty bored of the subject at this particular moment to be perfectly honest with you :L I've exhausted this topic both on DDO and in real life lol.

No, I mean it's largely a matter of quoting textbooks and finding statistics.

On the contrary, I think a debate about communism vs. capitalism will be the complete opposite of what you're describing :) That's exactly what our free will debate would turn into, I fear, which I'm not in the mood for. It's easy to remind each other the holes that other philosophers have found in particular arguments.

However I think this debate would become a raw discussion about the merits of public vs. private ownership, the need for a state (even it's minimalist, or a non-monopolized one such as anarcho-capitalists advocate) -- and by state I mean body that recognizes private property -- the effects of capitalism, why communism is more "non humanitarian," etc. I genuinely think it would be an interesting discussion, but sure you can take charles on first... Do you think he'll really debate though? Good luck with that :| Are you debating Charles on it soonish?
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J.Kenyon
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11/28/2010 8:06:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 8:00:03 PM, theLwerd wrote:
However I think this debate would become a raw discussion about the merits of public vs. private ownership, the need for a state (even it's minimalist, or a non-monopolized one such as anarcho-capitalists advocate) -- and by state I mean body that recognizes private property

Well, I'm one of the few minarchist libertarians here, so unless you've had a recent change of heart, I agree with you that a minimal state is necessary, my state is just smaller than yours.

-- the effects of capitalism, why communism is more "non humanitarian," etc. I genuinely think it would be an interesting discussion, but sure you can take charles on first...

Do you think he'll really debate though? Good luck with that :| Are you debating Charles on it soonish?

Yar, I should have my first round done in an hour or so.
annhasle
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11/28/2010 8:09:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 7:49:21 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/28/2010 1:53:47 PM, annhasle wrote:
Another one? I've replied to EVERY post in the other thread and not only did you disregard my first response where my position was laid out completely, you instead decided to pick and choose which sentences you wanted to try and refute from the following posts! Come on, charleslb. You challenged nihilism and I answered, why are you starting a new one? Finish the old one where you have yet to justify ONE thing!

So, again, I'd like nihilists/egoists to enlighten me as to how they come to the conclusion that self-interest is this great trustworthy, virtually infallible non-moral compass that nine times out of ten will do a better job than religious and ethical teachings at inducing us to be non-harming, responsible, constructive, and happiness-spreading boys and girls? Yep, show me how life in a nihilist's/egoist's world would work this way in both theory and practice.

Ah, once again you have evaded justification for your own beliefs and instead have asked the same question again... Oh yay.

Ok, here's the thing. Nihilists are different. Some are just moral nihilists while others might be moral, existential and epistemological. Based on that, they'll have different interpretations of what to use as justification for actions. FREEDO and I disagree about emotionality - he values empathy, sympathy, etc. and uses them for decision making. In fact, I'm probably the only nihilist on this site that DOESN'T value emotions. So really, I can only speak for myself from here on out.

Personally, the thought of there being a complete nihilistic society is as idealistic as picturing an anarchistic society. Don't get me wrong - I'd be extremely happy with both but people are wired differently. So, I'll have to speak in the hypothetical while using empirical knowledge.

I find nihilism to be liberating not condemning. You see this freedom and automatically assume chaos - but that's not how I view it. Nihilism allows you to be an objective viewer, free from the bonds of what society dictates. Without morality, it comes down to each person to decide what they will or won't do. And that creates personal accountability. If you do something that others do not agree with, you better have a damn good justification for it besides it being, "Well, other people say it's ok". And no, there won't be uniform interpretations of what nihilism entails but luckily the words "should" and "ought" are eradicated. Each person decides what THEY want to do but you have to be careful at the same time.

If you kill someone, in a nihilistic society, they won't condemn your actions as "wrong". But do you think they'll trust you? No. Even within an amoral society, you can be ostracized. If your actions create problems for others, and you cannot justify WHY you did it, - even without morality - there would be consequences that aren't exactly favorable. The terms "wrong" and "right" are essentially useless. They do not have to be factored into our daily lives to have a happy life or a productive one, but you are so used to these concepts and have grown attached to them in such a way - that anything that goes against them is immediately incorrect. Well, I pity you. The current religious and ethical views that are being passed onto everyone have not ensured "positive" actions but you still cling onto these outdated concepts as though they will at one point start to work.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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11/28/2010 8:30:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 8:06:21 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Well, I'm one of the few minarchist libertarians here, so unless you've had a recent change of heart, I agree with you that a minimal state is necessary, my state is just smaller than yours.

Basically my position is that a minimalist state is useful, though states and capitalism go hand in hand. I don't equivocate capitalism with the free market, but rather a system that creates class systems that will inevitably become oppressive. The capitalist argument is that a class system is natural; it's the inevitable result of freedom. This would be your humanitarian argument. The counter would be that class systems are not natural and/or non-humanitarian, or less humanitarian than capitalism. Now if you're asking about or referring to my real life opinion of what type of government should be (or should not be), I'd say it's complicated and probably more suited for a PM haha.

