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UPB Debunked in 5 Minutes


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121 replies to this topic

#1
Water

Water
  • 130 posts

I'm going to show how the book fails to live up to its own standard.  In the first section, Stef describes what he means by "Universally Preferrable Behavior":

When I speak of a universal preference, I am really defining what is objectively required, or necessary,
assuming a particular goal. If I want to live, I do not have to like jazz, but I must eat.

"Universally preferable,” then, translates to “objectively required,” but we will
retain the word “preferable” to differentiate between optional human absolutes and non-optional
physical absolutes such as gravity.

But when Stef starts running actual theories through the framework, they take on a different form:

The non-initiation of force is universally preferable.

Notice anything missing?

It's easier to see if you rephrase it (using the book's own definition):

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what? The goal is missing. How would one test such a statement for "internal consistency and empirical observation?

The book continues along these lines:

The only possible valid moral theory regarding murder is that it is evil, or universally banned.

So John murders Jane. What goal did John *necessarily* fail to achieve? If that question can't be answered then UPB is broken.


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#2
Jose Perez

Jose Perez
  • 895 posts

"UPB debunked in 5 min" debunked in 1 sec:

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what?

For the non-initiation of force

 

 


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#3
yurface

yurface
  • 446 posts

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[/font]

I'm going to show how the book fails to live up to its own standard.  In the first section, Stef describes what he means by "Universally Preferrable Behavior":

 

 

Or you could just say you can't get an ought from an is. Behind UPB is the same empty pragmatism that is behind most modern philisophical texts.  The author creates an ideal system of how the world ought to work and then sets about manufacturing rules people should follow, regardless of how ludicriously irrelevant and esoteric such rules are to modern man's belifs and ideals, simply so his phantom reality can function.  Notice how the whole book is based around utilitarian ideals that will, according to the author, make individual life more practical and useful.  This has nothing to to with morality then, it's merely a self help book undistinguishable from the mass of other self help books penned in the last hundred years.

True morality is some inscrutable, unanalyzable feeling we attain during our developing years that is no more scientifically analyzeable then any other internal emotion or idea.


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#4
sandman

sandman
  • 132 posts

A moral theory describes an action, that should be universally preferred. That has been the meaning of the term "moral" for over 2000 years and that will be the use of this term for the next 2000 years. We all know, that the morality has been abused for subjective reasons very often in history. So morality is a dangerous topic.

To abuse it, it is necessary to hide the true meaning of this word.

The first thing, you have to do, to test a moral theorie, is to find out, if the action, that is described in this theorie, is universally preferable. That means that it must be possible that this action can be universally preferred. If it is possible, that this action can be preferred universally, the theorie passes the criteria of a valid moral theorie. If not, it cannot be valid.

The only distinction, UPB makes, is correct or incorrect. 

So if you ask, for what the NAP is required, you did not understand that there is no goal in the NAP that should be achieved. That would be a subjective preference. 

A violation of the NAP can only be based on an logically incorrect theorie and therefore it is wrong.

To answer your question: The non-initiation of force is objectively required to find objective truth.

 

@yurface: "The author creates an ideal system of how the world ought to work"

Sorry, but you have no clue, what UPB is about and I doubt, that you have read it.

The author describes a method of detecting inconsistent moral theories.
Sorry for my english!


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Sorry for my english!


#5
Yab yum

Yab yum
  • 40 posts

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what? ...

So John murders Jane. What goal did John *necessarily* fail to achieve? If that question can't be answered then UPB is broken.

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required" is not a logical antecedent but a consequent. I.e. its strict use requires it to follow a "then" or a "therefore" within a hypothetical. Thus "objectively required for what?" does not apply.

It's not a question of "what goal did John *necessarily* fail to achieve?"

The question is whether John's preference-behavior is also universal. A consequent is universal if it is not contradicted by any logically possible antecedent.

 

 


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#6
nick

nick
  • 58 posts

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what? The goal is missing. How would one test such a statement for "internal consistency and empirical observation?

Objectively required to be an internally consistent and empirically valid theory.


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#7
Yab yum

Yab yum
  • 40 posts

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what?

You answered the question yourself by putting quotation marks around the statement.

