1274: Open Letter

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ElWanderer
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby ElWanderer » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:58 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
CBusAlex wrote:
Kit. wrote:Can freedom be free?


No. It costs folks like you and me.

So, there's no such thing as "free as in freedom", isn't there?

Fuck, yeah.
Spoiler:
I think it depends on whether you've noticed that CBusAlex was quoting lyrics from Team America:
World Police
or not...
Now I am become Geoff, the destroyer of worlds

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby jameslovecraft » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:09 am UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
sviola wrote:You forgot to add the Queen of England to the list...

No, it specifically mentioned the lizard people.


As a member of the Young Lizard People Democrats club at my local high school, I am putting it on the record that the Queen is a werewolf, not a lizard person.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Coyoty » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:02 pm UTC

jameslovecraft wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:
sviola wrote:You forgot to add the Queen of England to the list...

No, it specifically mentioned the lizard people.


As a member of the Young Lizard People Democrats club at my local high school, I am putting it on the record that the Queen is a werewolf, not a lizard person.


She's not an elk, either. "We are not a moose."

Her werewolfness has been confirmed by a Doctor.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:55 am UTC

azule wrote:
PolakoVoador wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:Raptor Jesus will lie in wait while the rest screw it up. Then He will bring about the velocirapture.


Do we even need to continue the thread after such epic word coinage?
That is a momentous word indeed. Could a mod please close this thread? It would be rude to Quicksilver not to.




P.S. I'm scared of your mod powers. Please don't shut down this thread. Thanks.
I just need to figure out how to implement the velocirapture in Sandcastle Builder...
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:20 am UTC

Philip Thomas wrote:But there is quite a separate argument to be had about whether freedom can be free in the sense of liberty from coercive restraint. That is what I at any rate mean by "free as in freedom". And yes, I would say that it is possible for freedom to be free, in that sense. In fact, if freedom is not free in that sense, it is not freedom- and I do believe that freedom exists.

Well... are you saying that it's impossible to fight for freedom?

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:37 am UTC

I think he's saying someone "forcing you to be free" isn't actually freedom, because it's being forced to do something which is the opposite of freedom.

Fighting for freedom would just be counteracting the coercion impeding freedom; once the fight was over, nobody would be coerced anymore, so there would be freedom.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:32 am UTC

Then it seems that "freedom" is something not testable.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:03 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:Then it seems that "freedom" is something not testable.


Try to do something you want to do. If someone or something stops you, then you're not free. If not, then you're free enough.

Edit: In the advanced version, distinguish between people stopping you and the laws of physics stopping you.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Philip Thomas » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:14 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:Then it seems that "freedom" is something not testable.


If you're in a laboratory trying to discover whether the subject of your experiments is free or not...
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:51 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:Then it seems that "freedom" is something not testable.


I'm not sure where you get that from, but I get the feeling this is an attempt to start another argument for moral nihilism as you've been doing in a couple threads recently.

rmsgrey wrote:Edit: In the advanced version, distinguish between people stopping you and the laws of physics stopping you.


There's really a lot of different distinctions to be made and so a lot of different senses of "freedom". Will you be punished by those in power for doing the thing you intend to do? If so, you are lacking political freedom (the kind we've been talking about here). Will you be shamed or censured for doing the thing you intend to do? If so, then you are lacking a social kind of freedom (which some people roll in to their sense of political freedom). Do you have the material resources necessary to do the thing you intend to do? If not, you're lacking an economic kind of freedom (which some people also roll in to their sense of political freedom).

Will your own mind behave in ways you wish it wouldn't to prevent you from acting on your intentions, as in some kind of compulsion or phobia? If so, you lack a psychological kind of freedom (some people call this freedom of will). Are your intended actions compatible with a possible future as constrained by the laws of nature and past states of the universe? If not, you lack a metaphysical kind of freedom (other people call this freedom of will). Will your bodily movements to act as you intend be physically impeded by external objects or forces (such as someone locked in a cage, chained down, or stuck to the surface of the planet by gravity)? If so, you lack a physical kind of freedom (and a few notable figures have even called this freedom of will).

