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Stef's argument for self-ownership = Tu Quoque fallacy?


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276 replies to this topic

#246
neeeel

neeeel
  • 349 posts

Like a physical property. Imagine I say that magnets stick to fridges because they have a magnetic field. I explain and define the properties of the field and how it sticks to the fridge, and you say there's a possibility that the magnet could stick to the fridge without a magnetic field (glue or adhesive notwithstanding). Then I say that if it didn't have a magnetic field it wouldn't be a magnet in the first place. That's sort of where we are. A person is the magnet, a property of magnets is the magnetic field, and the sticking-to-a-fridge is an effect of the "self ownership" that causes the effects of people being responsible for their actions, their time, bodies, being able to self actuate on their own without being coerced, and so on. If you can remove a magnetic field from a magnet and tried to stick it to a fridge and it fell, it would prove that it sticks to a fridge due to the magnetic force. If you can remove self ownership from a human and still have it have sentience, and consciousness, and self awareness, and decision making, and moral capacity, and still have it be called "a human being" you could have an argument on how humans can exist as they are now and not have self ownership. But you can't, because that would be like taking the magnetic field off a magnet, and still call it a magnet even though it is no longer a magnet. It would just be a piece of metal or ore.

 

 

Ok, are you suggesting that the self that has self ownership is some sort of field? I just want to get clear on what you are saying here? 



#247
labmath2

labmath2
  • 583 posts

Like a physical property. Imagine I say that magnets stick to fridges because they have a magnetic field. I explain and define the properties of the field and how it sticks to the fridge, and you say there's a possibility that the magnet could stick to the fridge without a magnetic field (glue or adhesive notwithstanding). Then I say that if it didn't have a magnetic field it wouldn't be a magnet in the first place. That's sort of where we are. A person is the magnet, a property of magnets is the magnetic field, and the sticking-to-a-fridge is an effect of the "self ownership" that causes the effects of people being responsible for their actions, their time, bodies, being able to self actuate on their own without being coerced, and so on. If you can remove a magnetic field from a magnet and tried to stick it to a fridge and it fell, it would prove that it sticks to a fridge due to the magnetic force. If you can remove self ownership from a human and still have it have sentience, and consciousness, and self awareness, and decision making, and moral capacity, and still have it be called "a human being" you could have an argument on how humans can exist as they are now and not have self ownership. But you can't, because that would be like taking the magnetic field off a magnet, and still call it a magnet even though it is no longer a magnet. It would just be a piece of metal or ore.


There two problems with those comparison. The first is that you are claiming self ownership is a physical property without showing it (i made the counter arguments to control as ownership earlier, you can look at those). The second is that even if self owneship is a physical property, it would not confer any moral obligation without breaching the is ought bridge. Also i have shown how your definition of self ownership is lacking, so you need a better one.

#248
sdavio

sdavio
  • 37 posts

I did say "objective reality", and ignoring objective reality is a delusion. Why follow delusions?

 

But there's no objective reality that I'm necessarily ignoring in violating your property. I could fully acknowledge that you built a sandcastle, and still topple it. There's nothing in my act of toppling your sandcastle that implies that I think you didn't build it.



#249
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

Ok, are you suggesting that the self that has self ownership is some sort of field? I just want to get clear on what you are saying here? 

 

Self ownership is an emergent property of a human being. The self awareness, self actuation, sentience, consciousness, objective intelligence, all that jazz. A rock doesn't have any of that. A human does. A rock can't own itself. A human does because it can. The field is an analogy, I'm not saying it's actually a field. The field is what allows the magnet to a) be called a magnet, and b) stick to fridges. Without the field it can't be either a or b.


But there's no objective reality that I'm necessarily ignoring in violating your property. I could fully acknowledge that you built a sandcastle, and still topple it. There's nothing in my act of toppling your sandcastle that implies that I think you didn't build it.

 

You are shifting the goal posts here. I was talking about how "arguing against self ownership" ignores the objective reality that you own the argument because you are directly causing it, being responsible for it by using that which you are the sole owner of - it being your body, mind, and time. That's what you ignore when you argue against it. I am not talking about sandcastles in that instance. You have to jump through that hurdle, ask me to ignore you performative contradiction, and pretend that you are without yellow cards to make a soccer analogy.

 

Now, you are literally saying that toppling my sandcastle is a violation of my property, so arguing how violations of property rights aren't violating property rights because they don't exist is literally making my head spin.



#250
sdavio

sdavio
  • 37 posts
You are shifting the goal posts here. I was talking about how "arguing against self ownership" ignores the objective reality that you own the argument because you are directly causing it, being responsible for it by using that which you are the sole owner of - it being your body, mind, and time. That's what you ignore when you argue against it. I am not talking about sandcastles in that instance. You have to jump through that hurdle, ask me to ignore you performative contradiction, and pretend that you are without yellow cards to make a soccer analogy.

