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Large Error in UPB - Confusing 'Opposite' and 'Negation' (Destroys attempted disproof of positive obligations)

UPB

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95 replies to this topic

#1
Trane

Trane
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From UPB:

"VIRTUE AND ITS OPPOSITE


The opposite of “virtue” must be “vice” – the opposite of “good” must be “evil.” If I propose the moral
rule, “thou shalt not steal,” then stealing must be evil, and not stealing must be good. This does not mean
that “refraining from theft” is the sole definition of moral excellence, of course, since a man may be a
murderer, but not a thief. We can think of it as a “necessary but not sufficient” requirement for virtue." (p. 65, ‘UPB: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics’)

This section is the lynchpin of Stefan’s argument and is combined with the ‘coma test’ to prove that we have no positive obligations. Unfortunately it contained a blatant error, which you’ve probably noticed already. Stefan has confused ‘negation’ and ‘opposite’.
 

The negation of giving is not-giving. The negation of black is not-black.

The opposite of giving is taking. The opposite of black is white.
 

Not-giving is not identical to taking, nor is not-black identical to white. Thus quite clearly the concepts of ‘negation’ and ‘opposite’ are distinct.
 

Showing how Stefan is wrong here has nullified his coma test (p.67). Stefan’s argument is that if we have positive obligations (say, giving to charity), then a man in a coma must be evil, since he is performing the opposite of virtue – not-giving to charity. This is supposedly absurd, since he is unable to avoid his ‘actions’.
 

But Stefan’s argument fails because the man is not performing the opposite of giving to charity – merely the negation. He need not be virtuous or wicked. The fact that an action is not virtuous does not prove that it is immoral. Eating ice cream may not be virtuous – does this prove that eating ice cream is immoral?
 

This all shows that at the very least, ‘UPB’ needs to be completely rewritten to accommodate these findings. It contains overt errors. This analysis cannot be dismissed as ‘nit-picking’ unless you feel that proving positive obligations do not exist was not a major part of Stefan’s project. Feel free to proclaim yourself a supporter of ‘UPB’ ‘apart from the stuff about positive obligations not existing’, but it would be akin to a Marxist saying ‘well, you can ignore the part about abolishing private property.’ If Stefan won’t correct even this glaring flaw in his work, it raises serious questions about his rigour and credibility. If you are an honest supporter of Stefan, I suggest that you bring this to his attention so that he may revise ‘UPB’ at the earliest opportunity. It would genuinely strenghthen FDR as well as UPB.


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#2
Pepin

Pepin

  • 532 posts

The opposite of an event occurring is the event not occurring. If we are measuring an amount of polarized photons that make it through a slit, the opposite of a photon making it through the slit is a photon not making it through the slit. Actions are the same in that the opposite of an action occurring is the action not occurring. The opposite of me doing the chicken dance is me not doing the chicken dance, not some action that is the opposite of the chicken dance. It logically equivalent to say that the opposite of doing a chicken dance is any action other than a chicken dance, but that is only saying that no action will register an occurrence for the chicken dance occurring except for the chicken dance. 

 

If the action has some sort of binary description to it, the opposite would not affect the action and would affect the descriptor. If an object is moving and it is in the direction that is the opposite of up, then is moving down. If you measure the spin of an electron to be the opposite of down, then the spin is up. If voluntary is the opposite of involuntary, and an interaction is the opposite of involuntary, then it is a voluntary interaction.

 

UPB does not judge theories based on actions because actions are contextual. Cutting someone's neck is likely bad in most circumstances, but can be very good in cases of emergency tracheotomies. Because of this, the action is not judged by itself, but rather the preferences of the parities involved. You'd call a serial murderer bad because they they were slashing people's throats against the victim's preference, and a doctor good because the patient preferred to have their throat slashed.

 

In much the same way, the action of sexual intercourse cannot be said to be good or bad. Rather the preference is the decider on the morality. Involuntary sex is the opposite of voluntary sex, which is just saying that rape is the opposite of love making. If it proven that involuntary interactions are immoral, then rape is immoral.

 

Hope this helps and provides some clarifications. From what I remember, the whole "the opposite of an action is everything but that action" was formulated by a somewhat recent philosopher and it solved this rather large issue of the term "opposite" in terms of actions. Wish I could remember the details and who it was.

 

The negation of black is not-black.
The opposite of black is white.
 
I'm dissecting this more for fun. If black is the lack of all color and white is the presence of all color, then white and black are opposites, but any gradation of grey would also be the opposite of black because it contains all colors as well, the colors are just not as intense as white. Red would not be the opposite of black or white because it is only one color. I suppose it might help to add that black and white require equal color intensity.
 
On the physical level, you could say that white objects reflect photons in the visible spectrum equally while black objects absorb photons in the visible spectrum equally. The term opposite would then refer to photon absorption as opposed to reflection or refracted. Provided an intense enough white light source, grey would describe the absorption ratio, with light grey having a low abortion rate.

