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Life is not a debate - UPB assumptions

upb ethics

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55 replies to this topic

#36
Nathan Metric

Nathan Metric
  • 145 posts

Not an argument. You only made a quote of an authority.

 

Of course there are predictable tacticians and strategists. That is part of what differentiates good ones from bad ones, although again, not necessarily. Erwin Rommel was a "trickster", he was an unpredictable general Feldmarschall, while Walther von Model was probably a better general, specialized in defensive warfare. He was much more conventional in the way he dealt with war, however, the determination and superb discipline made him extremely effective nonetheless.

 

Go back to the trench warfare in World War I -- is there anything more predictable than the Western Front in that war?

 

First of all, an appeal to authority is not a fallacy if the person is actually an authority.

Second, A tactician is not merely someone who draws up military plans. A tactician is someone who is skilled in the art of warfare.

Third, if war is 100% predictable it wouldn't happen. All wars imply deception or a degree of ignorance in the players.


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#37
Nathan Metric

Nathan Metric
  • 145 posts

1) Pain, by being a signal of harm, is a good thing for life to have. Also, life doesn't avoid pain. It avoids the cause of the pain, but only if it is harmful. Life depends on things that are painful, nonetheless - like childbirth, or the first time having sex, or going to the dentist.

Subjecting yourself to a minor pain doesn't change the fact you're an organism that is adverse to pain. The whole point of subjecting yourself to minor pain is to avoid a greater pain in the future.

 

 

1.1) To say that science "is a type of debate" or that it has "the same premises" is foolish, for the premises of debate are a mix or rational and empirical claims - and science doesn't make empirical assumptions, only rational ones. All the empirical evidence is part of the process that comes afterwards. The rational claims that "we exist" can't be tested, which is why they are necessary. Premises of debate like "people can change their mind" are empirical claims, and actual brain experiments have been done (guess what, brains are pretty deterministic actually).

A debate = any discussion over what the truth is.

 

Now the next thing you're probably going to say is "But science isn't a discussion. It only takes 1 person to practice the scientific method" and that would be trivially true, but you have to be delusional to think 1 person without input from colleagues; without input from competing opinions is going to reach maximal truth. The amount of truth you can grasp as a individual is limited. Let's say one scientist dubiously thinks he has done a successful experiment. Let's say another scientist thinks his experiment is faulty. Well how are they supposed to have a rational discussion without accepting the rational principles of debate? Such as we both exists, correction implies universal standards, truth is better than falsehood, language has capacity for meaning, people are responsible for their behavior, etc? It's not possible dude. You have to be a utter fool to think the principles of debate have no utility in science and if you think science has nothing to do with our well-being you are even more of a fool.

 

 

2) Conclusions are reached through debate, not truth. The truth is only reached through evidence in the case of empirical claims, and of rational proof in case of logical claims. However, we are dealing with world-level claims when dealing with morality. Empirical claims subject to evidence, not argument.

First of all, if you don't think the truth is reached by debating then why are you debating with me?

Second, a moral claim is not a scientific claim. Morality = coherent logically consistent claims about what a person should do.

 

If you change the rules of tennis and chess arbitrarily, they cease to be tennis or chess. The rules define the game, to begin with, even if they can altered slightly.

Completely missing the point. The point of tennis and chess is to play a game. You can change the rules of tennis and chess and still have a game. Debate however is not a game. Debate is about identifying something of moral significance: the TRUTH. If you want to find the truth you can't just make the premises of debate whatever you want

 

 

3) "Truth is reached through debate" is what a rationalist would say, not an empiricist. If you say "evidence is debate" then you are conflating argumentation with science. Words have definitions, and only sophists mix them together to confound meanings. I was saying that UPB wants to be a science-level system, not me. I'm not the one "who needs to understand" but tell that to Stefan instead.

A claim that evidence supports a conclusion = an argument. An argument is a relationship between data and a conclusion.

 

There is no way to maintain the integrity of science without debate.

 

Stefan wants there to be a method to evaluating moral claims just as there is a scientific method for evaluating scientific claims.  He never said that UPB literally is exactly the same as the scientific method. Obviously a moral claim is not equivalent to a scientific claim. You do not judge them the same.


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#38
Rventurelli

Rventurelli
  • 82 posts

First of all, an appeal to authority is not a fallacy if the person is actually an authority.

Second, A tactician is not merely someone who draws up military plans. A tactician is someone who is skilled in the art of warfare.

Third, if war is 100% predictable it wouldn't happen. All wars imply deception or a degree of ignorance in the players.

 

I  never said it was a fallacy -- I said it was not an argument.

 

You are being rationalistic. You are using theory as if it was reality. Theoretically tacticians are skilled in warfare, so they must be unpredictable. Not necessarily,  many things in the Army are made to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

 

You are using a false dichotomy here: if war sometimes can be predictable, if some commanders are predictable, it does not mean that 100 percent of the war or all wars are. 


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#39
Nathan Metric

Nathan Metric
  • 145 posts

I  never said it was a fallacy -- I said it was not an argument.

 

You are being rationalistic. You are using theory as if it was reality. Theoretically tacticians are skilled in warfare, so they must be unpredictable. Not necessarily,  many things in the Army are made to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

 

You are using a false dichotomy here: if war sometimes can be predictable, if some commanders are predictable, it does not mean that 100 percent of the war or all wars are. 

 

A distinction without a difference. Saying something is not an argument is no different than saying it is a fallacy. Sun Tzu is an actual authority on warfare. You're just a forum poster.

 

We're not talking about how armies get organized. We're talking about how one army treats another army. Saying that commanders do things that appeal to the lowest common denominator is a red herring. Has nothing to do with what I'm talking about.