 

Now, you are literally saying that toppling my sandcastle is a violation of my property, so arguing how violations of property rights aren't violating property rights because they don't exist is literally making my head spin.

 

I don't see how I shifted the goalposts, since all I did was make a comparison which seemingly could not be more directly analogous to what we're talking about. The only difference in the "sandcastle" example is that it involves the moral element which is absent from simply attributing someone's argument to their name.

Nobody is arguing against the idea that an argument can be attributed to the person making it, or that the castle was built. In all cases I've been strictly distinguishing that fact, from the normative sense of property which states that people 'should' be allowed continued control over what they already control, or what they've built. So when you say that I'm contradicting the argument "against (self) ownership" by attributing something to someone, this is a bait and switch in the sense that you're using the word "property" in order to conflate something nobody is trying to argue against, with another very controversial and difficult to establish claim.



#251
neeeel

neeeel
  • 349 posts

Self ownership is an emergent property of a human being. The self awareness, self actuation, sentience, consciousness, objective intelligence, all that jazz. A rock doesn't have any of that. A human does. A rock can't own itself. A human does because it can. The field is an analogy, I'm not saying it's actually a field. The field is what allows the magnet to a) be called a magnet, and b) stick to fridges. Without the field it can't be either a or b.


 

 

self ownership is a concept, Its not a property. I agree that a rock cant have a concept of self ownership. you are doing some circular reasoning here. what is self ownership? its something humans have.. What makes humans human? Self ownership.

 

The way I see it, you are positing some non existent property on top of magnetism, and using it to explain magnetism. kind of like how scientists in the 19th century posited ether in order to explain certain behaviours of matter. 



#252
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

self ownership is a concept, Its not a property. I agree that a rock cant have a concept of self ownership. you are doing some circular reasoning here. what is self ownership? its something humans have.. What makes humans human? Self ownership.

 

The way I see it, you are positing some non existent property on top of magnetism, and using it to explain magnetism. kind of like how scientists in the 19th century posited ether in order to explain certain behaviours of matter. 

 

It's not circular reasoning, it's A = A. You can't have "HUMAN" without the letters m, n, h, a, and a. That's not a tautology.

 

If the concept accurately explains reality, it's not just a floating immaterial construct. It's the truth. I am not positing a non existent property of magnets to explain magnets, because magnets are by definition that which has that property. A property which is described after it already is seen on the object. It's not an ad-hoc solution.

 

Since I've already explained this, and you're refuting it erroneously by equivocating it with something it isn't, I'll ask you to present your thesis of how you expect to prove self ownership? You don't seem to understand that just being vague and asking for "the way I see it" kind of fog doesn't get you any closer to the truth. It's not a productive exercise. What do you want? You keep making arguments, well, just obfuscations of arguments actually, and I am not going to keep repeating things over and over because you have no standard of objectivity. It's like boxing with a fern.

 

 

I don't see how I shifted the goalposts, since all I did was make a comparison which seemingly could not be more directly analogous to what we're talking about. The only difference in the "sandcastle" example is that it involves the moral element which is absent from simply attributing someone's argument to their name.

Nobody is arguing against the idea that an argument can be attributed to the person making it, or that the castle was built. In all cases I've been strictly distinguishing that fact, from the normative sense of property which states that people 'should' be allowed continued control over what they already control, or what they've built. So when you say that I'm contradicting the argument "against (self) ownership" by attributing something to someone, this is a bait and switch in the sense that you're using the word "property" in order to conflate something nobody is trying to argue against, with another very controversial and difficult to establish claim.

 

Inverse your statement, and see if it's symmetrical. Ask not why people "should" be allowed to continue owning what they do, but why "should" their property rights expire? You need to posit a contesting theory of expiring property rights. Give it an equation. What is the rate of decay of property rights give time n? Since property rights also apply to my body, at what age would I cease to own my spleen given the rate of decay of ownership? What virus must infect me to cease to own my spine? At what point does a masseuse gain ownership of my ribs if she's massaging them? Since you're asking for effects in the real world, it is your job to come up with a reason why I can't keep owning myself, thus owning the effect of my actions.



#253
neeeel

neeeel
  • 349 posts

It's not circular reasoning, it's A = A. You can't have "HUMAN" without the letters m, n, h, a, and a. That's not a tautology.

 

If the concept accurately explains reality, it's not just a floating immaterial construct. It's the truth. I am not positing a non existent property of magnets to explain magnets, because magnets are by definition that which has that property. A property which is described after it already is seen on the object. It's not an ad-hoc solution.

 

Since I've already explained this, and you're refuting it erroneously by equivocating it with something it isn't, I'll ask you to present your thesis of how you expect to prove self ownership? You don't seem to understand that just being vague and asking for "the way I see it" kind of fog doesn't get you any closer to the truth. It's not a productive exercise. What do you want? You keep making arguments, well, just obfuscations of arguments actually, and I am not going to keep repeating things over and over because you have no standard of objectivity. It's like boxing with a fern.