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#3
Just

Just

  • 56 posts

Anytime I see definition quibbling I see their glass as half empty


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#4
Pepin

Pepin

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Anytime I see definition quibbling I see their glass as half empty

 

Definitions are very important in philosophy and science in order to avoid subjectivity and misunderstanding. In some cases, arguing about the definition of a word is a little pointless when the audience knows what you mean or the context is well enough established, but in general: defining terms is the first place to start.


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#5
Just

Just

  • 56 posts

 

       quib·ble
.

   a slight objection or criticism.

 

op·po·site
   having a position on the other or further side of something

   diametrically different; of a contrary kind.

 

Righteo Pep, thats the whole issue here. The quibbling was an objection to an established definition.  Rudeness wasn't my intention, but when I see a theory attempted to be undercut based on an individuals slight objection or criticism to the diction involved... it just kinda makes me giggle. i.e. I disprove of reason = virtue = happiness because happiness is just the opposite of sadness, and therefore the absence of reason will equal sadness which we know is untrue when one considers the blissfully ignorant.

 

Trane, I am all ears if there is a missing railcar in the... train of successive observations  leading to the fact that some folk are allowed to behave violent while other's aren't... I just don't see it here


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#6
Trane

Trane
  • 26 posts

@Just, you shouldn't 'giggle' on seeing a major flaw in a theory you apparently endorse being exposed. You should instead seek to repair the damage or abandon the theory. Stefan's argument against positive obligations fails because of this observation, since it invalidates his 'coma test' - the person is a coma is not necessarily doing anything immoral, so Stefan's argument fails. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see that your belief in Stefan is not based on rational argument, but rather on your belief that his conclusions are just 'obvious'.

@Pepin, I'm not quite sure we're on the same page. The point is, however you define 'opposite' and 'negation', you have to be consistent in their usage. Stefan hasn't been, therefore his argument fails due to equivocation. Opposite and negation are distinct terms, he must choose which one he means. At present, the proof that positive obligations do not exist in UPB fails utterly due to this equivocation.

You also seem to make the unwarranted assumption that all actions are either virtuous or bad (this is what I thought you meant when you spoke about 'binary'.) But this is false - for example, eating an ice cream is not virtuous - but that does not entail that it is immoral to eat an ice cream!


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#7
Wesley

Wesley

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At least in the section you pulled from the book, the error you seem to point out is not relevant. In fact, he specifically says that "necessary but not sufficient" exists.

 

To use your examples, not-black is the negation of black and white is the opposite of black. Not-black (negation) is the necessary but not sufficient requirement to achieve white (opposite).

 

Not-giving is the negation of giving and taking is the opposite of giving. Not-giving (negation) is the necessary but not sufficient requirement to achieve taking (opposite).

 

Obviously these are not as clear as it is without a book to back up each example or which talking about Universal Preferable Behavior as opposed to innocuous actions or characteristics, but I do not see the problem. He specifically says they are not the same and thus creates the idea of "necessary but not sufficient" in order to satisfy the disparity.


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#8
ProfessionalTeabagger

ProfessionalTeabagger

  • 752 posts

There are two valid interpretations of "not stealing" here. There's "not stealing" as in the negation of stealing. That would be everything other than stealing. Then there's "not stealing" as in the opposite of stealing. That would be "refraining from theft" or "respecting property rights". Given that "refraining from theft" or "respecting property rights" are used in the same context as "not stealing" in the same section (Virtue and it's opposite) it's much more likely this is the meaning. Trane has failed to consider this possibility or just ignored it. He would have had to show that he has not just assumed his interpretation of "not stealing" (from the paragraph quoted) is correct rather than the other valid alternative. He has not shown this so the objection is a non-starter.

In as far as I understand the objection to the coma test and positive moral obligations, it fails too. The paragraph Trane is referring to posits giving to charity as a moral absolute. That means that anyone not giving to charity would be immoral according to UPB.  If you think negation and opposite are the being confused here then take it up with the person putting forward the proposition that giving to charity is UPB.


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#9
Kevin Beal

Kevin Beal

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If there's some better way than UPB, then use that instead of using UPB to explain how UPB is wrong.

 

Trane is not saying that UPB should be re-written because that's his preference, but because of a standard for correct behavior that is true regardless of his preferences. Something like "it is UPB to re-write a book when there are big errors in it".

 

In fact the whole thing stinks of false moralizing.

 

Someone familiar with UPB should be aware of when they are using UPB, especially when they are criticizing it. Otherwise I'm inclined not to believe that they know what the flip they are talking about.


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"There is no law, no compulsion, no law of physics or man that is preventing you from living the life that you want" - Stef (The Greatest Gift in the Entire Universe)


#10
Pepin

Pepin

  • 532 posts

I'm not quite sure we're on the same page. The point is, however you define 'opposite' and 'negation', you have to be consistent in their usage. Stefan hasn't been, therefore his argument fails due to equivocation. Opposite and negation are distinct terms, he must choose which one he means. At present, the proof that positive obligations do not exist in UPB fails utterly due to this equivocation.