 

Warfare in order for it to be warfare has to be unpredictable. If a bunch of soldiers get killed in a predictable manner it isn't warfare. If a bunch of soldier get killed because the other team has weapons that are so powerful they don't even need to use deception it isn't warfare anymore. It's a slaughter. It's a mass execution. It's shooting fish in a barrel. We wouldn't even consider it warfare. So as far as I am concerned what Sun Tzu said about all warfare being based on deception is practically a universal truth.


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#40
Reggio

Reggio
  • 13 posts
You say scientists don't go to church to condemn priests, yet you apparently think, in the case of UPB, one should have to go tell children Santa isn't real. That's a contradiction.
 
"Correction requires universal preferences."
Correction means adaptation so you can live, for example looking for food in the right place. Correction in a debate isn't necessarily about universal preference and so doesn't necessarily has to do with it. Hating correction occurs because some humans don't like to be wrong (socialists). Evading correction though is unsustainable behaviour and in case of universal preferences will lead to death. (Anecdotal evidence doesn't count.)
 
"An objective methodology exists for separating truth from falsehood."
As said, doesn't have to do anything with convincing others of your beliefs. Furthermore, this objective methodology exists, consisting of reason and evidence, which must be agreed upon in the form of empiricism. If you don't agree on empiricism, we get surrealism and no possible debate at all.
 
"Individuals are responsible for their actions."
First you want to contradict it, then you fail at drawing a line at who should be responsible for their actions (null-zone) and who shouldn't, and display your own falsification as the falsification of the first assumption. I will bring the proof of the necessity of this assumption:
 
  1. If you assume some individuals are responsible and some are not, you are creating a null-zone, letting way to a two-class society with a ruling class without responsibility and an enslaved class which becomes punished for their every move. A null-zone always leads to inequality, which is well-established in the book about UPB.
  2.  Citing from the book here: "(...) if I tell you that you are not responsible for your actions, I am telling you that it is universally preferable for you to believe that preference is impossible, since if you have no control over your actions, you cannot choose a preferred state, i.e. truth over falsehood." So you choose to prefer non-preference, which is paradoxic.

 

"(...) assumed through initial preferences that are taken for the sake of forcing the conclusions they demand."
Just nope. Those "initial preferences" are empirically proven universal preferences which aren't used to force conclusions. Conclusions are built upon these empirical facts.
 
 
You still can choose to not use UPB at all. In that case, I hope you have good instincts because I don't know any better system I could recommend to you. Your instincts, intuition, feelings and experience, if well-trained, will eventually lead to UPB. Don't forget UPB is based upon our requirements for life.
 
Your way of writing, I have to admit, is foggy. If you could condense that would facilitate the discussion a lot.
And: People, don't get sidetracked! This is important!

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#41
Rventurelli

Rventurelli
  • 82 posts

A distinction without a difference. Saying something is not an argument is no different than saying it is a fallacy. Sun Tzu is an actual authority on warfare. You're just a forum poster.

 

Warfare in order for it to be warfare has to be unpredictable. If a bunch of soldiers get killed in a predictable manner it isn't warfare. If a bunch of soldier get killed because the other team has weapons that are so powerful they don't even need to use deception it isn't warfare anymore. It's a slaughter. It's a mass execution. It's shooting fish in a barrel. We wouldn't even consider it warfare. So as far as I am concerned what Sun Tzu said about all warfare being based on deception is practically a universal truth.

 

Again not an argument. You are just quoting an authority figure without context or actual explanation.

 

You admitted to my point by saying it is practically an universal truth, which implies it is not. 


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#42
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 991 posts

 

You say scientists don't go to church to condemn priests, yet you apparently think, in the case of UPB, one should have to go tell children Santa isn't real. That's a contradiction.
 
"Correction requires universal preferences."
Correction means adaptation so you can live, for example looking for food in the right place. Correction in a debate isn't necessarily about universal preference and so doesn't necessarily has to do with it. Hating correction occurs because some humans don't like to be wrong (socialists). Evading correction though is unsustainable behaviour and in case of universal preferences will lead to death. (Anecdotal evidence doesn't count.)
 
"An objective methodology exists for separating truth from falsehood."
As said, doesn't have to do anything with convincing others of your beliefs. Furthermore, this objective methodology exists, consisting of reason and evidence, which must be agreed upon in the form of empiricism. If you don't agree on empiricism, we get surrealism and no possible debate at all.
 
"Individuals are responsible for their actions."
First you want to contradict it, then you fail at drawing a line at who should be responsible for their actions (null-zone) and who shouldn't, and display your own falsification as the falsification of the first assumption. I will bring the proof of the necessity of this assumption:
 
  1. If you assume some individuals are responsible and some are not, you are creating a null-zone, letting way to a two-class society with a ruling class without responsibility and an enslaved class which becomes punished for their every move. A null-zone always leads to inequality, which is well-established in the book about UPB.
  2.  Citing from the book here: "(...) if I tell you that you are not responsible for your actions, I am telling you that it is universally preferable for you to believe that preference is impossible, since if you have no control over your actions, you cannot choose a preferred state, i.e. truth over falsehood." So you choose to prefer non-preference, which is paradoxic.

 

Just nope. Those "initial preferences" are empirically proven universal preferences which aren't used to force conclusions. Conclusions are built upon these empirical facts.
 
 
You still can choose to not use UPB at all. In that case, I hope you have good instincts because I don't know any better system I could recommend to you. Your instincts, intuition, feelings and experience, if well-trained, will eventually lead to UPB. Don't forget UPB is based upon our requirements for life.
 
Your way of writing, I have to admit, is foggy. If you could condense that would facilitate the discussion a lot.
And: People, don't get sidetracked! This is important!

 

 

"Don't forget UPB is based upon our requirements for life."