Freedom in general is the absence of constraint. There are all kinds of specific freedoms of specific kinds of things from specific other other things.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby charonme » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:41 am UTC

why would anyone think they don't have the govt right where they want it? Come to think of it, this might suit them even better than when they pretend everything is working fine

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby WarnedOfStretchyDeath314 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:41 am UTC

You forgot the Grandmatriarchs. And Betty Crocker. And the one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eaters. And the Daleks. And the flobberworms, but they don't really count. The ones you really have to watch out for are the peanuts, though. Trust me, you don't want to cross the peanuts.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby shokoshu » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:32 am UTC

azule wrote:
PolakoVoador wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:Raptor Jesus will lie in wait while the rest screw it up. Then He will bring about the velocirapture.


Do we even need to continue the thread after such epic word coinage?


That is a momentous word indeed. Could a mod please close this thread? It would be rude to Quicksilver not to.



To be fair, the word is known since Raptor Jesus meme.
So we need some surplus IncrediblyLamePun:
- The holy book: Velociscripture (DAMN! Still one on-topic google hit!)
- The new style prophet: Velocirapper (BLAST! Even has entry at Urbandictionary!)
- What my brain gets from desperately searching new puns: Velocirupture (ARGL! Done at DeviantArt!)

I give up.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby orthogon » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:48 am UTC

shokoshu wrote:- The holy book: Velociscripture

... organised into velocichapters?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Klear » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:00 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
shokoshu wrote:- The holy book: Velociscripture

... organised into velocichapters?


These don't really work, IMO, since it comes out as a fast scripture/chapters. Nothing remains of the raptor, and outside of context I'd think of a bicycle first.

Edit: Trying to broaden the requirements, I came up with Oedipus T. Rex, which doesn't really have much to do with the discussion at hand, but sounds pretty funny. And, of course, already has almost 20k hits on Google...

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:03 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:Then it seems that "freedom" is something not testable.


I'm not sure where you get that from,

If you are "free" (in this particular sense), how would you test that there is nothing that forces you into your state of freedom?

Pfhorrest wrote:but I get the feeling this is an attempt to start another argument for moral nihilism as you've been doing in a couple threads recently.

You must've been mistaken. Moral nihilism is not a position I could find myself enjoying in the last 20+ years. In fact, in those rare cases when I do need to choose a meta-ethical position for me, I'm usually a deontologist.

Hopefully, you are confusing me with someone. Otherwise you do not clearly understand my arguments, which would be a pity (however, most likely, you could be taking my "logic nazi" stance for a sign of a competing viewpoint, which would be less pitiful, albeit technically incorrect).

Pfhorrest wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Edit: In the advanced version, distinguish between people stopping you and the laws of physics stopping you.

There's really a lot of different distinctions to be made and so a lot of different senses of "freedom". Will you be punished by those in power for doing the thing you intend to do? If so, you are lacking political freedom (the kind we've been talking about here).

First what we need to do when we start discussing "freedom" in a meaningful way is to make sure that we don't conflate two different categories of "freedom [of X from Y]": "purity" (concerning X's properties in the absence of Y) and "independence" (concerning X's properties not affected by changes in Y). If we fail to do so, things are going to get messy.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:30 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
orthogon wrote:
shokoshu wrote:- The holy book: Velociscripture

... organised into velocichapters?


These don't really work, IMO, since it comes out as a fast scripture/chapters. Nothing remains of the raptor, and outside of context I'd think of a bicycle first.


I dunno - scripture, sure, but velocichapter <-> velociraptor at least in my accent is just one phoneme change.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:08 am UTC

Kit. wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:Then it seems that "freedom" is something not testable.


I'm not sure where you get that from,

If you are "free" (in this particular sense), how would you test that there is nothing that forces you into your state of freedom?

The point was that "forced into a state of freedom" is logically incoherent; if you were forced into a state, it wouldn't be one of freedom. So you would simply test for whether you are being forced in the relevant ways at all. If the test is positive (you find you are being forced), then you know you are not free. If the test is negative (no findings of force), your freedom is still a live hypothesis.

You must've been mistaken. Moral nihilism is not a position I could find myself enjoying in the last 20+ years. In fact, in those rare cases when I do need to choose a meta-ethical position for me, I'm usually a deontologist.

Hopefully, you are confusing me with someone. Otherwise you do not clearly understand my arguments, which would be a pity (however, most likely, you could be taking my "logic nazi" stance for a sign of a competing viewpoint, which would be less pitiful, albeit technically incorrect).