"The non-initiation of force is required" cannot be contradicted within the framework of any reasoning, since to contradict it would require a reasoned argument against it, and all reasoned arguments (even incorrect ones) must occur within the context of non-initiation of force. Since "the non-initiation of force is required" cannot be logically contradicted, it is therefore a priori non-falsifiable, i.e. "true".


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#8
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
  • 19755 posts

I'm going to show how the book fails to live up to its own standard.  In the first section, Stef describes what he means by "Universally Preferrable Behavior":

When I speak of a universal preference, I am really defining what is objectively required, or necessary,
assuming a particular goal. If I want to live, I do not have to like jazz, but I must eat.

"Universally preferable,” then, translates to “objectively required,” but we will
retain the word “preferable” to differentiate between optional human absolutes and non-optional
physical absolutes such as gravity.

But when Stef starts running actual theories through the framework, they take on a different form:

The non-initiation of force is universally preferable.

Notice anything missing?

It's easier to see if you rephrase it (using the book's own definition):

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what? The goal is missing. How would one test such a statement for "internal consistency and empirical observation?

The book continues along these lines:

The only possible valid moral theory regarding murder is that it is evil, or universally banned.

So John murders Jane. What goal did John *necessarily* fail to achieve? If that question can't be answered then UPB is broken.

 

Well, if a theory proposes a UPB ("murder is UPB"), and fails the test of logic, the purpose of the theory fails the test of rational consistency or empirical achievability of course.

Anyway, call into the show Sunday if you'd like to understand this further - written responses will not solve the problem of ethics, because it is too emotionally charged – if blog posts and message board scribblings and other writings could solve the problem of virtue, it would've been solved long ago – just think of the thousands of books that have been written about ethics over the past 3000 years.

I've noticed, btw, that the more confident someone is that they have trashed UPB, the less they actually understand the arguments. Just an observation.


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#9
Jose Perez

Jose Perez
  • 895 posts

I'm going to show how the book fails to live up to its own standard.  In the first section, Stef describes what he means by "Universally Preferrable Behavior":

When I speak of a universal preference, I am really defining what is objectively required, or necessary,
assuming a particular goal. If I want to live, I do not have to like jazz, but I must eat.

"Universally preferable,” then, translates to “objectively required,” but we will
retain the word “preferable” to differentiate between optional human absolutes and non-optional
physical absolutes such as gravity.

But when Stef starts running actual theories through the framework, they take on a different form:

The non-initiation of force is universally preferable.

Notice anything missing?

It's easier to see if you rephrase it (using the book's own definition):

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what? The goal is missing. How would one test such a statement for "internal consistency and empirical observation?

The book continues along these lines:

The only possible valid moral theory regarding murder is that it is evil, or universally banned.

So John murders Jane. What goal did John *necessarily* fail to achieve? If that question can't be answered then UPB is broken.

 

Well, if a theory proposes a UPB ("murder is UPB"), and fails the test of logic, the purpose of the theory fails the test of rational consistency or empirical achievability of course.

Anyway, call into the show Sunday if you'd like to understand this further - written responses will not solve the problem of ethics, because it is too emotionally charged – if blog posts and message board scribblings and other writings could solve the problem of virtue, it would've been solved long ago – just think of the thousands of books that have been written about ethics over the past 3000 years.

I've noticed, btw, that the more confident someone is that they have trashed UPB, the less they actually understand the arguments. Just an observation.

He is mistaking the logical "objectively required" of actions (it is required/preferable that you exercise if you want to be healthy / that a rock doesn't fall up and down... as an imperative for action in the moral proposition "the non-initiation of force is objectively required" which he arrives at by replacing the words "universally preferable" for "objectively required" in your correct, moral proposition "the non-initiation of force is universally preferable" / "it's moral".

I have often found that people who have trouble understanding and trash UPB also portray it as some obscure way to propel them to behave morally, which they "reveal" as invalid, and do not seem to understand the concept of non-action


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#10
Metric

Metric
  • 866 posts

Anyway, call into the show Sunday if you'd like to understand this further - written responses will not solve the problem of ethics, because it is too emotionally charged – if blog posts and message board scribblings and other writings could solve the problem of virtue, it would've been solved long ago – just think of the thousands of books that have been written about ethics over the past 3000 years.