Yar, I should have my first round done in an hour or so.

Awesomesauce.
President of DDO
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/28/2010 8:32:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 8:09:39 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 11/28/2010 7:49:21 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/28/2010 1:53:47 PM, annhasle wrote:
Another one? I've replied to EVERY post in the other thread and not only did you disregard my first response where my position was laid out completely, you instead decided to pick and choose which sentences you wanted to try and refute from the following posts! Come on, charleslb. You challenged nihilism and I answered, why are you starting a new one? Finish the old one where you have yet to justify ONE thing!

So, again, I'd like nihilists/egoists to enlighten me as to how they come to the conclusion that self-interest is this great trustworthy, virtually infallible non-moral compass that nine times out of ten will do a better job than religious and ethical teachings at inducing us to be non-harming, responsible, constructive, and happiness-spreading boys and girls? Yep, show me how life in a nihilist's/egoist's world would work this way in both theory and practice.

Ah, once again you have evaded justification for your own beliefs and instead have asked the same question again... Oh yay.

Ok, here's the thing. Nihilists are different. Some are just moral nihilists while others might be moral, existential and epistemological. Based on that, they'll have different interpretations of what to use as justification for actions. FREEDO and I disagree about emotionality - he values empathy, sympathy, etc. and uses them for decision making. In fact, I'm probably the only nihilist on this site that DOESN'T value emotions. So really, I can only speak for myself from here on out.

Personally, the thought of there being a complete nihilistic society is as idealistic as picturing an anarchistic society. Don't get me wrong - I'd be extremely happy with both but people are wired differently. So, I'll have to speak in the hypothetical while using empirical knowledge.

I find nihilism to be liberating not condemning. You see this freedom and automatically assume chaos - but that's not how I view it. Nihilism allows you to be an objective viewer, free from the bonds of what society dictates. Without morality, it comes down to each person to decide what they will or won't do. And that creates personal accountability. If you do something that others do not agree with, you better have a damn good justification for it besides it being, "Well, other people say it's ok". And no, there won't be uniform interpretations of what nihilism entails but luckily the words "should" and "ought" are eradicated. Each person decides what THEY want to do but you have to be careful at the same time.

If you kill someone, in a nihilistic society, they won't condemn your actions as "wrong". But do you think they'll trust you? No. Even within an amoral society, you can be ostracized. If your actions create problems for others, and you cannot justify WHY you did it, - even without morality - there would be consequences that aren't exactly favorable. The terms "wrong" and "right" are essentially useless. They do not have to be factored into our daily lives to have a happy life or a productive one, but you are so used to these concepts and have grown attached to them in such a way - that anything that goes against them is immediately incorrect. Well, I pity you. The current religious and ethical views that are being passed onto everyone have not ensured "positive" actions but you still cling onto these outdated concepts as though they will at one point start to work.

Okay, so fear of social shame and being stigmatized and other negative social consequences, this is what your nihilist society would rely on to encourage prosocial behavior. This, social shame as opposed to moral guilt, is actually what some societies use to encourage socially nice and discourage socially naughty conduct. Japan, for example, has a shame rather than a guilt-based "morality" (pardon the conventional term). But when Japan last went to war and soldiers found themselves outside of their society, found themselves in a new context in which social shame no longer operated on them to deter them from doing horrendous things, they became quite capable of the most atrocious cruelty, such as marching into hospital wards and bayoneting helpless civilian patients in their beds, etc. And of course the Japanese POW camps were the most appalling and lethal of any country that participated in WWII, Nazi prisoner of war facilities were comparatively humane!

The point is, once Japanese Imperial Army soldiers were no longer in their own society where shame worked to make them conform to a humane code of conduct they had no incentive or reason to be decent to their fellow man, woman, or child any more and became the most brutal and sadistic killers. So, is social shame and conformism really going to make for a humane and happy human condition? Can we really dispense with your bugbear, "morality" and expect to find ourselves in a world that's as good as, let alone better than the one we currently have?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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11/28/2010 8:46:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
@Charles

Abu Graihb was committed by Christians, who supposedly believe in your version of morality/shame.

Laundry listing atrocious acts is a horrible debating style and proves nothing.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
charleslb
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11/28/2010 9:22:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 8:46:12 PM, bluesteel wrote:
@Charles

Abu Graihb was committed by Christians, who supposedly believe in your version of morality/shame.

Laundry listing atrocious acts is a horrible debating style and proves nothing.