 

99.999999999% of humanity lives ignoring UPB ethics and there's 7 billion+ people now. I think it's been empirically proven UPB isn't required for life.

 

"Correction in a debate isn't necessarily about universal preference"

 

I think you're contradicting Stef's argument directly here. If contradicting the argument the book makes, so that you can prove UPB is true, is a good way of arguing in favor of it - I would be very confused.

 

"Just nope. Those "initial preferences" are empirically proven universal preferences which aren't used to force conclusions. Conclusions are built upon these empirical facts."
 
None of the first premises of the scientific method can be proven empirically because there is nothing to compare reality with non reality. It is simply assumed we are real, that we exist in an objective world. But the latter part of the group of assumptions are not necessarily true since they assume things about human nature that aren't axiomatic, but only presumed for debate.
 
"If you don't agree on empiricism, we get surrealism and no possible debate at all."

 

Yet empiricism can only be assumed, not proven. There is no empirical evidence that empiricism is true. That's why it's an assumption, which I am glad to make - but there are assumptions that are made after empiricism has been assumed that need to be proven because they can.

 

"I will bring the proof of the necessity of this assumption:"

 

It isn't about assuming people are responsible, but proving they are - because that is a falsifiable statement. It is a thesis, not a premise. You can make scientific experiments for it. You already believe some people are not responsible for their actions in relation to their age, or mental health. What if there are people genetically predisposed to aggression and violence, who don't have the neurological structures in their brain that would make them capable of self control? Who look otherwise mentally healthy and adult. You can test that. It isn't an assumption. In any case, when you assume this of the other person, you're only doing it because in a debate you have to pretend this is true- not because it's been proven to be true. Also, Stef's argument is consequentialist - neither empirical nor rational. He doesn't like the idea of having classes of people with more agency than others, so he dismisses it. I think that fits my criticism of choosing the premises to fit his desired conclusion

 

"You still can choose to not use UPB at all."

 

According to UPB, I can't. It supposedly is an inescapable theory, and if I dare to say no - then I am wrong. This, however, doesn't make the theory right - it makes it not even wrong because it is internaly unfalsifiable. The reason it reaches that state of wrongness is because the premises are not honest.


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#43
Anuojat

Anuojat
  • 400 posts

Since this debate/examination is still going strong have you considered calling into the show and correcting/pointing out to stefan this?

 

Or perhaps you may have already emailed him about this post on the forums?

Seems pretty important thing to atleast get behind the authors ear IF your critism are valid about anything concerning universal objective morality.


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#44
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 991 posts

Since this debate/examination is still going strong have you considered calling into the show and correcting/pointing out to stefan this?

 

Or perhaps you may have already emailed him about this post on the forums?

Seems pretty important thing to atleast get behind the authors ear IF your critism are valid about anything concerning universal objective morality.

 

Me: Stefan, UPB isn't true beca-

Stefan: So you're saying it is universally preferable for me to think universal preferences are not true?

Me: That only looks contradicting because you are using terms incorrectly and interchangeably for which different definitions clarify the apparent inconcistencies in a meta-ethical theory that conflates debate rules with real life morali-

Stefan: No

Stefan: LALALALA

Mike: *Drops the call*

 

-

 

But also because I didn't want to go unprepared without testing the limits of my counter argument here. I've debated UPB many times before, in favor and against with other reasons, and I've lost most if not all of them because they were right to point out that my objections weren't valid within the theory. Although this time no one has actually given a strong rebuttal, nor the people who did in the past have showed up. I wonder if they're either stumped or so high in the world of ideas that coming to this level is beneath them. Another advantage is that if I write an email I can also link this thread with already made arguments back and forth that Stef would have made, but I would have already rebutted. It would save time for both of us. I also think that the show has gotten very far from the days of abstract philosophy and it's now mostly politics, alternative media coverage of world events - that I don't think he is in the mood for it. So having the debate pre-made here is better in this case.

 

Stef: So you're debating that debate isn't true??

Me: No, I'm saying that debate has premises that look true, but can be proven wrong. It doesn't have to be the basis for morality, nor have you proven it must be.

Stef: But if it isn't then -consequence consequence consequence-


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#45
Reggio

Reggio
  • 13 posts

99.999999999% of humanity lives ignoring UPB ethics and there's 7 billion+ people now. I think it's been empirically proven UPB isn't required for life.

I was saying UPB is based upon life, not the other way around. You didn't disprove me.

 

I think you're contradicting Stef's argument directly here. (...)

Then please tell me why you think that. You didn't disprove me now, either.

 

(...)  latter part of the group of assumptions (...)

I don't know what you're getting at, I'm sorry.

 

Yet empiricism can only be assumed, not proven.

Yup. For more info watch this: https://youtu.be/LYOtZvwNCsc?t=49m1s

(j/k, it's a song. But the sampled conversation is exactly about that.)

 

Then, you are talking in circles and not disproving anything. I can see no "You are wrong, and here is why:", while I have brought the necessary arguments. You formulate as if you were correcting me, but actually you're just propagating obvious truths I didn't doubt at all.

 

One more quote:

According to UPB, I can't.

No. That's like saying "According to math I cant count without arithmetics".

 

It upsets me that you keep changing your framework. Are you debating in empiricism or not? UPB or not? Logic yes no? Apparently every time when I make a solid counterargument, you just challenge the whole system. Your last post, though nicely formulated, is puzzling:

  1. You focus on why he is wrong, but bring no proof why you should be right;
  2. You are downright condescending;
  3. You assume Stefan wouldn't seek a reasonable debate with you, which he until now has always done to his best efforts - sure he got sidetracked at times, but still he is the most focused and fair debater I know.