 

I am having some difficulty understanding the point of contention here. I'd recommend addressing the "UPB in a Nutshell" section as most of the book is an extrapolation from this.

 

1. Reality is objective and consistent. 
2. “Logic” is the set of objective and consistent rules derived from the consistency of reality. 
3. Those theories that conform to logic are called “valid.” 
4. Those theories that are confirmed by empirical testing are called “accurate.” 
5. Those theories that are both valid and accurate are called “true.” 
6. “Preferences” are required for life, thought, language and debating. 
7. Debating requires that both parties hold “truth” to be both objective and universally preferable. 
8. Thus the very act of debating contains an acceptance of universally preferable behaviour (UPB). 
9. Theories regarding UPB must pass the tests of logical consistency and empirical verification. 
10. The subset of UPB that examines enforceable behaviour is called “morality.” 
11. As a subset of UPB, no moral theory can be considered true if it is illogical or unsupported by 
empirical evidence. 
12. Moral theories that are supported by logic and evidence are true. All other moral theories are 
false.

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#11
Trane

Trane
  • 26 posts

@ProfessionalTeabagger @Pepin @Wesley
Think of it this way. If Stefan stated that the opposite of stealing was not stealing, then surely (to be consistent in his use of terms), he should also state that the opposite of virtue is not virtue. Stefan values consistent application of terms, so I'm sure he'd agree with this.
The coma test DOES then fail, since positive obligations would only entail that the man in a coma was not being virtuous, as opposed to being evil. The coma test aims to show positive obligations to be absurd, since they entail that a man in a coma would be evil. But when the inconsistent use of terms is removed from Stefan's argument, we see that all positive obligations entail is that the man in a coma is not virtuous in respect to that obligation. This is not absurd, and so the coma test fails.

@Kevin Beale
I'm just discussing Stefan's supposed disproof of positive obligations here, so your point is not relevant. What makes you think I don't endorse UPB apart from this error? And why should it matter? It is striking that you don't even address the error Stefan made, confusing negation and opposite, simply trotting out a one-size-fits-all response. I'm offering Stefan an opportunity to improve his book by removing errors (though I happen to think that this argument cannot be repaired!) Therefore I don't see why you should be so hostile. Don't you want the flagship content of FDR to be as watertight as possible? It is bizarre to me that you are so consumed by my motivations (moralizing?!) rather than the content. I thought FDR was about logic and reasoning?
By the way, you do not necessarily subscribe to UPB when you deny UPB. If somebody states that UPB is false, that is not a value statement. It is an 'is' claim, not an 'ought' claim. It is not entailed by that statement that all others OUGHT to cease to believe in UPB. Let's not derail the thread but this is something you should be aware of.


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#12
Kevin Beal

Kevin Beal

    :)


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Yo Trane! 

 

I was totally assuming that your argument above was that UPB as a theory was false. Am I wrong about that? You didn't actually say either way.

 

I am still very suspicious about your criticism of UPB though because you are saying some things that demonstrate that you don't in fact understand UPB. Things such as:

 

It is bizarre to me that you are so consumed by my motivations (moralizing?!) rather than the content

 

and 

 

If somebody states that UPB is false, that is not a value statement. It is an 'is' claim, not an 'ought' claim.

 

This to me suggests that you did not read or comprehend the theory.

 

UPB is all about what your actions are, and when your actions and what you are saying don't jive, then that's a problem.

 

And to the second point it's not the proposition "UPB is false" that is what the issue is here, it's the implication that one ought to believe things that are true.

 

Am I missing something obvious here? You do realize that's kinda like what UPB is all about, right?


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"There is no law, no compulsion, no law of physics or man that is preventing you from living the life that you want" - Stef (The Greatest Gift in the Entire Universe)


#13
ProfessionalTeabagger

ProfessionalTeabagger

  • 752 posts

Trane, you did not directly address the content of my argument. You just tried a different approach to make your point. What's the point of someone making a counter-argument if you just ignore it and then say "Think of it this way..."?

The only reason Stefan would have to state that the "opposite of virtue was not virtue" (the negation) to be consistent with "the opposite of stealing is not stealing" is if "not virtue" and "not stealing" are both meant in the same way (as purely the negation). As I've argued you need to demonstrate this is the case. Until then your objection is a non-starter. So far you have failed to show any inconsistent use of terms; only your own confusion about them.

 

The positive obligation of the man in the coma is absurd because it is put forward as a moral absolute (as made clear in "the coma test" section of UPB).  If I say "Thou shalt not steal" this means it is always wrong to steal and you must always refrain from stealing / not steal / respect property rights (however you want to put it).  If I say "Thou shalt give to charity" this means it is right to give to charity and one must always give to charity. So if one is not giving to charity then they are in violation of this positive moral obligation.  So everything that is not giving to charity is a violation. This is absurd and cannot be UPB (Stef makes it clear that this is according to the UPB theory). 