 

Stef, I agree that the OP's objection wasn't any kind of serious argument, but I have to say the above sentence (and others like it) really bugs me because it smacks of a kind of dishonesty.

Close to 100% of real rationality on the earth is communicated in written form, precisely because it's less emotionally charged and more precise than verbal communication.  People don't prove theorems with verbal argument and hand-waving.  In rational fields making the most genuine progress in the world, the verbal presentation is about quick and dirty advertizement of results, and the written part is about clarity and specifics.  For every single book on ethics in the last 3000 years, probably tens of millions of verbal conversations on the subject ethics have taken place.

What is actually going on here is that you have a strong "college debate team" sort of background which hugely favors you in verbal arguments.  Nothing at all wrong with this of course (I wish we all had your verbal skill), but let's please use a little self-knowledge here and not sell it as some kind of inherent problem with writing and rational ideas, which if anything is the complete opposite of the truth.

 


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#11
Dave Bockman

Dave Bockman
  • 2849 posts

but let's please use a little self-knowledge here and not sell it as some kind of inherent problem with writing and rational ideas, which if anything is the complete opposite of the truth.

Is this an example of the superiority of the written word to impart the truth?


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"Use the flame of knowledge to light candles, not peoples' hair"-- S. Molyneux


#12
Metric

Metric
  • 866 posts

but let's please use a little self-knowledge here and not sell it as some kind of inherent problem with writing and rational ideas, which if anything is the complete opposite of the truth.

Is this an example of the superiority of the written word to impart the truth?

It's an example of excusing onesself from using the written word to impart the truth, obviously.  I am pointing out that, as such excuses go, it's basically a dishonest one.  Something like "the message board takes too much time" would be plausible, as would expressing a simple personal preference for discussing it verbally.  There's no reason to concoct a weird story that writing just inherently doesn't go well with learning or conveying rational theories, for reasons which should be extremely obvious.


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#13
Jose Perez

Jose Perez
  • 895 posts

Anyway, call into the show Sunday if you'd like to understand this further - written responses will not solve the problem of ethics, because it is too emotionally charged – if blog posts and message board scribblings and other writings could solve the problem of virtue, it would've been solved long ago – just think of the thousands of books that have been written about ethics over the past 3000 years. 

Stef, I agree that the OP's objection wasn't any kind of serious argument, but I have to say the above sentence (and others like it) really bugs me because it smacks of a kind of dishonesty.

Close to 100% of real rationality on the earth is communicated in written form, precisely because it's less emotionally charged and more precise than verbal communication.  People don't prove theorems with verbal argument and hand-waving.  In rational fields making the most genuine progress in the world, the verbal presentation is about quick and dirty advertizement of results, and the written part is about clarity and specifics.  For every single book on ethics in the last 3000 years, probably tens of millions of verbal conversations on the subject ethics have taken place.

I agree with you, and I wish Stef would clarify – in writing or in speech – what he means by that. It was actually his own written words that solved the problem of ethics for me when I first read UPB.

Speech, and preferably face-to-face, are great tools for explaining, especially what is ultimately a science of behaviour. But as far as our ability to use abstractions goes, the problem is completely and clearly solvable in writing. I would imagine the childlike people of the future will look at the UPB book as we would look at the instructions for a frying pan... so I don't understand what the fuss is about philosophy being a spoken medium – especially when I keep seeing people who, being good at speaking or writing, are not so good at acting (= behaviour) in accordance to what they're saying.


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#14
FreedomWins

FreedomWins
  • 2098 posts

if blog posts and message board scribblings and other writings could solve the problem of virtue, it would've been solved long ago – just think of the thousands of books that have been written about ethics over the past 3000 years.

Well, people have been speaking for longer than they've been writing.

What is actually going on here is that you have a strong "college debate team" sort of background which hugely favors you in verbal arguments.

Yeah, this is why he goes on for a few minutes at a stretch where interruptions, even for good reasons, are not really going to happen. That's, after all, how debates go. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

Speech, and preferably face-to-face, are great tools for explaining, especially what is ultimately a science of behaviour.