 

You keep on pseudo-falsifying others, but never bring your own proof. Now this statement of mine is not something to debate about, maybe you did at one point; what I am saying now is that you are making it really hard to debate with you and I will lose my will to carry on because you are not right and I'm getting the feeling that each time you are presented with solid proof you just don't want to change your own opinion.

To prevent wasting your and my time I will only continue under the following conditions:

  1. From now on, you make clear which systems you accept as a base of a debate and won't move away from them - we can only productively discuss one thing at a time, and if you want we can start with empiricism, just as long as the assumptions you have made one post ago will still be the same in your future posts. If your hypothesis isn't built on sufficient assumptions I will only ask questions until the base is established.
  2. You bring absolute logical proof of your point: No anecdotes, no pointing to others except for train of thought, no what-ifs, no "looks-like"s, "feels-like"s: you prove your thoughts.

I hope that's all we need. I have some psychological idea about what is happening in the conversation, but if so I will talk about that in another thread. I'm giving my best not to become personal here, because it's a lot of information already.


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#46
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 991 posts

I was saying UPB is based upon life, not the other way around. You didn't disprove me.

 

You say that, but that's not what the book says. UPB is based on argumentation ethics. You're the one who isn't paying attention to the source. Life doesn't need to assume most of the things, as I explained earlier, assumed by UPB. When I said that most people don't follow it, I meant it. Maybe it is from your point of view, where you make the assumptions in your own particular life, that you think that UPB is based on life - but you don't self reflect that that is only your opinion.

 

Then please tell me why you think that. You didn't disprove me now, either.

 

Because the book literally says that correction is about universal preferences. I said, and I suppose you agree with it, that correction is a mutual preference between people who have agreed to listen to each other - not something universal. We must invoke it, create it. UPB says it's deontological, not artificial.

 

I don't know what you're getting at, I'm sorry.

 

The assumptions UPB makes, I critiqued them. The "latter" part is the group of assumptions that deviate from the scientific method and are not necessary assumptions for an objective reality, but force conclusions by assuming them out of thin air.

 

Yup. For more info watch this: https://youtu.be/LYOtZvwNCsc?t=49m1s

(j/k, it's a song. But the sampled conversation is exactly about that.)

 

Cool song, artist, album. I like this genre of music a lot.

 

Then, you are talking in circles and not disproving anything. I can see no "You are wrong, and here is why:", while I have brought the necessary arguments. You formulate as if you were correcting me, but actually you're just propagating obvious truths I didn't doubt at all.

 

I don't see why it is obscure to you. It's in the title: Life is not a debate. UPB says: Pretend life is a debate. Boom! Moral theory, baby. My "you are wrong, here is why" is that.

 

One more quote:

No. That's like saying "According to math I cant count without arithmetics".

 

According to Islam I cant go to heaven if I don't explode next to a group of infidels - yet Atheists are right. I'm just making the case for UPB atheism.

 

You keep on pseudo-falsifying others, but never bring your own proof.

 

Proof is for positive statements. I am making a negative statement - of what life is not. I don't know if you didn't read the last page of arguments, but that's what it is about. I am challenging you to bring proof of life being just like a debate because that's what UPB is asking me to pretend. And it's not like people haven't tried to do that, it's just that they are wrong. Someone said that life is about avoiding pain, and that's really wrong. Somebody said that they can't see the difference between life and debate, and that's just insane. I think your case was that since life needs to correct course in order not to fail, that means that it must be just like a debate as well. Like if you were to tell me to not go west because there's a bear that could eat me there, then I would appreciate that correction. But even then I would have to verify it for myself since maybe you lie to me so that you could gain something out of my not going west instead. Corrections between two people can be mutually agreeable, but it's not necessary. If you mean internal correction within my mind - like, I go west and and see that there really is a bear there - that is not a debate, that is my own internal thought process working to keep me alive. You could even try to correct me with the best scientific knowledge available, and it turns out everyone was wrong and the thing you told me to do actually gave me cancer or something (historically, has happened a few times). So my point is that the proof for the positive statement "life is a debate" isn't good.   

 

To prevent wasting your and my time I will only continue under the following conditions:

 

Look, I think the reason this is confusing is because I am not arguing against debate. I am arguing against taking debate outside of debate. I am not arguing against morality, or against the assumptions of debate for a debate, or the assumptions of UPB in the realm to which it applies (and the only realm it applies is during a mutually agreed debate). Like, if we are debating right now - then I have assumed the assumptions of UPB for practical purposes and then the book asks me to keep making those assumptions outside of the purposes, as if those assumptions were true. That's what I don't agree with. I agree only in making the assumptions of an objective reality for life, but UPB goes way beyond that. So when you ask "which system you agree as a base for debate" I say "the same you accept". But it's only for debate.

 

 

  1. You focus on why he is wrong, but bring no proof why you should be right;
  2. You are downright condescending;
  3. You assume Stefan wouldn't seek a reasonable debate with you, which he until now has always done to his best efforts - sure he got sidetracked at times, but still he is the most focused and fair debater I know.

 

1- I think I shouldn't go into what should be right if I can't even establish why the current situation is wrong. Like I said previously, if I told you that we're going to fall off a cliff if we keep driving in this direction - and you replied "I don't care if you have showed me why I am wrong, I won't stop until you tell me where is right to go". In this situation not going is correct enough. Stop the car. We can figure out where to go later.

2- Because I'm right.

3- He gives you 20 minutes to make your case, then does what I wrote earlier every time. He always goes for the "upb can't be proven wrong har har" when he's run out of patience. I've heard the debates. And my case is directly aimed at why that rebuttal isn't valid. But then he would say "ah but we're debating you think this is true already". That's the point of first writing out the arguments, so that they can be freshly laid out before he even says those already tired comebacks.