 

 

 

You are defining self ownership as something that humans have ( without saying what it is), and then defining humans as things that have self ownership. 

 

Magnets are objects that exhibit magnetism. You havent shown how humans exhibit self ownership. Magnetism ( or the effects of it) can be seen. 

 

You can't have "HUMAN" without the letters m, n, h, a, and a. That's not a tautology.

 

 

 

this isnt supporting your argument. a human being isnt defined by the letters m,n,h , a.

human, as a word, is a totally artificial construct. It points to an understood meaning, but the letters, in that arrangement, say nothing about the meaning.

 

If the concept accurately explains reality, it's not just a floating immaterial construct. It's the truth

 

 

ok how does the concept "self ownership" accurately explain reality?

Ether was also thought to accurately explain reality, at least for some scientists. 

 

 

 I'll ask you to present your thesis of how you expect to prove self ownership?

 

 

I dont know. If I knew how to prove it, then I would already have done so, and so we wouldnt be having this discussion. You believe in it, therefore you must already have some way of proving it ( to yourself , at least), or else its just a baseless assertion.



#254
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

You are defining self ownership as something that humans have ( without saying what it is), and then defining humans as things that have self ownership.

Magnets are objects that exhibit magnetism. You havent shown how humans exhibit self ownership. Magnetism ( or the effects of it) can be seen.



this isnt supporting your argument. a human being isnt defined by the letters m,n,h , a.
human, as a word, is a totally artificial construct. It points to an understood meaning, but the letters, in that arrangement, say nothing about the meaning.


ok how does the concept "self ownership" accurately explain reality?
Ether was also thought to accurately explain reality, at least for some scientists.



I dont know. If I knew how to prove it, then I would already have done so, and so we wouldnt be having this discussion. You believe in it, therefore you must already have some way of proving it ( to yourself , at least), or else its just a baseless assertion.

I described self ownership already. I didn't assert it exists, I already defined it. It is very annoying to be told that I am making baseless assertions when you are the one ignoring my arguments.

If you do not have a standard of proof, you also don't have a standard of disproof, which means any objection you make is what is baseless, not my arguments. You're just saying "I don't know how it can be true, but I am sure how it can't" and that's just not symmetric. I can't take that seriously.

#255
neeeel

neeeel
  • 349 posts

I described self ownership already. I didn't assert it exists, I already defined it. It is very annoying to be told that I am making baseless assertions when you are the one ignoring my arguments.

 

 

Ok, is this the definition of self ownership?

 

Self ownership is an emergent property of a human being. The self awareness, self actuation, sentience, consciousness, objective intelligence

 

 

Im not sure that this helps me, as most of these are more vague nebulous concepts. I guess I might be hung up on the words "self" and "ownership" and be thinking of them meaning something different to how you intend them?Are these things (The self awareness, self actuation, sentience, consciousness, objective intelligence) synonyms for self ownership? Or do they all together make up something that we then call self-ownership?

 

 

If you do not have a standard of proof, you also don't have a standard of disproof, which means any objection you make is what is baseless, not my arguments. You're just saying "I don't know how it can be true, but I am sure how it can't" and that's just not symmetric. I can't take that seriously.

 

 

What? My standard of showing that self ownership exists, would be the same as the standard for showing that magnetism exists, physical evidence.. I think I misunderstood what you were saying, and thought you were asking how I would prove that it exists.

 

how does the concept "self ownership" accurately explain reality?



#256
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

What? My standard of showing that self ownership exists, would be the same as the standard for showing that magnetism exists, physical evidence.. I think I misunderstood what you were saying, and thought you were asking how I would prove that it exists.

 

how does the concept "self ownership" accurately explain reality?

 

The physical evidence I have is that you are the person who is making an argument. I'm not talking to a computer AI, but a person who is deciding to do it by himself with his time, energy, and body. Your argument came into motion by your decisions. It exists because you moved yourself. You can be nihilist about it and say that maybe your argument came into being without you owning yourself, but at that point I will simply stop replying at all. You'd be forfeiting responsibility for your own actions, and I'd just be wasting my time.



#257
neeeel

neeeel
  • 349 posts

The physical evidence I have is that you are the person who is making an argument. I'm not talking to a computer AI, but a person who is deciding to do it by himself with his time, energy, and body. Your argument came into motion by your decisions. It exists because you moved yourself. You can be nihilist about it and say that maybe your argument came into being without you owning yourself, but at that point I will simply stop replying at all. You'd be forfeiting responsibility for your own actions, and I'd just be wasting my time.

 

right, but this is irrelevant as to whether self ownership is true or not. If its true, its true whether or not I claim its true. And if its not true, its not true whether or not I claim its true.