Yeah, that's what I have a problem with. I'm not looking, yet, for explanations. The book has plenty. I'm looking for something I can work with in my head. With the state, I can look at what the state does over and over and over in varied situations. With computers, I can play around with them. With UPB, I have some explanations that I can't do much with.

When I learned math proofs, I didn't look at a bunch of math proofs or explanations of things. I learned some abstract algebra terms, their precise definitions, played around with the things symbolically, and so on. I can't really do that or anything like it with UPB. In fact, any sort of playing around, like lifeboat scenarios that are generally used to figure out the edges of a moral theory, are disdained.


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#15
Metric

Metric
  • 866 posts

The challenge of verbal debate (or any live argument, really) is precisely that both debaters have a limited time to think, process, make their case, and rebut arguments.  This greatly favors certain tactics that don't necessarily have anything to do with getting to the truth -- that's why it's viewed as a competitive event (with teams, etc.) in colleges, rather than a resource for new knowledge to be treasured for the ages.

 


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#16
FreedomWins

FreedomWins
  • 2098 posts

that's why it's viewed as a competitive
event (with teams, etc.) in colleges, rather than a resource for new knowledge to be
treasured for the ages.

Yeah, the number of verbal debates recorded which last as valuable for a long time is very, very small. Some of those are even scripted rather than actually recorded.


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#17
Water

Water
  • 130 posts

"UPB debunked in 5 min" debunked in 1 sec:

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what?

For the non-initiation of force

 

 

 

 

That's true of anything then.  I could just as easily say "Eating is objectively required" and when you asked, "For what?",  I would respond "To eat."

 


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#18
Water

Water
  • 130 posts

So if you ask, for what the NAP is required, you did not understand that there is no goal in the NAP that should be achieved.

 

I don't understand how you reconcile that with how the book defines "universal preference".  The book claims that a universal preference is something that is required assuming a goal.  Is the statement we're talking about not one about universal preference?

 

To answer your question: The non-initiation of force is objectively required to find objective truth.

Couldn't I kidnap some people and use them as subjects for my science experiments?


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#19
Water

Water
  • 130 posts

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what? ...

So John murders Jane. What goal did John *necessarily* fail to achieve? If that question can't be answered then UPB is broken.

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required" is not a logical antecedent but a consequent. I.e. its strict use requires it to follow a "then" or a "therefore" within a hypothetical. Thus "objectively required for what?" does not apply.

It's not a question of "what goal did John *necessarily* fail to achieve?"

The question is whether John's preference-behavior is also universal. A consequent is universal if it is not contradicted by any logically possible antecedent.

 

Can't I always contradict an "ought" by proposing a conflicting goal?  Take the proposition we're talking about as an example.  If I say "If I want to murder someone, the non-initiation of force is universally preferrable (i.e. objectively required)", that statement would fail.

 


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#20
Water

Water
  • 130 posts

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what? The goal is missing. How would one test such a statement for "internal consistency and empirical observation?

Objectively required to be an internally consistent and empirically valid theory.

 

 Internally consistent how?  Absent a goal what does it mean to say something is "required"?  Required for what?

And absent a goal, that theory most definitely fails the empirical test as some people do initiate force.


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#21
Water

Water
  • 130 posts

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what?

You answered the question yourself by putting quotation marks around the statement.

"The non-initiation of force is required" cannot be contradicted within the framework of any reasoning, since to contradict it would require a reasoned argument against it, and all reasoned arguments (even incorrect ones) must occur within the context of non-initiation of force. Since "the non-initiation of force is required" cannot be logically contradicted, it is therefore a priori non-falsifiable, i.e. "true".

 

 John was never interested in "reasoning" or arguing about anything.  He killed Jane because "he felt like it".  What part of John's behavior was contradictory?


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#22
Water

Water
  • 130 posts

Well, if a theory proposes a UPB ("murder is UPB"), and fails the test of logic, the purpose of the theory fails the test of rational consistency or empirical achievability of course.

I don't see how that addresses the issue in my original post. 