 

I hope that's all we need. I have some psychological idea about what is happening in the conversation, but if so I will talk about that in another thread. I'm giving my best not to become personal here, because it's a lot of information already.

 

Get personal here if you need. The only people who have gotten emotional are those challenging me, and have either quit, or I have had to ignore them out of them ceasing to make any sense.

 

I'm getting the feeling that each time you are presented with solid proof you just don't want to change your own opinion.

 

Well, my "opinion" is that life is not a debate. I have received attempts at arguments that it is, but they're not convincing. Probably because they're wrong.


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#47
Reggio

Reggio
  • 13 posts

Alright, now I get it. I should have taken the title literary, haha. You're right, life certainly is not a debate, except for if we get into metaphysics maybe. But...

 

The book doesn't state at any point that "life is a debate", either. I will take your example with the bear: If we kept debating over whether there was a bear in the west, according to UPB that wouldn't make any sense because I couldn't present you any scientific evidence of the bear's existence. Thus you going to get this evidence affirms UPB again. With the car you try to make the exact contrary point:

While you would question me and take on the risk of getting eaten by a bear just to find out the truth, you tell me I shouldn't take a risk to find out the truth but trust you blindly. That's a double standard!! Shame on you!

 

So you feel entitled to be condescending when you think that you are right about something. That's despicable, and tragic. I guess you learned it from your family, or from your peers at some point. My parents were like that. On one hand, the frustration made me really good and stubborn at arguing; on the other hand, though, it made everybdoy hate arguing with me. I'll state boldly I have overcome this behaviour for the most part and I hope you enjoyed the conversation. I did, for sure. Cheers!


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#48
S04

S04
  • 12 posts

Hey Will Torbald!

 

I'd find it pretty awesome if you did call into the show. I personally can't think of a good rebuttal to your objection right now and it would be interesting to hear what Stefan has to say about it. The worst that could happen is that you could say "I told you so". On the other hand you could really learn something yourself and/or help a lot of people to be aware of this issue. 

 

Please give it a shot (if not for yourself, then for others)


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#49
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 991 posts

Hey Will Torbald!

 

I'd find it pretty awesome if you did call into the show. I personally can't think of a good rebuttal to your objection right now and it would be interesting to hear what Stefan has to say about it. The worst that could happen is that you could say "I told you so". On the other hand you could really learn something yourself and/or help a lot of people to be aware of this issue. 

 

Please give it a shot (if not for yourself, then for others)

 

It's definitely something I'm considering to do. It's also psychologically speaking, intimidating and frustrating. My perspective on what morality actually is about is structurally speaking different from UPB, but the result isn't life changing like Stef wants (a stateless society through moral revolution) instead it would remain similar to how things are now. I know that a theory that leaves things similarly to the current status quo doesn't make anyone famous, nor interesting, but if it's right I just have to take it. In more specific terms, my idea of what morality is about involves the subjugation of a portion of an individuals ego for the social good - and all the variations and cosequences of that. Morality only has relevance within a society, and the relationship between an individual against the collective it belongs to - not about particular rules that ban behaviors. I think that is a misguided way of thinking about morals, regardless of what system you use. UPB is similar to Objectivist ethics in that it exalts ego instead, making it a sort of holy ghost. Thou shalt not transgress thy ego, if you wish. It means that your ego is divine, and if you don't want something, no one should force you to comply in any way. I don't like gods, I don't think anything should be holy. UPB wants to be atheistic, but if you make Ego the God, you still have holiness. So I think morality is about making ego into humility, for a good cause. It's ancient knowledge, more akin to Eastern Philosopy than Western thinkers. The Chinese knew it, the Indians knew it. It's nothing new. But it's very real instead of ideological.


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#50
S04

S04
  • 12 posts

Thanks for considering.

 

I do not really understand what you mean by the relationship of the individual to the collective. The collective is a concept that doesn't exist in reality. Only individuals exist and can be interacted with. Why is UPB making Ego the God? What do you mean by "Ego" in this context?

 

And don't you think murder, rape and the likes of it should be banned by a moral theory?

 

 

Regarding the previous conversation: Now that I have slept a night over the issue, let me come up with an idea.

 

The assumptions of UPB (the premises listed below) are not required for life. I give you that. A plant doesn't need any of these premises to be alive. Similarly the life of a man stranded on an island certainly doesn't NEED all the premises of UPB in order to survive. (His life would likely be much more successful, if he considered at least Premise 1 and 2 to be true).

 

However if this man is interacting with another individual, it's different. As soon as this man is making some sort of statement about UPB, he accepts a good number of these premises below. If he even makes a moral statement (a subset of UPB), he accepts all those premises (at least as I see it). My point is that the premises of UPB may not be required for life itself, but they are required, if you want to use morality at all. And using morality is very well required for living our current life, since you need to interact with people. (not required for sustaining life in its essence though ; )

 

PREMISE 1: WE BOTH EXIST 

PREMISE 2: THE SENSES HAVE THE CAPACITY FOR ACCURACY 

PREMISE 3: LANGUAGE HAS THE CAPACITY FOR MEANING 

PREMISE 4: CORRECTION REQUIRES UNIVERSAL PREFERENCE

PREMISE 5: AN OBJECTIVE METHODOLOGY EXISTS FOR SEPARATING TRUTH FROM FALSEHOOD

PREMISE 6: TRUTH IS BETTER THAN FALSEHOOD 

PREMISE 7: PEACEFUL DEBATING IS THE BEST WAY TO RESOLVE DISPUTES 

PREMISE 8: INDIVIDUALS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS

 

I hope this helps.


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#51
ProfessionalTeabagger

ProfessionalTeabagger
  • 1365 posts

UPB is applied to moral theories, rules, justifications etc that underlie your actions. You don't HAVE to do anything but if you do things that you know that have no logical moral justification, etc (are not UPB) you'll be wrong. 