I was thinking of your comments in the Shadowfacts thread about natural rights being a "religion", which seems to disparage their legitimacy, and doesn't seem to mesh well with your claimed deontological stance. Perhaps you were just being a stickler about the term "natural", and denying that normative, moral claims reduce to empirical (i.e. "natural") factual claims? In that case I agree with you, but that would then mean you were misunderstanding me in that thread, as I was not arguing in favor of moral naturalism, only moral universalism, of a kind a deontologist should agree with. (I am a kind of universal prescriptivist myself: I say ethical assertions are not attempts to describe facts at all but rather more closely related to imperatives, yet nevertheless are of a nature where they can be objectively correct or not).
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:03 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:Then it seems that "freedom" is something not testable.

I'm not sure where you get that from,

If you are "free" (in this particular sense), how would you test that there is nothing that forces you into your state of freedom?

The point was that "forced into a state of freedom" is logically incoherent; if you were forced into a state, it wouldn't be one of freedom.

That's my point: you are trivializing someone else's potentially non-trivial argument.

Pfhorrest wrote:I was thinking of your comments in the Shadowfacts thread about natural rights being a "religion", which seems to disparage their legitimacy, and doesn't seem to mesh well with your claimed deontological stance. Perhaps you were just being a stickler about the term "natural", and denying that normative, moral claims reduce to empirical (i.e. "natural") factual claims?

Your suggestion contains a very tricky question. I do tend to believe that the way how we observe the world (which includes how we use any logic that we can comprehend) and the world that we observe as the result are highly interrelated, although I don't intend to claim any kind of "primacy" of one over another in such relations.

But anyway, my objections were of completely different origin. While I am in a deontological stance, I derive rights from duties. I also distinguish two categories of rights:

1. Rights as opposed to duties of the same actor. Such a right is a performable act that is neither prescribed nor proscribed by your duties. Those rights can be universally valid (as duties can), however, it's not necessary that any universally valid right actually exists. Such rights are not necessarily societal.

2. Rights as expectations of duties performed by other actors. Such rights are societal by definition, and do depend on the ability of the society to effectively organize the duties of other actors - so, they aren't universally valid (in the extreme case, when you are out of any society, you have no such rights at all, as there is no society able to provide you with them). Ironically, the so called "natural", "inalienable" rights fall into this category.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Coyoty » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:24 pm UTC

The Hawaiian Illuminati is conspicuously absent.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:51 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:But anyway, my objections were of completely different origin. While I am in a deontological stance, I derive rights from duties.


That's all well and good, rights and duties have a very clear logical relation to each other and either can be expressed in equivalent terms of the other. But from whence do you derive duties? On what grounds would you claim someone does or does not have a duty? That's the important question for determining your metaethics.

I also distinguish two categories of rights:

1. Rights as opposed to duties of the same actor. Such a right is a performable act that is neither prescribed nor proscribed by your duties. Those rights can be universally valid (as duties can), however, it's not necessary that any universally valid right actually exists. Such rights are not necessarily societal.

2. Rights as expectations of duties performed by other actors. Such rights are societal by definition, and do depend on the ability of the society to effectively organize the duties of other actors - so, they aren't universally valid (in the extreme case, when you are out of any society, you have no such rights at all, as there is no society able to provide you with them). Ironically, the so called "natural", "inalienable" rights fall into this category.


This distinction is known in the Hohfeldian analysis as that between "liberties" and "claims". A liberty is the absence of a duty on the right-holder. A claim is a duty on someone else toward the right-holder. So if I have a duty toward you, say a duty not to punch you in the face, then you have a claim right against me: the right not to be punched in the face. If I do not have a duty toward you, say a duty to provide you with food, then I have a liberty right: the right not to provide you with food.

(I've specifically chosen a negative claim right and a negative liberty right for examples here to make clear that claims and liberties are not the same thing as positive and negative rights. If I did not have a duty not to punch you in the face, I would have the positive liberty right to punch you in the face. And if I did have a duty to provide you with food, you would have a positive claim right to be provided with food. Both claims and liberties can be either positive or negative, though there is a relation between the claim-liberty and positive-negative types: positive claims limit others' negative liberties and vice versa, while negative claims limit others positive liberties and vice versa, e.g. if you have a negative claim against being punched, that limits my positive liberty to punch you, and conversely if I have positive liberty to punch you, that limits your negative claim against being punched; while if I have negative liberty not to feed you, that limits your positive claim to being fed, and conversely if you have a positive claim to being fed, that limits my negative liberty not to feed you).