#258
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

right, but this is irrelevant as to whether self ownership is true or not. If its true, its true whether or not I claim its true. And if its not true, its not true whether or not I claim its true.

 

You're looking at a magnet stuck on a fridge and saying that magnetic fields could not be true. I'm done with this.



#259
neeeel

neeeel
  • 349 posts

You're looking at a magnet stuck on a fridge and saying that magnetic fields could not be true. I'm done with this.

 

No, thats not what I am doing at all



#260
labmath2

labmath2
  • 583 posts
The problem neel is having is that you keep claiming self ownership is an attribute of humans like magnetic fields are attributes of magnets (which by the way is not very meaningful, since the magnets do mot have magnetic fields, they produce them). When asked to describe (define) this attribute, your answer is either vague or confusing.

[quote name="Will Torbald" post="422092" timestamp="
I did define it. I said "being the -sole owner/person in charge/responsible agent- for your body, mind" Since you are making the statement that it isn't true, you need to provide evidence of the contrary. Who is your co-owner? Or you whole owner? Who are you asking permission to breathe?[/quote]

This answer you gave is poor at best since you define self ownership as being the sole owner of yourself, which is just a tautology. To reiterate my earlier response, you are not the responsible agent (did not produce) for your body, your parents are. If you mean you should take responsibility for your actions (in some moral sense), that is begging the question since you are only responsible because you are the owner. You are in charge of your body only in the sense that you control it. The two problems with the control claim (morally speaking, since its factually true) is that you seem to substitute controlling your body for moral right to control your body. You are also reducing ownership to control. Both positions are detonated by the car example, as any driver of a car must have the moral right to drive it, and must be its owner.

#261
sdavio

sdavio
  • 37 posts
Inverse your statement, and see if it's symmetrical. Ask not why people "should" be allowed to continue owning what they do, but why "should" their property rights expire? You need to posit a contesting theory of expiring property rights. Give it an equation. What is the rate of decay of property rights give time n? Since property rights also apply to my body, at what age would I cease to own my spleen given the rate of decay of ownership? What virus must infect me to cease to own my spine? At what point does a masseuse gain ownership of my ribs if she's massaging them? Since you're asking for effects in the real world, it is your job to come up with a reason why I can't keep owning myself, thus owning the effect of my actions.

 

Sorry but I'm lost here. I don't know where you got the idea that I ever asserted that property rights somehow used to exist, and then decayed and went out of existence? I was presenting a much more straightforward criticism of UPB's claim to prove the objectivity of property ownership, by making a distinction between descriptive 'properties' and political or moral 'property', where one is simply to state that one thing is caused by, or attributed to, something else, and the other is the statement that someone objectively has the right to exclusive use of something.



#262
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

Sorry but I'm lost here. I don't know where you got the idea that I ever asserted that property rights somehow used to exist, and then decayed and went out of existence? I was presenting a much more straightforward criticism of UPB's claim to prove the objectivity of property ownership, by making a distinction between descriptive 'properties' and political or moral 'property', where one is simply to state that one thing is caused by, or attributed to, something else, and the other is the statement that someone objectively has the right to exclusive use of something.


Well, you already have exclusive use of your body and your mind. You can say that because you are your body you have exclusive use of your body. It is also empirically verified by the experiment that no matter hoe much I try to think about moving your arm with my mind, only you can move your arm by thinking about it. So if you try to argue that you don't have exclusive use of your body you are either possessed by a demon, which you would have to prove somehow, or you would be delusional or schizophrenic to think that and you'd need mental examination by a professional. Or you could just be trolling ad infinity.

So my question is - what is the theory that explains the decay of your exclusive property rights of your body? When do you start losing ownership of your spleen? Well, I could stab you and rip your spleen open, but that is obviously assault, injury, organ theft, etc. I'd be stealing a piece of you, of your self.

So you never lose ownership of yourself. Again, if you do you'd have to explain how and why it happens without being crazy or possessed.

#263
labmath2

labmath2
  • 583 posts

Well, you already have exclusive use of your body and your mind. You can say that because you are your body you have exclusive use of your body. It is also empirically verified by the experiment that no matter hoe much I try to think about moving your arm with my mind, only you can move your arm by thinking about it. So if you try to argue that you don't have exclusive use of your body you are either possessed by a demon, which you would have to prove somehow, or you would be delusional or schizophrenic to think that and you'd need mental examination by a professional. Or you could just be trolling ad infinity.

So my question is - what is the theory that explains the decay of your exclusive property rights of your body? When do you start losing ownership of your spleen? Well, I could stab you and rip your spleen open, but that is obviously assault, injury, organ theft, etc. I'd be stealing a piece of you, of your self.

So you never lose ownership of yourself. Again, if you do you'd have to explain how and why it happens without being crazy or possessed.