You're not just "assuming" UPB for this moment and maybe later you'll not. Once you hold someone to it then it applies at all times in all places. You can say it doesn't but you'll be wrong.

The best analogy is the scientific method. You don't have to use it all or only sometimes. But if you don't you'll be wrong (in that particular realm).   


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#52
Rventurelli

Rventurelli
  • 82 posts

It's definitely something I'm considering to do. It's also psychologically speaking, intimidating and frustrating. My perspective on what morality actually is about is structurally speaking different from UPB, but the result isn't life changing like Stef wants (a stateless society through moral revolution) instead it would remain similar to how things are now. I know that a theory that leaves things similarly to the current status quo doesn't make anyone famous, nor interesting, but if it's right I just have to take it. In more specific terms, my idea of what morality is about involves the subjugation of a portion of an individuals ego for the social good - and all the variations and cosequences of that. Morality only has relevance within a society, and the relationship between an individual against the collective it belongs to - not about particular rules that ban behaviors. I think that is a misguided way of thinking about morals, regardless of what system you use. UPB is similar to Objectivist ethics in that it exalts ego instead, making it a sort of holy ghost. Thou shalt not transgress thy ego, if you wish. It means that your ego is divine, and if you don't want something, no one should force you to comply in any way. I don't like gods, I don't think anything should be holy. UPB wants to be atheistic, but if you make Ego the God, you still have holiness. So I think morality is about making ego into humility, for a good cause. It's ancient knowledge, more akin to Eastern Philosopy than Western thinkers. The Chinese knew it, the Indians knew it. It's nothing new. But it's very real instead of ideological.

So please call. Even if he does hang up on you and/or makes a false dichotomy, that would at least lunch the seeds in the air and get other people thinking about it.

You also could be surprised in a positive way and could actually get him to concede to some of your points -- you never know unless you try.


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#53
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 991 posts

Thanks for considering.

 

I do not really understand what you mean by the relationship of the individual to the collective. The collective is a concept that doesn't exist in reality. Only individuals exist and can be interacted with. Why is UPB making Ego the God? What do you mean by "Ego" in this context?

 

And don't you think murder, rape and the likes of it should be banned by a moral theory?

 

 

Regarding the previous conversation: Now that I have slept a night over the issue, let me come up with an idea.

 

The assumptions of UPB (the premises listed below) are not required for life. I give you that. A plant doesn't need any of these premises to be alive. Similarly the life of a man stranded on an island certainly doesn't NEED all the premises of UPB in order to survive. (His life would likely be much more successful, if he considered at least Premise 1 and 2 to be true).

 

However if this man is interacting with another individual, it's different. As soon as this man is making some sort of statement about UPB, he accepts a good number of these premises below. If he even makes a moral statement (a subset of UPB), he accepts all those premises (at least as I see it). My point is that the premises of UPB may not be required for life itself, but they are required, if you want to use morality at all. And using morality is very well required for living our current life, since you need to interact with people. (not required for sustaining life in its essence though ; )

 

PREMISE 1: WE BOTH EXIST 

PREMISE 2: THE SENSES HAVE THE CAPACITY FOR ACCURACY 

PREMISE 3: LANGUAGE HAS THE CAPACITY FOR MEANING 

PREMISE 4: CORRECTION REQUIRES UNIVERSAL PREFERENCE

PREMISE 5: AN OBJECTIVE METHODOLOGY EXISTS FOR SEPARATING TRUTH FROM FALSEHOOD

PREMISE 6: TRUTH IS BETTER THAN FALSEHOOD 

PREMISE 7: PEACEFUL DEBATING IS THE BEST WAY TO RESOLVE DISPUTES 

PREMISE 8: INDIVIDUALS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS

 

I hope this helps.

 

"The collective is a concept that doesn't exist in reality."

 

This isn't true. I know existential individualists love to make this claim, but it's simply patently wrong. For example, individuals are collectives themselves. You are not an undivisible unit. You are made of organs, and those organs are made of cells, and those cells are made of atoms, and thos atoms are made of particles. So which particle are you? We understand that the parts make a whole. But for some reason a whole made of many humans doesn't exist. Somehow. Now that's magic, I'd say. Well no, collectives are real as long as the connections are real. You can't just point at many people in one direction and say they are a collective - but you can point at a society and say they are a group. A society is a group of individuals who operate as a team, with division of labor, collective identity, and agree on principles together. Which neuron in your brain is your self, by the way? You can't tell, because the whole brain works as a whole to create your self. A concert of people working together is a valid collective concept that exists.

 

"Why is UPB making Ego the God? What do you mean by "Ego" in this context?"

 

Because the basic rule on UPB ethics is "Don't do to others something they don't want to be done onto". In other words, don't transgress their ego. In more other words, whatever you don't want selfishly should not be transgressed as if it were holy. Something holy is something that is meant to be untouchable less it becomes blasphemy. Which is why critics of the NAP have innumberable examples of how this notion taken to extremes gets silly rapidly.

 

I mean by Ego your want. When you want something done, it's good. If you don't want it, it's bad. That may be enough for people as a practical idea, but it's still religious. And the god is your ego and the ego of others. Taken to the extreme the book wants to take you, this means abolishing the state because it hurts people's ego. Regardless of how bad of an idea that would be in the real world with real world consequences. Vox Day was right when he said Stefan should be a theologian.

 

And don't you think murder, rape and the likes of it should be banned by a moral theory?