I don't see where you're getting that one of these is social in nature and the other not though, as they both depend equally on the nature of duties in that regard. If duties are societal in nature then both claims and liberties are likewise; if duties are not societal in nature then neither claims not liberties are social in nature. So whence duties? That is the question.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby PinkShinyRose » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:01 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
You must've been mistaken. Moral nihilism is not a position I could find myself enjoying in the last 20+ years. In fact, in those rare cases when I do need to choose a meta-ethical position for me, I'm usually a deontologist.

Hopefully, you are confusing me with someone. Otherwise you do not clearly understand my arguments, which would be a pity (however, most likely, you could be taking my "logic nazi" stance for a sign of a competing viewpoint, which would be less pitiful, albeit technically incorrect).

I was thinking of your comments in the Shadowfacts thread about natural rights being a "religion", which seems to disparage their legitimacy, and doesn't seem to mesh well with your claimed deontological stance. Perhaps you were just being a stickler about the term "natural", and denying that normative, moral claims reduce to empirical (i.e. "natural") factual claims? In that case I agree with you, but that would then mean you were misunderstanding me in that thread, as I was not arguing in favor of moral naturalism, only moral universalism, of a kind a deontologist should agree with. (I am a kind of universal prescriptivist myself: I say ethical assertions are not attempts to describe facts at all but rather more closely related to imperatives, yet nevertheless are of a nature where they can be objectively correct or not).

You seem to imply that Kit. considers religion to be non-universal. Perhaps Kit. considers his own religion to be the only true religion, if this religion is the religion of natural rights he would not have discounted natural rights as a universal principle (as to him they are universal, even if others don't consider the natural rights perceived by him universal; which is what moral universalism comes down to). I have seen no indication in the shadowfacts thread that he does not adhere this religion.

Even if one recognises the existence of other religions as being equally valid (which many religious people do not), this would constitute moral relativism rather than moral nihilism. This makes me wonder: does Kit. adhere the natural rights religion as mentioned in the other thread?

Why do deontologists need to agree with moral universalism? Wouldn't it suffice to consider some duties to exist even if they are limited in cultural range?

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:06 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:You seem to imply that Kit. considers religion to be non-universal. Perhaps Kit. considers his own religion to be the only true religion, if this religion is the religion of natural rights he would not have discounted natural rights as a universal principle (as to him they are universal, even if others don't consider the natural rights perceived by him universal; which is what moral universalism comes down to). I have seen no indication in the shadowfacts thread that he does not adhere this religion.

The tone of the comparison to religion seemed dismissive, and in either case whether Kit meant to be dismissive of religion in general, I do, and find the comparison of moral universalism (which is more what I was discussing there than natural rights in particular) to it unwarranted.

Even if one recognises the existence of other religions as being equally valid (which many religious people do not), this would constitute moral relativism rather than moral nihilism.

Relativism is tantamount to nihilism as it eliminates any distinction between opinion and correct opinion. So say that an opinion is "relatively correct" is just to say that it is the opinion held by whomever it is "relatively correct" to, which adds nothing above just plainly saying it is their opinion, and if their opinion should differ with another's, then what? Any answer besides "then whatever, it doesn't matter" boils down to some form of universalism.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby PinkShinyRose » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:28 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Even if one recognises the existence of other religions as being equally valid (which many religious people do not), this would constitute moral relativism rather than moral nihilism.

Relativism is tantamount to nihilism as it eliminates any distinction between opinion and correct opinion. So say that an opinion is "relatively correct" is just to say that it is the opinion held by whomever it is "relatively correct" to, which adds nothing above just plainly saying it is their opinion, and if their opinion should differ with another's, then what? Any answer besides "then whatever, it doesn't matter" boils down to some form of universalism.

You do have a point there. Although there could be intermediate forms like considering a certain set of rights as universal within a culture yet specific to that culture and therefore not truly universal. This would mean that it could be seen as acceptable to apply your perceived norms (as determined by an objective method) to others with similar cultures (and possibly to others within areas (not necessarily physical areas) dominated by people with a similar culture).

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:46 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:But anyway, my objections were of completely different origin. While I am in a deontological stance, I derive rights from duties.