 

Here's the relevant section from UPB:

 

 

                                                                            THE COMA TEST

 

Intuitively, it is hard to imagine that any theory ascribing immorality to a man in a coma could be valid.
Any ethical theory that posits a positive action as universally preferable behaviour faces the challenge of
“the coma test.” If I say that giving to charity is a moral absolute, then clearly not giving to charity would
be immoral. However, a man in a coma is clearly unable to give to charity, and thus would, by my theory,
be classified as immoral. Similarly, a man who is asleep, or has no money to give – or the man currently
receiving charity – would all be immoral.
This is another central problem with any theory that posits a positive action such as “rape” as moral. At
any given time, there are any number of people who are unable to perform such positive actions, who
must then be condemned as evil, even though they have no capacity to be “good.”
However, if it is impossible to avoid being “evil,” then clearly evil as a concept makes no sense. In the
example above of the rock crashing down a hill, the rock is not “evil” for hitting your car, since it has no
capacity to avoid it of its own free will. If a man’s brakes fail right after they have been serviced, then it is
not his responsibility for failing to come to a stop. If he has never once had his brakes serviced in ten
years, then his irresponsibility is the proximate cause of his continued momentum, and he can be
blamed.
In this way, the concept of “avoidability” retains its use. A man in a coma is unable to avoid lying in his
bed, since he is in a state of quasi-unconsciousness. Since he is unable to avoid his actions – or inaction in
this case – his immobility cannot be immoral.
At this point, the objection can quite reasonably be raised that if a man in a coma cannot be immoral,
then he also cannot be moral. However, earlier we said that the opposite of an immoral action must be
moral. If we propose the moral rule, “thou shalt not rape,” then can we call the man in a coma moral,
since he does not rape?
 
Again, if you have some problem with the negation and the opposite being the same then take it up with the person putting forward the positive moral obligation that something like giving to charity is UPB.
 

 

 


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#14
Trane

Trane
  • 26 posts

@Kevin
I haven't stated that you OUGHT to believe anything. However, it is the case that UPB is false and contains errors. That is an descriptive claim, not a value judgment. If you value reason and logic, then I would expect you to not believe in UPB, but it is up to you whether you value those things. I wouldn't claim that it is objectively the case that you should. I am in fact an error theorist. But if you value reason and evidence, then you have reason to reject UPB. I am not implying or asserting in my statement that UPB contains errors that others ought to share in that belief. It cannot be, if rules are objectively true, that "theft is wrong" is a claim that I ought to recognize as true but you ought to think is false.
But even if I DID state that you ought to cease to believe in UPB, it could just be my opinion. I might say 'given the argument we've had about UPB, I believe you ought to cease to believe in UPB. You are free to do as you want, and this isn't a categorical reason, I don't claim it to be objective, not a universal statement, just what I personally believe. If you care about rationality and philosophy then you will cease to believe in UPB but if you don't care then by all means don't.' At no point there would I have made a universal claim - rather a claim about a particular human being which was my opinion.


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#15
Wesley

Wesley

    Self-Excavator


  • 1226 posts

I believe I specifically addressed how negative =/= opposite in the text you highlighted. Can you tell me where I went wrong?


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#16
ProfessionalTeabagger

ProfessionalTeabagger

  • 752 posts

@Kevin

 

 [Trane=quote] I haven't stated that you OUGHT to believe anything. However, it is the case that UPB is false and contains errors. That is an descriptive claim, not a value judgment. If you value reason and logic, then I would expect you to not believe in UPB, but it is up to you whether you value those things. I wouldn't claim that it is objectively the case that you should. I am in fact an error theorist. But if you value reason and evidence, then you have reason to reject UPB. I am not implying or asserting in my statement that UPB contains errors that others ought to share in that belief. It cannot be, if rules are objectively true, that "theft is wrong" is a claim that I ought to recognize as true but you ought to think is false.

But even if I DID state that you ought to cease to believe in UPB, it could just be my opinion. I might say 'given the argument we've had about UPB, I believe you ought to cease to believe in UPB. You are free to do as you want, and this isn't a categorical reason, I don't claim it to be objective, not a universal statement, just what I personally believe. If you care about rationality and philosophy then you will cease to believe in UPB but if you don't care then by all means don't.' At no point there would I have made a universal claim - rather a claim about a particular human being which was my opinion. [/quote]

 

 

If you understand UPB then you'll understand that what you value or what you explicitly state others should value is irrelevant. 