Here again you substitute the fact that one exclusively controls his body for the moral right to do so and use control as the basis of ownership. As i pointed out earlier its problematic. If someone takes an organ in my body (kidney) without my permision, does he become its owner the minute its in his body. He would have satisfied the condition of having greater control of the organ than anyone else, thereby granting him the moral right to control said organ, hence he is the owner.

#264
sdavio

sdavio
  • 37 posts

Well, you already have exclusive use of your body and your mind. You can say that because you are your body you have exclusive use of your body. It is also empirically verified by the experiment that no matter hoe much I try to think about moving your arm with my mind, only you can move your arm by thinking about it. So if you try to argue that you don't have exclusive use of your body you are either possessed by a demon, which you would have to prove somehow, or you would be delusional or schizophrenic to think that and you'd need mental examination by a professional. Or you could just be trolling ad infinity.

So my question is - what is the theory that explains the decay of your exclusive property rights of your body? When do you start losing ownership of your spleen? Well, I could stab you and rip your spleen open, but that is obviously assault, injury, organ theft, etc. I'd be stealing a piece of you, of your self.

So you never lose ownership of yourself. Again, if you do you'd have to explain how and why it happens without being crazy or possessed.

 

But if I can never lose ownership of myself, then what moral force could a concept of self-ownership have? Even by stabbing me, you could not be meaningfully "violating my self-ownership" since according to you it cannot be violated. Therefore self-ownership is reduced to the insubstantial claim that a person happens to have control over their own body. You could deduce no ethics from that, and it is a misleading use of the term since when most people use the phrase 'self-ownership' they're talking about a moral concept which can be violated.



#265
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

But if I can never lose ownership of myself, then what moral force could a concept of self-ownership have? Even by stabbing me, you could not be meaningfully "violating my self-ownership" since according to you it cannot be violated. Therefore self-ownership is reduced to the insubstantial claim that a person happens to have control over their own body. You could deduce no ethics from that, and it is a misleading use of the term since when most people use the phrase 'self-ownership' they're talking about a moral concept which can be violated.


What is violated is consent, not the self ownership. Your self ownership gives you the right to offer consent over actions done unto it. Only you can determine if a person slicing you open has permission to do it. It doesn't mean that they cannot do it without it, but that doing so would violate your exclusive right to the ownership and property of your body. When a doctor is operating on you and cutting you up and removing your spleen he would need you to sign consent forms and documents explaining how the procedure is done and you understand the risks of it.

Self ownership and property rights are a necessary requirement for ethics, but not a sufficient requirement to deduce whether someone is being a surgeon or a Knives McStabby. The rest is the question of consent.

#266
sdavio

sdavio
  • 37 posts

What is violated is consent, not the self ownership. Your self ownership gives you the right to offer consent over actions done unto it. Only you can determine if a person slicing you open has permission to do it. It doesn't mean that they cannot do it without it, but that doing so would violate your exclusive right to the ownership and property of your body. When a doctor is operating on you and cutting you up and removing your spleen he would need you to sign consent forms and documents explaining how the procedure is done and you understand the risks of it.

Self ownership and property rights are a necessary requirement for ethics, but not a sufficient requirement to deduce whether someone is being a surgeon or a Knives McStabby. The rest is the question of consent.

 

So how is a system of consent, such as you've outlined above, substantiated by the tu quoque fallacy which Stefan uses to justify self-ownership as a right, which must necessarily involve the kind of "consent" you're talking about here? What I mean is, just by saying "I have a problem with your argument" I have only implied self-control in the narrow sense of attributing a person's argument to them, so would you agree that the argument which implies that this statement implies a system of consent is flawed?



#267
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

So how is a system of consent, such as you've outlined above, substantiated by the tu quoque fallacy which Stefan uses to justify self-ownership as a right, which must necessarily involve the kind of "consent" you're talking about here? What I mean is, just by saying "I have a problem with your argument" I have only implied self-control in the narrow sense of attributing a person's argument to them, so would you agree that the argument which implies that this statement implies a system of consent is flawed?

 

Tu quoque is not the justification of self ownership, it is the refusal to debate with someone who wishes to deny self ownership while expecting the debate to happen according to the rules of self ownership. It would be like refusing to play baseball with someone who brought a tennis racket to the field. Baseball just doesn't work like that, and if you want to play baseball, play by the rules of baseball. In other words, if you want to believe self ownership isn't real, go ahead and believe it. But if you want to convince me using the medium of a debate you have to realize that the rules of debate necessitate each participant to enter voluntarily and be responsible for their arguments, which requires the exercise of self ownership - thus it's like sitting on a chair trying to tell me chairs don't exist - and arguing with that kind of people is insane, because they are insane.