That's all well and good, rights and duties have a very clear logical relation to each other and either can be expressed in equivalent terms of the other. But from whence do you derive duties? On what grounds would you claim someone does or does not have a duty? That's the important question for determining your metaethics.

Most of the duties I have are of the banal naturalistic origin: as a thinking social animal, I was born and raised in a way that made me accept them. However, it doesn't mean that all of them are societal; some of them have wider applicability and are still meaningful if there is no society around.

However, not all of the duties are like that; there are exceptions, such as the categorical imperative. While I cannot definitely claim its non-naturalism (it may still be possible that my existence as a thinking observer and the categorical imperative's existence in my logic are interrelated), it's not the banal naturalism mentioned above.

The categorical imperative is not societal, its requirement of consistency of actions is still valid even if there's only one existing actor. That's why I am more willing to accept it as an universally valid one rather than, say, the Golden Rule. If I ever meet a non-social thinking entity sharing my logic, I can expect it to assume - or at least understand - the categorical imperative. While the Golden Rule can be incomprehensible even to some kinds of social beings ("Huh? What do you mean by 'would like to be treated'?").

Pfhorrest wrote:
I also distinguish two categories of rights:

1. Rights as opposed to duties of the same actor. Such a right is a performable act that is neither prescribed nor proscribed by your duties. Those rights can be universally valid (as duties can), however, it's not necessary that any universally valid right actually exists. Such rights are not necessarily societal.

2. Rights as expectations of duties performed by other actors. Such rights are societal by definition, and do depend on the ability of the society to effectively organize the duties of other actors - so, they aren't universally valid (in the extreme case, when you are out of any society, you have no such rights at all, as there is no society able to provide you with them). Ironically, the so called "natural", "inalienable" rights fall into this category.


This distinction is known in the Hohfeldian analysis as that between "liberties" and "claims". A liberty is the absence of a duty on the right-holder. A claim is a duty on someone else toward the right-holder. So if I have a duty toward you, say a duty not to punch you in the face, then you have a claim right against me: the right not to be punched in the face. If I do not have a duty toward you, say a duty to provide you with food, then I have a liberty right: the right not to provide you with food.

However, if you have a liberty to arm bears, it doesn't mean that bears have a duty to be armed. If the society has a duty to provide you with welfare, it doesn't mean that you have a liberty to accept it (some of your personal duties may require you to reject it). Liberties are not necessarily societal.

Pfhorrest wrote:I don't see where you're getting that one of these is social in nature and the other not though, as they both depend equally on the nature of duties in that regard. If duties are societal in nature then both claims and liberties are likewise; if duties are not societal in nature then neither claims not liberties are social in nature. So whence duties? That is the question.

Claims are societal in nature because, as you said, they requre "a duty on someone else". So, they require a society (including a claimant and at least one another actor) to exist, no matter if that someone else's duty is societal in nature or not.

PinkShinyRose wrote:You seem to imply that Kit. considers religion to be non-universal. Perhaps Kit. considers his own religion to be the only true religion, if this religion is the religion of natural rights he would not have discounted natural rights as a universal principle (as to him they are universal, even if others don't consider the natural rights perceived by him universal; which is what moral universalism comes down to). I have seen no indication in the shadowfacts thread that he does not adhere this religion.

Even if one recognises the existence of other religions as being equally valid (which many religious people do not), this would constitute moral relativism rather than moral nihilism. This makes me wonder: does Kit. adhere the natural rights religion as mentioned in the other thread?

When Kit. is in the instrumentalist stance (which is his default one), the notion of universality doesn't bother him at all, as the question is not "how (and when) it can be true", but "how (and when) it can be useful".

PinkShinyRose wrote:Why do deontologists need to agree with moral universalism? Wouldn't it suffice to consider some duties to exist even if they are limited in cultural range?

Not all moral universalists are equal. A deontologist may claim that two actors trying to stop each other in their attempts to achieve conflicting goals can both be universally (or even absolutely) right, because they act to fulfill the same universally (or even absolutely) right duty, just in different personal contexts; while, say, a utilitarianist will have a hard time understanding how it's different from moral relativism or even from moral nihilism.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:47 am UTC

Kit. wrote:Most of the duties I have are of the banal naturalistic origin: as a thinking social animal, I was born and raised in a way that made me accept them. However, it doesn't mean that all of them are societal; some of them have wider applicability and are still meaningful if there is no society around.