 


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#17
Trane

Trane
  • 26 posts

@ProfessionalTeabagger
"There are two valid interpretations of "not stealing" here. There's "not stealing" as in the negation of stealing. That would be everything other than stealing. Then there's "not stealing" as in the opposite of stealing. That would be "refraining from theft" or "respecting property rights"." - ProfessionalTeabagger
The negation of stealing isn't everything other than stealing, it a lack of theft. Just like negation of 2 is 0. It is the null hypothesis. Not-stealing. The opposite of stealing (taking what is not yours without the propert holder's permission) would be giving what is yours with the propert holder's permission, not 'respecting property rights'.
And regarding your other proposed definition, 'respecting property rights' is not the negation of theft - I could not steal but kill someone instead. Unless this would be counted as stealing by UPB advocates, but the definition of theft seems way too broad here.
So Stefan is equivocating between different usage of terms and his argument fails.


If you understand UPB then you'll understand that what you value or what you explicitly state others should value is irrelevant. 

The point is that in saying 'UPB is false' that is not a value statement. Or 'this argument in UPB is invalid' doesn't entail 'you ought not to believe in UPB'. This is what Stefan claimed in his discussion with anarchopac (that 'this argument is false' is a value statement) and it is utterly erroneous as I explain above.


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#18
ProfessionalTeabagger

ProfessionalTeabagger

  • 752 posts

@Trane

Definition of NEGATION
1
a : the action or logical operation of negating or makingnegative
 
b : a negative statement, judgment, or doctrine; especially :a logical proposition formed by asserting the falsity of a given proposition — see truth table table
2
a : something that is the absence of something actual :nonentity
 

b : something considered the opposite of something regarded as positive

 

Not stealing can be the absence of stealing. So everything other than stealing can be the absence of stealing. A lack of theft can include everything other than theft. I'm baffled as to why you're bringing the null hypothesis into this (as if this wasn't already torturous enough). If as you say the null hypothesis is also the negation then you are saying Stefan has confused the opposite with the null hypothesis? 

 

The opposite of stealing (taking what is not yours without the propert holder's permission) would be giving what is yours with the propert holder's permission, not 'respecting property rights'.

 

 

That might be the definition you use and your opposite may make sense to you. But the definition actually BEING used in the section of UPB you refer to is the violation of property rights. The opposite is respecting property rights. This is in the context of the moral rule "thou shalt not steal". I did not say "respecting property rights" was the negation of theft. 

​You go straight to stating that Stefan is equivocating between the use of terms and I'm not sure how this follows from what you previously said. You have not demonstrated any equivocation other than the one you've invented. You're argument is becoming more incoherent and convoluted and you have again failed to respond to several of my counter-arguments, even after I asked you specifically not to do this.  Don't just ignore counter-arguments.

 

The point is that in saying 'UPB is false' that is not a value statement.

 

 

And my point was that it doesn't matter whether "UPB is false" is a "value statement" or not. Once you correct someone you are appealing to an objective standard. That standard must be universal and alignment with it must be preferable to all other states. 

 

"...it is utterly erroneous as I explain above."

 

 

Ugh. 

 


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#19
Kevin Beal

Kevin Beal

    :)


  • 1406 posts

@Kevin
I haven't stated that you OUGHT to believe anything. 

 

There! You just did! If you don't understand why, then you need to do some more reading, or maybe ask.

 

I believe all of your other criticisms have been addressed in depth above. I thought this point was an important one, and so that's why I made it.


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"There is no law, no compulsion, no law of physics or man that is preventing you from living the life that you want" - Stef (The Greatest Gift in the Entire Universe)


#20
Flake

Flake
  • 59 posts

Regardless of whether the OP's criticism is valid, I think it would be best if Stef were to take the time to remove any ambiguities, so criticisms like this wouldn't be brought up anymore. If the OP can misunderstand (assuming he is misunderstanding) then so can others. (And not everyone would have the patience to inquire about it.)


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#21
Trane

Trane
  • 26 posts

@KevinBeal
'I have not stated that you ought to believe anything' does not contain any ought-statements. It doesn't entail that you ought not to believe that I have stated you ought to believe anything, since I could consistently state 'I have not stated that you ought to believe anything, but you should believe that I have.' I am genuinely interested in how you would disagree with me here, I am asking for your explanation, thank you.

@ProfessionalTeabagger

I'm afraid I just cannot follow you, to me it appears quite clear that two seperate concepts are being used. In any case, Flake is correct that this section could be tightened up. Just the way that when he uses opposite (of let's say x) one time it is 'not-x' and the other it is 'y, which is diametrically opposed to x' is not rigorous or clear in the manner that we would expect from a philosopher in his magnum opus. He should define 'opposite' before using it (he often correctly stresses the import of defining terms.)
"Once you correct someone you are appealing to an objective standard. That standard must be universal and alignment with it must be preferable to all other states. "
Couldn't it just be that I have a subjective preference for using sound arguments, believe that you do too (which your presence on the forum suggests) and so correct you because I believe that it satisfies your subjective preferences?