#268
sdavio

sdavio
  • 37 posts

Tu quoque is not the justification of self ownership, it is the refusal to debate with someone who wishes to deny self ownership while expecting the debate to happen according to the rules of self ownership. It would be like refusing to play baseball with someone who brought a tennis racket to the field. Baseball just doesn't work like that, and if you want to play baseball, play by the rules of baseball. In other words, if you want to believe self ownership isn't real, go ahead and believe it. But if you want to convince me using the medium of a debate you have to realize that the rules of debate necessitate each participant to enter voluntarily and be responsible for their arguments, which requires the exercise of self ownership - thus it's like sitting on a chair trying to tell me chairs don't exist - and arguing with that kind of people is insane, because they are insane.

 

Now that you've made the distinction between "self ownership" (as one's control over their own body) and "consent" (as a moral claim with political / ethical implications) clear, I'd like to make sure that the two aren't confused. My question was not just about "self ownership" in the narrow sense which we have established - it's about consent. What still needs to be established is how, in simply engaging in a discussion or debate, a person necessarily implies the system of consent, over and above simple causation. Please outline how the tu quoque argument applies specifically to consent as you've defined it.



#269
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

Now that you've made the distinction between "self ownership" (as one's control over their own body) and "consent" (as a moral claim with political / ethical implications) clear, I'd like to make sure that the two aren't confused. My question was not just about "self ownership" in the narrow sense which we have established - it's about consent. What still needs to be established is how, in simply engaging in a discussion or debate, a person necessarily implies the system of consent, over and above simple causation. Please outline how the tu quoque argument applies specifically to consent as you've defined it.

 

Because a debate is a voluntary engagement. You have to consent to the use of your time and mind for a debate with others. I can't force you to talk to me, to use your time for me. A debate already has the element of consent derived from your exclusive ownership of your resources: body, mind, time.



#270
sdavio

sdavio
  • 37 posts

Because a debate is a voluntary engagement. You have to consent to the use of your time and mind for a debate with others. I can't force you to talk to me, to use your time for me. A debate already has the element of consent derived from your exclusive ownership of your resources: body, mind, time.

 

So, to paraphrase your claim, it is that when someone states that they "have a problem with" an argument for the position that "initiation of force is universally morally wrong", they are necessarily contradicting themselves because, by engaging in a debate in which both people are voluntarily interacting, they are implying by that very act that initiating force is universally morally wrong; is that correct?

 

The problem is that I don't see how the act of voluntarily engaging in a debate could directly imply that I believe that initiating force is, in all cases and at all times, morally wrong. It doesn't even imply that it's morally wrong between you and I at this moment - it could just be my own 'subjective preference' for debate over fighting, or that I'm not strong enough to win, or many other reasons.

 

In order for the argument to work, it would have to be absolutely certain that a belief in the NAP must be the only possible reason I'm engaging in debate.



#271
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

So, to paraphrase your claim, it is that when someone states that they "have a problem with" an argument for the position that "initiation of force is universally morally wrong", they are necessarily contradicting themselves because, by engaging in a debate in which both people are voluntarily interacting, they are implying by that very act that initiating force is universally morally wrong; is that correct?

 

The problem is that I don't see how the act of voluntarily engaging in a debate could directly imply that I believe that initiating force is, in all cases and at all times, morally wrong. It doesn't even imply that it's morally wrong between you and I at this moment - it could just be my own 'subjective preference' for debate over fighting, or that I'm not strong enough to win, or many other reasons.

 

In order for the argument to work, it would have to be absolutely certain that a belief in the NAP must be the only possible reason I'm engaging in debate.

 

Two people debating agree that voluntary dialogue is the best behavior they could be using to deal with their disagreements. If it wasn't, you'd have to explain why they are leaving out a better way to solve disputes in favor of something inferior. All the arguments from "could be otherwise" do is fog. If I started arguments against, say, the theory of general relativity with "it could be something else" I would be required to propose a competing theory of space and time. Otherwise I'd just be concern trolling.

 

So, since you say "it could be that violations of property rights are not always wrong" you have to provide a competing theory of decaying property rights. A theory of situations were it isn't. Do it. Think about it. Otherwise stop wasting a debate on coulds.



#272
sdavio

sdavio
  • 37 posts

Two people debating agree that voluntary dialogue is the best behavior they could be using to deal with their disagreements. If it wasn't, you'd have to explain why they are leaving out a better way to solve disputes in favor of something inferior. All the arguments from "could be otherwise" do is fog. If I started arguments against, say, the theory of general relativity with "it could be something else" I would be required to propose a competing theory of space and time. Otherwise I'd just be concern trolling.

 

So, since you say "it could be that violations of property rights are not always wrong" you have to provide a competing theory of decaying property rights. A theory of situations were it isn't. Do it. Think about it. Otherwise stop wasting a debate on coulds.