 

I see "bans" as a consequence, not a principle. When people submit a portion of their ego for the good of society (which I already proved it does exist) the result is that hurting other people becomes a problem, and it will be banned to the degree the ego is submitted. Islamic societies are considered primitive rightly because very little ego is submitted, and men are unleashed to their animalistic tendencies, their primal ego is let off, and rape and lynching is a normal occurence. A more advanced society would require more humility and ego to be payed off, which results in less violence as people abandon their aggressive proclivities.

 

 

However if this man is interacting with another individual, it's different...

 

The consequences of moral living are only relevant within a society. That is a very critical point that UPB ignores. I'll say that again: The consequences of moral living are only relevant within a society. Consequences. Moral living. Relevant. Society. The moment UPB says "if you want morality" that implies consequentiality. Since it is attempting a result, it is not deontological. Also, in a state of nature, nobody cares about non aggression. In fact, it is encouraged. But we don't live in a state of nature when we belong in a society. Barbarism and savagery are just as valid as far as the world cares for living in this world (as every other creature in this planet does) because the universe doesn't care. Morality is a social requirement, not a universal feature of the world. And the consequence is that we get to live for something larger than ourselves, the future, and we all at once. A man dedicated to worshipping his ego cannot be civilized, which is why UPB would destroy civilization first by taking down the state, taking down consequences for savagery, then bringing everyone down to primitivism again. Stef likes to say that people respond to incentives, but he forgets that they also refrain from actions from expected consequences - and when they know there won't be any, well, you can look at the migrants destroyed Europe and France for an example of people disconnected from the system of society and consequences for that.

 

Premises 6-7-8 are total fabrications. Truth is better than falsehood - FOR WHAT? WHEN? TO WHOM? Any statement of preferability can only be asserted during a CONTEXT. And "always and ever and in all places" is devoid of context. It is not true that telling the truth is better, nor that knowing the truth is better. It is a bad, bad, bad premise for universalization. It simply requires context, and one context where it applies is debate. Sure, debate. But not all times ever. I'm tired and don't want to prolong into 7 too long, but that's nonsense too. Just because you choose to debate it doesn't mean that it was the right decision. That's also something contextual. 8 conflates two kinds of responsibilities into one, making a mess of sophistry. If you're talking, you're also responsible (literally, and morally) for what you say. But that's not true. There is literal responsibility, the kind that means "yes, I was speaking". But moral responsibility is about "Yes, I talked and I could have chosen not to talk, but I did it" and THAT'S a HUGE assumption that shouldn't be made without EVIDENCE because that is the whole crux of moral philosophy since ever. That's why Stefan has to fight against determinism, because his pet theory would collapse. So he has to conflate literal responsibility with moral responsibility to avoid the debate about avoidability, very cowardly if I may add, since he gets called out for it and doesn't fix his mistake. But even then it is irrelevant, because the consequences for immoral behavior do not need the establishment of either free will or determinism since either way, in a society, bad actors need to be removed. If there were a Terminator style killer robot, deterministically programmed to murder, it would still need to be removed! So it doesn't matter whether there is free will or not in order to have consequences within a society for immoral behavior.

 

 

UPB is applied to moral theories, rules, justifications etc that underlie your actions. You don't HAVE to do anything but if you do things that you know that have no logical moral justification, etc (are not UPB) you'll be wrong. 

You're not just "assuming" UPB for this moment and maybe later you'll not. Once you hold someone to it then it applies at all times in all places. You can say it doesn't but you'll be wrong.

The best analogy is the scientific method. You don't have to use it all or only sometimes. But if you don't you'll be wrong (in that particular realm).   

 

If you had read my arguments you'd know that this is the issue of life/debate persistence that I bring up. You say "if you assume UPB that is for all time ever" but that is wrong because UPB is just a set of premises, bad premises by the way, that you take for debate. Then you say "oh, yeah, this also is for life and all places and people" - and that is wrong. Just wrong. Which is like saying that if you play tennis once, then the rules of tennis also always apply at every moment.

 

The scientific method doesn't assume anything about people, so it's a misguided analogy. The scientific method only assumes a real world.


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#54
Will Torbald

Will Torbald
  • 991 posts

So please call. Even if he does hang up on you and/or makes a false dichotomy, that would at least lunch the seeds in the air and get other people thinking about it.

You also could be surprised in a positive way and could actually get him to concede to some of your points -- you never know unless you try.

 

The way my views on this subject have matured during the course of this thread makes me glad that I held off from calling sooner. I'll write in after I can't squeeze more juice out of this. The rest is up to Mike, I guess. I have a long post replying to the previous ones, but that got sent to the mods for review.


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#55
S04

S04
  • 12 posts

"The collective is a concept that doesn't exist in reality."

 

This isn't true. I know existential individualists love to make this claim, but it's simply patently wrong. For example, individuals are collectives themselves. You are not an undivisible unit. You are made of organs, and those organs are made of cells, and those cells are made of atoms, and thos atoms are made of particles. So which particle are you? We understand that the parts make a whole. But for some reason a whole made of many humans doesn't exist. Somehow. Now that's magic, I'd say. Well no, collectives are real as long as the connections are real. You can't just point at many people in one direction and say they are a collective - but you can point at a society and say they are a group. A society is a group of individuals who operate as a team, with division of labor, collective identity, and agree on principles together. Which neuron in your brain is your self, by the way? You can't tell, because the whole brain works as a whole to create your self. A concert of people working together is a valid collective concept that exists.

 

 

 

 

As far as I understand it, the argument is that no concept exists in reality. Exist means that you can somehow measure it in the real world. There is a difference between the things that exist in our head and the things that exist in reality. A physical entity which is matter or energy or the properties thereof exists. That definition includes me as a human for example. The concept of numbers, the scientific method and UPB however don’t exist in the real world, but only in our heads. 

 

So now the question is, if a group of people or a society is some sort of of physical entity or only exists in the heads of its group members. Do you agree so far?