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#22
Wesley

Wesley

    Self-Excavator


  • 1226 posts

At least in the section you pulled from the book, the error you seem to point out is not relevant. In fact, he specifically says that "necessary but not sufficient" exists.

 

To use your examples, not-black is the negation of black and white is the opposite of black. Not-black (negation) is the necessary but not sufficient requirement to achieve white (opposite).

 

Not-giving is the negation of giving and taking is the opposite of giving. Not-giving (negation) is the necessary but not sufficient requirement to achieve taking (opposite).

 

Obviously these are not as clear as it is without a book to back up each example or which talking about Universal Preferable Behavior as opposed to innocuous actions or characteristics, but I do not see the problem. He specifically says they are not the same and thus creates the idea of "necessary but not sufficient" in order to satisfy the disparity.

 

You still have not addressed this.

 

 

"Once you correct someone you are appealing to an objective standard. That standard must be universal and alignment with it must be preferable to all other states. "

Couldn't it just be that I have a subjective preference for using sound arguments, believe that you do too (which your presence on the forum suggests) and so correct you because I believe that it satisfies your subjective preferences?

No, for if it is a subjective preference, then correcting me is not valid any more than me saying I like chocolate ice cream can be corrected by you telling me I am wrong in my subjective preference and that I should prefer vanilla. By the act of correcting someone you are saying that there is a wrong state and a right state and that it is better to be right than wrong.


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#23
Trane

Trane
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You still have not addressed this.

 

 

No, for if it is a subjective preference, then correcting me is not valid any more than me saying I like chocolate ice cream can be corrected by you telling me I am wrong in my subjective preference and that I should prefer vanilla. By the act of correcting someone you are saying that there is a wrong state and a right state and that it is better to be right than wrong.

He uses opposite (of let's say x) one time it is 'not-x' and the other it is 'y, which is diametrically opposed to x' is not rigorous or clear in the manner that we would expect from a philosopher in his magnum opus. He should define 'opposite' before using it (he often correctly stresses the import of defining terms.) I cannot respond directly unless you make it clearer what you mean, i just cannot understand what you previously wrote.

On the second point - not necessarily. In correcting you I may have a subjective preference for accuracy, know that you do also (which you have suggested) and so am helping you out given that your subjective preference will be satisfied if you are corrected. But someone else mght not have this subjective preference for accuracy or sound arguments and I would never claim that he was in an objectively wrong state. It might be my subjective opinion that a certain state is preferable, and I may have my own subjective preferences, but I make no claim to objectivity. I'm not saying it is universally preferable. I don't believe that! If one of you said to me 'I have no interest in reason or evidence' I wouldn't claim it is objectively true that you should. However it wouldn't reflect on you well as FDR listeners!


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#24
Wesley

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On the second point - not necessarily. In correcting you I may have a subjective preference for accuracy, know that you do also (which you have suggested) and so am helping you out given that your subjective preference will be satisfied if you are corrected. But someone else mght not have this subjective preference for accuracy or sound arguments and I would never claim that he was in an objectively wrong state. It might be my subjective opinion that a certain state is preferable, and I may have my own subjective preferences, but I make no claim to objectivity. I'm not saying it is universally preferable. I don't believe that! If one of you said to me 'I have no interest in reason or evidence' I wouldn't claim it is objectively true that you should. However it wouldn't reflect on you well as FDR listeners!

That is wrong because I could easily have a desire to keep this particular delusion as shown by having a "wrong" position. You say that some prior evidence is evidence of a subjective standard of accuracy, however current evidence seems to be more relevant and would specifically be saying that my preference is either different than you thought or has changed from before. You are claiming objectivity by correction.
 

Whatever my arbitrary preferences are are not binding on anyone else. One individual in a group not liking logic does not make logic or truth false. It also does not mean that all of the group members do not use logic. I do not claim that one should use logic unless they wish to be right. However, by correcting someone you are saying that you want to be right, and thus are attempting to determine objective reality. Of course arbitrary preferences can be held by people, they just cannot then correct others for their arbitrary preferences. If you have an arbitrary preference that is different than mine (your claim not mine) then you cannot correct me and should cease debate but as an unbiased anthropological exploration of differing perspectives.


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#25
Trane

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That is wrong because I could easily have a desire to keep this particular delusion as shown by having a "wrong" position. You say that some prior evidence is evidence of a subjective standard of accuracy, however current evidence seems to be more relevant and would specifically be saying that my preference is either different than you thought or has changed from before. You are claiming objectivity by correction.
 

Whatever my arbitrary preferences are are not binding on anyone else. One individual in a group not liking logic does not make logic or truth false. It also does not mean that all of the group members do not use logic. I do not claim that one should use logic unless they wish to be right. However, by correcting someone you are saying that you want to be right, and thus are attempting to determine objective reality. Of course arbitrary preferences can be held by people, they just cannot then correct others for their arbitrary preferences. If you have an arbitrary preference that is different than mine (your claim not mine) then you cannot correct me and should cease debate but as an unbiased anthropological exploration of differing perspectives.