 

The "it could be otherwise" argument carries more weight here, since the main point, which UPB hinges upon, is its 'universality'. If just disagreeing with UPB doesn't directly, logically imply UPB, then it isn't axiomatic or universal. The focus on such fundamental and logical (rather than pragmatic) issues is not because of some pedantic argumentativeness or trolling on my part, it's a principle within the theory itself. If I focused the debate on anything other than "coulds," a proper UPBian would direct the debate straight back to the first principles, which state that I "could" not possibly reject UPB without also implicitly accepting it.

 

Since it is this kind of logical entailment of universality which is just what is at issue here, it's very important not to sneak in any universality where it isn't necessarily there. To say that both people agree that voluntary dialogue is the best solution, is only accurate with regard to the conversation they are engaged in at that exact moment; any universalisation beyond that requires further justification. In other words, just because voluntary conversation is the best solution to our current disagreement, at this very moment, that doesn't mean that voluntary conversation is the best solution to some other disagreement or problem.

 

To put this simply, if I believed, say, that government redistribution (by force) is the best solution to poverty (which I don't), this would not necessarily, by definition, contradict my position that a voluntary discussion is the best way to solve our current disagreement on this forum. My engaging in some action in response to some particular problem, doesn't in any way contain the implicit assertion that this particular kind of action is absolutely, in principle, the best solution for all similar problems.



#273
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

The "it could be otherwise" argument carries more weight here, since the main point, which UPB hinges upon, is its 'universality'. If just disagreeing with UPB doesn't directly, logically imply UPB, then it isn't axiomatic or universal. The focus on such fundamental and logical (rather than pragmatic) issues is not because of some pedantic argumentativeness or trolling on my part, it's a principle within the theory itself. If I focused the debate on anything other than "coulds," a proper UPBian would direct the debate straight back to the first principles, which state that I "could" not possibly reject UPB without also implicitly accepting it.

 

Since it is this kind of logical entailment of universality which is just what is at issue here, it's very important not to sneak in any universality where it isn't necessarily there. To say that both people agree that voluntary dialogue is the best solution, is only accurate with regard to the conversation they are engaged in at that exact moment; any universalisation beyond that requires further justification. In other words, just because voluntary conversation is the best solution to our current disagreement, at this very moment, that doesn't mean that voluntary conversation is the best solution to some other disagreement or problem.

 

To put this simply, if I believed, say, that government redistribution (by force) is the best solution to poverty (which I don't), this would not necessarily, by definition, contradict my position that a voluntary discussion is the best way to solve our current disagreement on this forum. My engaging in some action in response to some particular problem, doesn't in any way contain the implicit assertion that this particular kind of action is absolutely, in principle, the best solution for all similar problems.

 

I understand what you say here, but it's just more coulds. It is a reasonable concern to say "maybe we are wrong about universality", but to leave it to the wind and demand that I remove your doubt from your head is irresponsible. Because it is your responsibility to understand why you have the doubt, and address it yourself. There many more universal implications in a debate besides the debate itself. If you want to know the truth, you have to admit a universal preference for truth over falsehood, for example. If you say "maybe I just want truth now, and later truth becomes unpreferable to falsehood" you have to explain how the values become reversed. Again, it's like going to a physics class and raising your hand and asking the teacher that gravity could be a force made by tiny gnomes, and that maybe physics is wrong. So what? Demonstrate it. Demonstrate it.



#274
sdavio

sdavio
  • 37 posts

I understand what you say here, but it's just more coulds. It is a reasonable concern to say "maybe we are wrong about universality", but to leave it to the wind and demand that I remove your doubt from your head is irresponsible. Because it is your responsibility to understand why you have the doubt, and address it yourself. There many more universal implications in a debate besides the debate itself. If you want to know the truth, you have to admit a universal preference for truth over falsehood, for example. If you say "maybe I just want truth now, and later truth becomes unpreferable to falsehood" you have to explain how the values become reversed. Again, it's like going to a physics class and raising your hand and asking the teacher that gravity could be a force made by tiny gnomes, and that maybe physics is wrong. So what? Demonstrate it. Demonstrate it.

 

I think our fundamental difference here is that I view the fact that there is some logically coherent counter-example to the universal claim as the demonstration. If we really started going through all different examples, and evaluating whether the supposedly 'universal' example actually applies, then that method in itself is admitting that the question is a pragmatic one rather than the purely philosophical, demonstrative deduction from first principles that UPB claims to be.

 

Really, I think that the focus on "coulds" which you are rejecting here lies in UPB itself rather than my critique of it.

 

I can empathize, to some degree, with your feeling that I am being overly critical without seeming to offer anything in return. However, I think this point does need to be pressed, because to make the kind of claims that are involved in UPB is to take on a gigantic burden of proof. For UPB as I understand it to function, it needs to be absolutely universal, such that there is no counter-example which is at all coherent or intelligible.