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#56
S04

S04
  • 12 posts

 

"Why is UPB making Ego the God? What do you mean by "Ego" in this context?"

 

Because the basic rule on UPB ethics is "Don't do to others something they don't want to be done onto". In other words, don't transgress their ego. In more other words, whatever you don't want selfishly should not be transgressed as if it were holy. Something holy is something that is meant to be untouchable less it becomes blasphemy. Which is why critics of the NAP have innumberable examples of how this notion taken to extremes gets silly rapidly.

 

I mean by Ego your want. When you want something done, it's good. If you don't want it, it's bad. That may be enough for people as a practical idea, but it's still religious. And the god is your ego and the ego of others. Taken to the extreme the book wants to take you, this means abolishing the state because it hurts people's ego. Regardless of how bad of an idea that would be in the real world with real world consequences. Vox Day was right when he said Stefan should be a theologian.

 

And don't you think murder, rape and the likes of it should be banned by a moral theory?

 

I see "bans" as a consequence, not a principle. When people submit a portion of their ego for the good of society (which I already proved it does exist) the result is that hurting other people becomes a problem, and it will be banned to the degree the ego is submitted. Islamic societies are considered primitive rightly because very little ego is submitted, and men are unleashed to their animalistic tendencies, their primal ego is let off, and rape and lynching is a normal occurence. A more advanced society would require more humility and ego to be payed off, which results in less violence as people abandon their aggressive proclivities.

 

 

However if this man is interacting with another individual, it's different...

 

The consequences of moral living are only relevant within a society. That is a very critical point that UPB ignores. I'll say that again: The consequences of moral living are only relevant within a society. Consequences. Moral living. Relevant. Society. The moment UPB says "if you want morality" that implies consequentiality. Since it is attempting a result, it is not deontological. Also, in a state of nature, nobody cares about non aggression. In fact, it is encouraged. But we don't live in a state of nature when we belong in a society. Barbarism and savagery are just as valid as far as the world cares for living in this world (as every other creature in this planet does) because the universe doesn't care. Morality is a social requirement, not a universal feature of the world. And the consequence is that we get to live for something larger than ourselves, the future, and we all at once. A man dedicated to worshipping his ego cannot be civilized, which is why UPB would destroy civilization first by taking down the state, taking down consequences for savagery, then bringing everyone down to primitivism again. Stef likes to say that people respond to incentives, but he forgets that they also refrain from actions from expected consequences - and when they know there won't be any, well, you can look at the migrants destroyed Europe and France for an example of people disconnected from the system of society and consequences for that.

 

Premises 6-7-8 are total fabrications. Truth is better than falsehood - FOR WHAT? WHEN? TO WHOM? Any statement of preferability can only be asserted during a CONTEXT. And "always and ever and in all places" is devoid of context. It is not true that telling the truth is better, nor that knowing the truth is better. It is a bad, bad, bad premise for universalization. It simply requires context, and one context where it applies is debate. Sure, debate. But not all times ever. I'm tired and don't want to prolong into 7 too long, but that's nonsense too. Just because you choose to debate it doesn't mean that it was the right decision. That's also something contextual. 8 conflates two kinds of responsibilities into one, making a mess of sophistry. If you're talking, you're also responsible (literally, and morally) for what you say. But that's not true. There is literal responsibility, the kind that means "yes, I was speaking". But moral responsibility is about "Yes, I talked and I could have chosen not to talk, but I did it" and THAT'S a HUGE assumption that shouldn't be made without EVIDENCE because that is the whole crux of moral philosophy since ever. That's why Stefan has to fight against determinism, because his pet theory would collapse. So he has to conflate literal responsibility with moral responsibility to avoid the debate about avoidability, very cowardly if I may add, since he gets called out for it and doesn't fix his mistake. But even then it is irrelevant, because the consequences for immoral behavior do not need the establishment of either free will or determinism since either way, in a society, bad actors need to be removed. If there were a Terminator style killer robot, deterministically programmed to murder, it would still need to be removed! So it doesn't matter whether there is free will or not in order to have consequences within a society for immoral behavior.

 

 

There is a lot in here I have a hard time understanding. For example I still don't get what you mean by Ego. However I'd like to stay at your criticism of UPB. So let me ask some questions regarding that.

 

"The consequences of moral living are only relevant within a society." 

Isn't that just saying that the subject of morality is the action or interaction of moral actors. So no moral actors (no society) -> no need for morality. How is UPB missing that?

 

"Also, in a state of nature, nobody cares about non aggression. In fact, it is encouraged. But we don't live in a state of nature when we belong in a society."

What is a state of nature? How does it encourage aggression? 

Do you mean anarchy?? How is an anarchic society not a society? Have you read any books on the practical application of anarchy?

Saying following UPB would destroy civilization is an argument from effect. I would prefer to stay on the argument of morality. I hope you do as well.

 

"Premises 6-7-8 are total fabrications"

Are you agreeing on the other ones or did you just decide to focus on those three?

 

"Truth is better than falsehood - FOR WHAT? WHEN? TO WHOM?"

Truth is better than falsehood for you, when you want to use morality.

 

"So it doesn't matter whether there is free will or not in order to have consequences within a society for immoral behavior."

A shark attacking a surfer is not a moral agent. Do you disagree? Is the real issue free will vs. determinism?

 

 

So my point was, that using morality requires the acceptance of these premises and that you use morality all the time, when you are part of a society. I now realize that I should actually put it another way, since you already accepted the 8 premises for debating. Unfortunately, I'm running a bit out of time now and I will not have much time to write again in the near future. So this is my final question/remark for now:

Using morality is the exact same thing as debating. 

If not what would be the difference between the two?


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: upb, ethics