If you state clearly that you have a desire to keep this particular delusion then that makes more sense - though it would be inconsistent with your more general claimed subjective preference to only rely on sound arguments and have true beliefs. It is logical for me to assume you hold this given the huge focus on FDR on reason and evidence. The whole point is that I believe we share subjective preferences for holding beliefs based on rationality and sound arguments. If you conceded that in fact you simply wanted to hold certain conclusions and were not interested in sound argumentation then I couldn't claim you were doing anything objectively morally wrong but I wouldn't bother arguing with you and you would be beyond reason.

I am claiming objectivity only in terms of matter of fact, not matters of value. So it may be objectively true that Stefan makes an unsound argument, or that WW1 began in 1914, but it would not be objectively true that Stefan should not make unsound arguments, or that one should not start world wars. There's quite a massive distinction there!
 


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#26
Wesley

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If you state clearly that you have a desire to keep this particular delusion then that makes more sense - though it would be inconsistent with your more general claimed subjective preference to only rely on sound arguments and have true beliefs. It is logical for me to assume you hold this given the huge focus on FDR on reason and evidence. The whole point is that I believe we share subjective preferences for holding beliefs based on rationality and sound arguments. If you conceded that in fact you simply wanted to hold certain conclusions and were not interested in sound argumentation then I couldn't claim you were doing anything objectively morally wrong but I wouldn't bother arguing with you and you would be beyond reason.

I am claiming objectivity only in terms of matter of fact, not matters of value. So it may be objectively true that Stefan makes an unsound argument, or that WW1 began in 1914, but it would not be objectively true that Stefan should not make unsound arguments, or that one should not start world wars. There's quite a massive distinction there!
 

I do not have to state it, I may not even know that I have a delusion, let alone that I want to keep it.

 

You cannot correct me even if you think we share subjective preferences. You have not been able to prove that a subjective preference can be wrong.

 

You claim that I have a subjective preference to "believe"  in objective morality. If it is a subjective preference than it is not wrong for me to say that objective morality exists any more than for me to say that chocolate ice cream is my favorite flavor. I can still like chocolate ice cream even if you think that I like vanilla. I am not wrong in liking chocolate.

 

Either I am wrong (or right), in which case it is not entirely subjective and some objectivity is present, in which case it verifies my claim. Or else it is subjective and you cannot tell me I am wrong (or right) and debate will cease. There is no other avenue.

 

No matter how much i say I like vanilla or you know my preference for vanilla, I still can like chocolate and I am not wrong.


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#27
Kevin Beal

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@KevinBeal
'I have not stated that you ought to believe anything' does not contain any ought-statements. It doesn't entail that you ought not to believe that I have stated you ought to believe anything, since I could consistently state 'I have not stated that you ought to believe anything, but you should believe that I have.' I am genuinely interested in how you would disagree with me here, I am asking for your explanation, thank you.

 

Thanks for asking :)

 

It's not the statement "I have not stated that you ought to believe anything" that contains an ought. It's the actual act of telling me this which is necessarily prescriptive (at least in part). You are appealing to the truth, which means you are appealing to a standard outside of yourself that I ought to abide to. It could be described like this: "you ought to believe things that are true, and here is that true thing you ought to believe".

 

I think that this is actually pretty core to understanding UPB since it describes just those kinds of implicit propositions that inform such actions (actions like telling me I ought to believe something that is true). It may not be too terribly relevant regarding the coma test in particular, but it is core to the theory as a whole.

 

Hope that helps :)


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"There is no law, no compulsion, no law of physics or man that is preventing you from living the life that you want" - Stef (The Greatest Gift in the Entire Universe)


#28
Trane

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@Wesley
"You cannot correct me even if you think we share subjective preferences. You have not been able to prove that a subjective preference can be wrong."
I haven't stated that a subjective preference is wrong. I have suggested that certain arguments are unsound. Given that you have a preference for believing those things backed by reason and evidence, I am making it clear to you that those arguments are unsound, and so if you continue to accept them, you will not be believing based on reason and evidence.
 

"No matter how much i say I like vanilla or you know my preference for vanilla, I still can like chocolate and I am not wrong."
You would be wrong in the sense that what you said was false in the same way that if I claimed that WW1 started in 1983 that would be wrong. But it wouldn't follow in either case that you were DOING WRONG which is the point here.

"You claim that I have a subjective preference to "believe"  in objective morality. If it is a subjective preference than it is not wrong for me to say that objective morality exists any more than for me to say that chocolate ice cream is my favorite flavor. I can still like chocolate ice cream even if you think that I like vanilla. I am not wrong in liking chocolate."
That's true that it wouldn't be objectively wrong for you to say objective morality exists, however it would reveal that you were not bothered by reason and evidence at all. I'm not suggesting that is objectively wrong but personally I have a preference for it, I don't claim that you objectively should though. I agree that you wouldn't be doing anything objectively wrong. If you are willing to concede that you are not concerned with reason and evidence, I will accept that.