Anyway, call into the show Sunday if you'd like to understand this further - written responses will not solve the problem of ethics, because it is too emotionally charged – if blog posts and message board scribblings and other writings could solve the problem of virtue, it would've been solved long ago – just think of the thousands of books that have been written about ethics over the past 3000 years

So you *write* a book about ethics and now you're saying that the written word is a poor medium for ethics?

I've noticed, btw, that the more confident someone is that they have trashed UPB, the less they actually understand the arguments. Just an observation.

If this is an observation of me then why not come out and say it directly and back up your claim by showing how I'm misunderstanding your arguments?  If not, then why write this at all?  What would your reaction be if I ended my response to you with this:

I've noticed, btw, that the more someone loosely tosses around the terms "rational consistency" and "empirical", the less rational and less empirical they actually are.  Just an observation.


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#23
Jose Perez

Jose Perez
  • 895 posts

To put the "speech vs. writing" into perspective – and not further hijack the thread – let's read again what the OP wrote. I don't think Stef or anyone in this thread – other than me (and perhaps sandman) – got the mistake he was making (underlined below), and were all missing the point with their replies and confusing the question. Now he is replying to them and multiplying the problem...

I am not saying hearing and understanding Water's "disproof" on the call-in show is an impossible task, but this certainly doesn't suggest it is anything likely. If the chance to patiently read the OP's patient writing and exposition doesn't do it, and this thread still ends up being a spiral of confusion, then what would be likely to happen if this discussion happened to be in speech? [dazed]

Indeed, this is not the first time I see people not addressing important issues that are easily dealt with in writing, and then get involved in confusing chats that also miss the root of the problem, where the most able speakers get their way and leave those in error confused and uncorrected in the way Metric points out.

In this thread's case, I'd say is something rather simple, have a look:

"Universally preferable,” then, translates to “objectively required,” but we will

retain the word “preferable” to differentiate between optional human absolutes and non-optional
physical absolutes such as gravity.

But when Stef starts running actual theories through the framework, they take on a different form:

The non-initiation of force is universally preferable.

Notice anything missing?

It's easier to see if you rephrase it (using the book's own definition):

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what? 

Corrections hugely appreciated.


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#24
Metric

Metric
  • 866 posts

The only possible valid moral theory regarding murder is that it is evil, or universally banned.

So John murders Jane. What goal did John *necessarily* fail to achieve? If that question can't be answered then UPB is broken.

As I understand it, this is not how UPB is to be used.  It doesn't really tell you anything about this particular event.  It tells you that any ethical theory whose goal is to be universal and consistent, can not hold murder as ethical. 

UPB judges theories, not instances.


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#25
FreedomWins

FreedomWins
  • 2098 posts

What would your reaction be if I ended my response to you with this:

I've noticed, btw, that the more someone loosely tosses around the terms "rational consistency" and "empirical", the less rational and less empirical they actually are.  Just an observation.

I know this is a hypothetical, but there is actually evidence for that:

If the United States does not invade, and no attack comes from Iraq -- or the terrorist groups it may support -- then those who oppose the war will be in the right. If the U.S. does not invade, but suffers another attack, then those who support the war will be in the right. If the U.S. invades, and another attack does not occur, then there will be no way of knowing who was right. Ditto if the U.S. invades, and another attack does occur.

Thus, it is impossible to gauge the right action from the possible consequences. Therefore, the argument must be made from principles.

The UN has promised to deal with Iraq for 12 years, but has done virtually nothing. We cannot expect the Americans to place their security in an organization that fails to enforce its own resolutions. Now, when Iraq is cornered by the U.S., it grudgingly destroys a few weapons.

Iraq is complying only because of the imminence of war. If that threat recedes, so will the compliance. The choice of war or peace lies not with George Bush, but with Saddam Hussein.

This is from his letter to the editor of the Globe and Mail, published in March 2003.

Though it's purportedly impossible to gauge the right action from the possible consequences, he continues to propose and imply the possible consequences to the "Americans" (no valid definition), the possible consequences of trusting the "UN" (no valid definition), the possible consequences of not threatening Saddam Hussein, and the blame Saddam therefore (based on these possible consequences) has if war happens due to the unexplained wrongness of him possessing weapons somewhat weaker than George Bush does.