It occurred, it was permitted, but it was not the sort of openly condoned and encouraged and rampant atrocity that the Japanese invasion of Nanking, for example, was. And when word got out it was at least hypocritically disapproved of by the tarnished top brass of the military and the morally contemptible Bush administration. This is because people with an internal sense of morality can lose their way, ethically speaking, and do evil things, but at least having an ethical way of viewing life they can also find their way again. Japanese military personnel never did see their way to waging war without murdering civilians in hospital beds, abusing POWs to death, brutalizing and butchering, etc. It wasn't until after the war that anyone told Japan's military that it had done a boatload of evil, and it wasn't Japanese military, political, or cultural leaders who told it, it was the outside, morally outraged world.

The point is that with morality at least wartime crimes can be recognized and stopped, as was the case in Abu Ghraib, without morality the atrocities continue until the bitter end of a war, and after if the atrocity-condoning side wins. Morality makes people at least a tiny little bit better, even when they're at their worst, as they are when they're engaged in making war; without morality, well, you can fuggedaboutit and kiss any slight degree of decency in war goodbye!
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/28/2010 9:42:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 1:31:07 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 11/28/2010 1:26:52 PM, charleslb wrote:
So, my "debate" here with materialists and nihilists (and libertarians) has gotten to a point where we're making no real progress. Materialists just keep asserting that all there is is matter in motion and "enlightened self-interest" making the world go around and motivating all human behavior. And I just keep asserting that this is a superficial view, that aesthetics and ethics, i.e. spirituality are fundamental to existence too. Neither of us is really "proving" the superiority of our worldview.

Okay I'll bite. In what way are aesthetics and ethics fundamental to existence, bith are man made concepts and the universe would still exist without them. Do you have any evidence for the existence of spirituality?

You are very good at waffling, you dont appear to be able to debate.

But of course materialists argue that they have empiricism on their side, and I argue that morality and feelings key us into important truths too.

Important, possibly. Truths... no.

I lost interest after this.

Do you have no eyes for the aesthetic beauty in nature, and do not humans, who are nature's children, have an aesthetic sense thanks to natural evolution? Is this just accidental or actually empirical evidence that reality is inherently aesthetic ! And are not "ethics" merely the attempt of one self-conscious embodiment of life and its values, i.e. man, to guide his conduct by his consciousness of life's intrinsic worth and wondrousness? Well, in a deeper analysis than materialists are capable of, do not our human, made-up ethics reflect the universe's appreciation of life, growth, and creativity?

You then ask for evidence for the existence of spirituality, perhaps you mean evidence for the validity of the spiritual worldview, but I'll take you at your own words here, and point out that all you have to do is walk into a synagogue, Buddhist temple, or church and you'll find ample evidence that spirituality exists.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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11/28/2010 9:44:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
@charles

So if an act is punished (even if it's, as you say, hypocritically) then the act wasn't immoral?

Heard of the Nuremberg Trials or the International Military Tribunal for the Far East?
There goes your Holocaust/Rape of Nanking examples...

I saw Fair Play today. Was it moral for Scooter Libby to reveal the identity of a CIA agent because her husband dared speak out against the Iraq War? His sentence was commuted by Bush, so he wasn't punished. So by your standard, what he did was not immoral.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
bluesteel
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11/28/2010 9:46:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
scratch the Fair Play thing. Charles, your arguments are so nonsensical you've made me confuse myself.

Name a nation that is moral, by your standard, and I will name atrocities they committed. That was my main point.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Cerebral_Narcissist
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11/29/2010 2:29:40 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 1:55:56 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
At 11/28/2010 1:49:38 PM, Atheism wrote:
Would you just shut up with these forum rants?
Instead of acting superior to those who defer from your philosophies, how about you debate someone who actually cares enough to read your posts. I am sure you will be monumentally thrashed if you debated, say, Cody_Franklin, who has been destroying your posts anyways.
Leave the long rants to debate.

I'll have a debate challenge finished up by the end of the night. "On balance, capitalism is more humanitarian than communism."

I am still waiting for our one.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
Sam_Lowry
Posts: 367
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11/29/2010 5:37:28 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/28/2010 9:42:52 PM, charleslb wrote:

Do you have no eyes for the aesthetic beauty in nature, and do not humans, who are nature's children, have an aesthetic sense thanks to natural evolution? Is this just accidental or actually empirical evidence that reality is inherently aesthetic ! And are not "ethics" merely the attempt of one self-conscious embodiment of life and its values, i.e. man, to guide his conduct by his consciousness of life's intrinsic worth and wondrousness? Well, in a deeper analysis than materialists are capable of, do not our human, made-up ethics reflect the universe's appreciation of life, growth, and creativity?

You then ask for evidence for the existence of spirituality, perhaps you mean evidence for the validity of the spiritual worldview, but I'll take you at your own words here, and point out that all you have to do is walk into a synagogue, Buddhist temple, or church and you'll find ample evidence that spirituality exists.

It just dawned on me that you are a new age Intelligent Design Theorist. I don't know how I missed it before.