 

To ask that I explain 'why' the values are reversed in any given counter-example is to go beyond the scope of UPB, since the original value which is universalized within UPB is not established; Stefan is clear about the fact that, for instance, the universal preference for truth over falsehood depends on a subjective assent to that value in the first place (for example this was his argument in the nihilism debate video). Thus, to demand that only opposing values need a thorough, 'objective' justification would be to unfairly tip the balance in favor of UPB. So UPB doesn't deal in justifications for subjective preferences, it is entirely concerned with universality, which is why that's where I'm directing my criticism.



#275
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

I think our fundamental difference here is that I view the fact that there is some logically coherent counter-example to the universal claim as the demonstration. If we really started going through all different examples, and evaluating whether the supposedly 'universal' example actually applies, then that method in itself is admitting that the question is a pragmatic one rather than the purely philosophical, demonstrative deduction from first principles that UPB claims to be.

 

Really, I think that the focus on "coulds" which you are rejecting here lies in UPB itself rather than my critique of it.

 

I can empathize, to some degree, with your feeling that I am being overly critical without seeming to offer anything in return. However, I think this point does need to be pressed, because to make the kind of claims that are involved in UPB is to take on a gigantic burden of proof. For UPB as I understand it to function, it needs to be absolutely universal, such that there is no counter-example which is at all coherent or intelligible.

 

To ask that I explain 'why' the values are reversed in any given counter-example is to go beyond the scope of UPB, since the original value which is universalized within UPB is not established; Stefan is clear about the fact that, for instance, the universal preference for truth over falsehood depends on a subjective assent to that value in the first place (for example this was his argument in the nihilism debate video). Thus, to demand that only opposing values need a thorough, 'objective' justification would be to unfairly tip the balance in favor of UPB. So UPB doesn't deal in justifications for subjective preferences, it is entirely concerned with universality, which is why that's where I'm directing my criticism.

 

It is not unfair to say that to argue against UPB you need to use UPB. It is axiomatic in that sense. It would be like saying that language has no capacity for meaning while using language. You may believe that language has no meaning, but maybe even only in your head - and even then you would have had some kind of inner thought process that uses words and concepts and abstractions. If you want to demonstrate that UPB is wrong, you have to accept a universal preference for truth over falsehood. Because if it's not universal, and it only matters to you, there's no reason for why it would matter to me and I can just dismiss it. If it only matters now, and not in the past or the future, then tomorrow I will revert back to my old belief and you would have wasted your time and my time.



#276
sdavio

sdavio
  • 37 posts

It is not unfair to say that to argue against UPB you need to use UPB. It is axiomatic in that sense. It would be like saying that language has no capacity for meaning while using language. You may believe that language has no meaning, but maybe even only in your head - and even then you would have had some kind of inner thought process that uses words and concepts and abstractions. If you want to demonstrate that UPB is wrong, you have to accept a universal preference for truth over falsehood. Because if it's not universal, and it only matters to you, there's no reason for why it would matter to me and I can just dismiss it. If it only matters now, and not in the past or the future, then tomorrow I will revert back to my old belief and you would have wasted your time and my time.

 

There is an important different between claiming "Language has no capacity for meaning" while using language, and claiming "Government regulation is the best solution to poverty" while engaging in a voluntary conversation. The fact that I'm engaging in a voluntary interaction means that I believe it is the preferable solution to the problem I'm currently solving, so the positions do not logically contradict like the former ones about language do. Even the fact that I assume that you have the same preference for truth over falsehood in this instance doesn't in itself create the kind of universal that UPB involves.

 

"Government should be used to solve poverty" and "voluntary association is the best solution to this current debate" are not logically / by definition contradictory positions.



#277
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 608 posts

There is an important different between claiming "Language has no capacity for meaning" while using language, and claiming "Government regulation is the best solution to poverty" while engaging in a voluntary conversation. The fact that I'm engaging in a voluntary interaction means that I believe it is the preferable solution to the problem I'm currently solving, so the positions do not logically contradict like the former ones about language do. Even the fact that I assume that you have the same preference for truth over falsehood in this instance doesn't in itself create the kind of universal that UPB involves.

 

"Government should be used to solve poverty" and "voluntary association is the best solution to this current debate" are not logically / by definition contradictory positions.

 

They are not contradictory propositions, but they are subjective and relativistic decisions. For problem A you choose violence and for problem B you choose voluntarism. The contradiction is when you say that doing both things at the same time can coexist in a single moral theory at the same time. That is the problem. You can empirically alternate between aggression and non-aggression in the real world, but by doing so you also switch your moral framework. Both operations are mutually incompatible. It would be like waking up as a Jew, then being a Christian by noon, and a Muslim by night, and then repeat the next day. But you can't be a Jew, a Christian, and Muslim at the same time at once. Does that make sense to you? Is that clear? Because I'm running out of examples. The discussion here is that UPB can be consistently applied at all times without contradictions for all people no matter what. You don't need to switch morality or create relativistic pseudo solutions.