Any principles are completely implicit or nonexistent (and completely and obviously false if they exist) and the possible consequences are the only things mentioned at all in the argument he makes in the last two paragraphs...right after mentioning that principles are needed and not possible consequences.

To note, arguments from consequence (that is, that if some counter-UPB argument is true, some intuitively immoral thing will be valid or something like that) appear throughout the UPB book.


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#26
FreedomWins

FreedomWins
  • 2098 posts

I agree that the written word is superior for understanding complex philosophical issues. The ability to research and review a rebuttal is just not available in conversation. Debates beg debates. But I don't think forums are ideal since they tend to fuel interruptions and unrelated tangents. I've found blog posts/responses to be the most effective.

Yeah, that seems most like the old-style written-letter debates. The participants have lots of time to think over their responses and so on.


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#27
Nathan

Nathan
  • 13064 posts

But when Stef starts running actual theories through the framework, they take on a different form:

The non-initiation of force is universally preferable.

Notice anything missing?

It's easier to see if you rephrase it (using the book's own definition):

"The non-initiation of force is objectively required."

Objectively required for what? The goal is missing. How would one test such a statement for "internal consistency and empirical observation?

Objectively required IF you want to maintain any logical consistency in the rules of human interaction, which is what ethics is about.  The point of UPB is that for a moral rule to be valid it must be logically consistent when applied universally.

You can't have a rule that says initiating force is required, because that won't work for the reasons pointed out. That would be inconsistent. You also can't have a neutral rule that says do whatever you want, because what the person being attacked wants is to not be attacked or have force used against him. Again, inconsistent with regards to a rule about interactions between two or more people.

I do agree with Stef though, this isn't an issue that can be resolved on a message board. Call into the show. I'd like to hear Stef's thoughts on this and although I think the way you presented the post as a whole was kind of off putting, I do think it was a good "question".


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#28
FreedomWins

FreedomWins
  • 2098 posts

As I understand it, this is not how UPB is to be used.  It doesn't really tell you anything about this particular event.  It tells you that any ethical theory whose goal is to be universal and consistent, can not hold murder as ethical. 

Right, and up comes the conflation that's actually in the book of 'universally preferable behaviors' (which have something to do with objective requirements and meeting them, and which can include eating to live) and 'the UPB framework' (which judges theories and has quite a bit to it, and which doesn't validate the theory that you must eat).

It's interesting that the people who supposedly understand the book never seem to have gotten that there was a distinction and that I was asking for the definition of the first rather than the second.


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#29
Arius

Arius
  • 786 posts

A universal preference is a particular action which is objectively required to accomplish some goal.

Ethics are universally applicable (they constrain everyone equally).

For a particular claim to be an ethic, it must simultaneously be applicable to all people.  That is, it cannot have any conditional exclusions across the category of "people".

When Stef talks about preference (Hopefully I'll get stopped if I'm wrong) he means expressed preference (rather than stated preference), understood through empirical observation.  In the UPB model (as I understand it) if a preference is not expressed, it does not exist.

"Preferred behavior" is almost redundant.  UPB (at least for me) is best understood as "What all people may simultaneously do".  That is, the category of actions which, when performed by a person or persons, do not exclude any other person or persons from similar performance.  Non-UPB is "What cannot be done by all people simultaneously", actions which exclude their own performance in other people.

The broader application of the theory is for evaluating ethical claims (I'd call it meta-ethical rather than ethical, but that's just me).  In your example, one person kills another.  The content of that event alone is not evaluable by UPB.  If the killer were to offer some ethical content (i.e. the statement "killing other people in ethical") then UPB could be used to evaluate (via the murder-is-ethical model) the claim.  UPB does not indicate which actions are ethical or unethical, only which ethical theories are invalid or potentially valid.

When Stef compares UPB to math, he's not to far off.  Both are simple and frequently misunderstood.


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#30
FreedomWins

FreedomWins
  • 2098 posts

When Stef compares UPB to math, he's not to far off.  Both are simple and frequently misunderstood.

Math is frequently misunderstood...because of the teaching of it.

When Stef talks about preference (Hopefully I'll get stopped if I'm wrong) he means expressed preference (rather than stated preference)

This can't be high quality. I can express the preference to pay taxes, but that isn't very useful knowledge. What I actually prefer is living outside of prison.