 

"Either I am wrong (or right), in which case it is not entirely subjective and some objectivity is present, in which case it verifies my claim. Or else it is subjective and you cannot tell me I am wrong (or right) and debate will cease. There is no other avenue."
Given a shared preference for reason and evidence, I can then tell you that you are wrong to state that a particular argument is valid or invalid in the sense that it is FALSE, not that you are doing anything objectively wrong.

 


@KevinBeal
"It's not the statement "I have not stated that you ought to believe anything" that contains an ought. It's the actual act of telling me this which is necessarily prescriptive (at least in part). You are appealing to the truth, which means you are appealing to a standard outside of yourself that I ought to abide to. It could be described like this: "you ought to believe things that are true, and here is that true thing you ought to believe"."
I understand that we both have subjective preferences for basing our beliefs on reason and evidence. The fact that you are on FDR is good evidence of that (giving the focus on reason and evidence). I will point out to you when an argument you support is invalid (an is-claim, just like I might point out that it would be incorrect to state that the U.S. has 68 states) because we both hold a subjective preference for rational arguments.
I don't make the claim that you objectively ought to believe things that are based on reason and evidence. I have a subjective preference for basing beliefs on reason and evidence and I assume that you have this preference also based on your presence here. If you said to me 'I do not care about reason and evidence, I just want to believe what Stefan says because it has good consequences' then I would not claim you were doing anything objectively wrong and obviously wouldn't continue to argue with you, since you would be beyond reason.
You need to distinguish between appealing to objective standards in terms of facts vs. values. I am claiming objectivity only in terms of matter of fact, not matters of value. So it may be objectively true that Stefan makes an unsound argument, or that WW1 began in 1914, but it would not be objectively true that Stefan should not make unsound arguments, or that one should not start world wars. There's quite a massive distinction there!


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#29
Wesley

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False means objectively wrong

 

false
fôls/
adjective
adjective: false; comparative adjective: falser; superlative adjective: falsest
1.
not according with truth or fact; incorrect.

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#30
Trane

Trane
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False means objectively wrong

 

false
fôls/
adjective
adjective: false; comparative adjective: falser; superlative adjective: falsest
1.
not according with truth or fact; incorrect.

 

Yes I agree...? But it doesn't mean MORALLY wrong! It is an is-claim, not an ought-claim (value judgment)! Don't get mixed up between 1. being wrong and 2. doing wrong. 1 = is-claim, 2 = ought claim.


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#31
Wesley

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That means that me having a subjective preference is not false or objectively wrong.

 

Claiming subjectivity and then saying my subjective preference is wrong or false is a contradiction. If it is subjective, then it just is.


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#32
Trane

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That means that me having a subjective preference is not false or objectively wrong.

1. It certainly may be objectively false that you have one subjective preference and objectively true that you have another, certainly.
2. But it couldn't be said that it was objectively immoral or wrong for you to hold one subjective preference as opposed to another.

'This means that me having a subjective preference is not false or objectively wrong', given 1. this is not correct, since it might be false that you have a particular subjective preference.


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#33
Wesley

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Subjectivity is not subject to proof. It is impossible to prove or disprove what my subjective preferences are. Thus, you cannot objectively say what my subjective preferences are.

 

"I like chocolate ice cream" Now prove me right or wrong objectively.


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#34
Trane

Trane
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Subjectivity is not subject to proof. It is impossible to prove or disprove what my subjective preferences are. Thus, you cannot objectively say what my subjective preferences are.

 

"I like chocolate ice cream" Now prove me right or wrong objectively.

It's not a question of whether you can prove it or not, it's a question of whether it is objectively true or not. Is there a fact either way as to whether one has a preference for x or y? Certainly Stefan's theory demands it. He claims people have preferences for certain things. This is essential to UPB, read appendix a: upb in a nutshell. Whether some preferences are objectively right or wrong doesn't affect whether those preferences EXIST! You're confusing what can be objectively considered to exist vs. what can be objectively considered right/wrong. Nothing I've said entails that it isn't the case that people can prefer certain things to other things...


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#35
Wesley

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It's not a question of whether you can prove it or not, it's a question of whether it is objectively true or not. Is there a fact either way as to whether one has a preference for x or y? Certainly Stefan's theory demands it. He claims people have preferences for certain things. This is essential to UPB, read appendix a: upb in a nutshell. Whether some preferences are objectively right or wrong doesn't affect whether those preferences EXIST! You're confusing what can be objectively considered to exist vs. what can be objectively considered right/wrong. Nothing I've said entails that it isn't the case that people can prefer certain things to other things...

 

Then tell me whether it is objectively true or not.


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