In the same way, the argumentation ethics style stuff is completely flawed, since it equates "expressed preference" with what the person thinks of the world and accepts about it and so on. If, on the other hand, they act for reasons other than accepting the supposed implicit ethics, then the implicit ethics are not the only case possible as reasons for acting, and they are thus not proven.


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#31
Jose Perez

Jose Perez
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As I understand it, this is not how UPB is to be used.  It doesn't really tell you anything about this particular event.  It tells you that any ethical theory whose goal is to be universal and consistent, can not hold murder as ethical. 

Right, and up comes the conflation that's actually in the book of 'universally preferable behaviors' (which have something to do with objective requirements and meeting them, and which can include eating to live) and 'the UPB framework' (which judges theories and has quite a bit to it, and which doesn't validate the theory that you must eat).

The book does not make that conflation, because "universally preferable" for behaviours means exactly the same as "universally preferable" for theories ( = "gotta have X"). 

The OP, however, is conflating (replacing the words) "universally preferable" (theories case) with "objectively required" (behaviours case) in a moral proposition of his own making: "the non-initiation of force is objectively required", and getting all confused – along with everybody else here – because he seems to think this statement requires action:


Objectively required for what? The goal is missing. 

and doesn't understand "required" in the context of moral non-action or the non-initiation of force – which means "gotta have not-X", and NOT "gotta have X".

This I have pointed out 3 or more times here already... 


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#32
Water

Water
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He is mistaking the logical "objectively required" of actions (it is required/preferable that you exercise if you want to be healthy / that a rock doesn't fall up and down... as an imperative for action in the moral proposition "the non-initiation of force is objectively required" which he arrives at by replacing the words "universally preferable" for "objectively required" in your correct, moral proposition "the non-initiation of force is universally preferable" / "it's moral".

I have often found that people who have trouble understanding and trash UPB also portray it as some obscure way to propel them to behave morally, which they "reveal" as invalid, and do not seem to understand the concept of non-action

 

 The book says that "universally preferrable" translates to "objectively required", and that's the only thing I changed in the statement.  In my opinion, the definition of "objectively required" is more clear to most people than "universally preferrable", thus my reason for making the substitution.

So I'm not sure what your objection is, although I can think of one possible reason.  That is, the book goes on to say that"universally preferrable" is a subclass of "objectively required".  But this does not change the nature of the inconsistency I pointed out.

A square is a subset of a rectangle.  Therefore, all squares must possess the same defining characteristics of rectangles.  In the same way, any defining characteristics of "objectively required" behavior, must also be true "universally preferrable" behavior.

Stef claimed that "objectively required" behavior can only be evaluated in terms of a goal.  So "universally preferrable" behavior must meet that same requirement.


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#33
Yab yum

Yab yum
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Can't I always contradict an "ought" by proposing a conflicting goal?  Take the proposition we're talking about as an example.

There are two arguments. the first is the argument from hypotheticals. As you correctly point out here the NAP can't be derived from this argument.

Arguably, other valuable related consequents can, however. E.g., "I must not kill an other non-consenting adult person". If we treat that as a consequent, I cannot think of any logically possible antecedents that would contradict it.

The second argument is the argument from the non-contradictory nature of the assertion of the NAP itself. The only way to argue against the NAP is by argumentation which can only itself occur within the context of non-initiation of force. Thus the assertion of NAP is a non-falsifiable truth claim.


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#34
Yab yum

Yab yum
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> John was never interested in "reasoning" or arguing about anything.  He killed Jane because "he felt like it".  What part of John's behavior was contradictory?

John may not be interested in reasoning but those who judge his actions are. He is unable to justify his behavior within logical discourse since his actions violate one of the preconditions for such logical discourse, namely NAP.


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#35
Jose Perez

Jose Perez
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The book says that "universally preferrable" translates to "objectively required", and that's the only thing I changed in the statement.  In my opinion, the definition of "objectively required" is more clear to most people than "universally preferrable", thus my reason for making the substitution.

Fine, then please understand that "required" in the case of non-actions means that non-actions are required.


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