This sounds like you're mixing up three different things (or at least two different things plus the third thing I was talking about): the causes of you being of the opinion that something is a duty, the reasons you hold to logically justify that duty, and the scope of that duty. I was asking about the second one, but you speak here only of the first and third ones: you assert that the cause of you holding your opinions on duties is your nature as a social animal, and that the scope of only some of those duties involve other people. But I'm not asking about the content of your opinions (which the scope of various duties is an aspect of), or the history of events which led to you holding those opinions (the cause of you accepting those duties): I'm asking, what reason is there for you to hold those opinions, to accept those duties? What is the justification offered for the assertion that you have those duties?

Take some duty you hold only to yourself. Say every time X happens you believe you are obligated, duty-bound, to do Y, even if you don't want to; and Y isn't anything involving anyone else, it's just something you do on your own, to or with yourself. I ask you why you do (or at least feel like you must do) this thing. I don't want an explanation of what traumatic event happened in your childhood (or whatever) that left you in the habit of doing this, or left you feeling bad about not doing this. I'm asking for an intellectual assessment of the moral obligation you seem to think you have: why ought you always do Y whenever X?

Claims are societal in nature because, as you said, they requre "a duty on someone else". So, they require a society (including a claimant and at least one another actor) to exist, no matter if that someone else's duty is societal in nature or not.

This is also a matter of the scope of the duties, not the justification for the claim that they obtain.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:08 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:Most of the duties I have are of the banal naturalistic origin: as a thinking social animal, I was born and raised in a way that made me accept them. However, it doesn't mean that all of them are societal; some of them have wider applicability and are still meaningful if there is no society around.

This sounds like you're mixing up three different things (or at least two different things plus the third thing I was talking about): the causes of you being of the opinion that something is a duty, the reasons you hold to logically justify that duty, and the scope of that duty. I was asking about the second one, but you speak here only of the first and third ones: you assert that the cause of you holding your opinions on duties is your nature as a social animal, and that the scope of only some of those duties involve other people. But I'm not asking about the content of your opinions (which the scope of various duties is an aspect of), or the history of events which led to you holding those opinions (the cause of you accepting those duties): I'm asking, what reason is there for you to hold those opinions, to accept those duties? What is the justification offered for the assertion that you have those duties?

Hmm, OK.

I don't give logical justifications for axioms. Is it what you wanted to hear?

As I said, I can give a rational justification for choosing them, but it will be naturalistic, not logical.

Pfhorrest wrote:
Claims are societal in nature because, as you said, they requre "a duty on someone else". So, they require a society (including a claimant and at least one another actor) to exist, no matter if that someone else's duty is societal in nature or not.

This is also a matter of the scope of the duties, not the justification for the claim that they obtain.

Do you realize that 'societal' is a narrowing of the scope of the duty? It introduces a condition ("while in society") that makes the duty void where it could be in force otherwise (outside the society).

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:11 am UTC

Kit. wrote:I don't give logical justifications for axioms. Is it what you wanted to hear?

So you consider your duties to be axiomatic then? You don't think they are arguable, you don't think you could persuade someone with rational argument and evidence to accept them, and you couldn't be persuaded by rational argument or evidence to reject them, you just accept them, prima facie, that's your starting point? Then I'd say you really do treat rights as a religion. But that doesn't mean everyone else has to.

As I said, I can give a rational justification for choosing them, but it will be naturalistic, not logical.

What you've offered so far is a naturalistic explanation for choosing them. That's different from a justification.

Here's an example to illuminate the difference. I throw up when I drink coffee. The explanation for that is that when I was young I once gulped down a big mug of what I thought was grape juice but which turned out to be cold coffee that had been used for an ash tray, which rightly made me nauseous, and now my body reacts with nausea whenever I taste coffee. I have no justification for that reaction, however. I do not put forth that it is right to throw up when drinking coffee, certainly not in general but not even for me specifically. It is something I do, or at least feel like doing (I've learned to suppress nausea pretty well), but it's an irrational thing I do. I don't have reasons for doing it, so I have no reasons to offer to justify why I do it. But I can explain the cause of that irrational reaction in me.

You seem to be suggesting that your "duties" are just like my coffee-nausea reaction. They're just things that you do, or feel, without any reason to justify why it's right for you, or anyone else, to do or feel such things. You have an explanation for how it came to be that you feel or do such things, but that's very different from a justification for why it should be that you feel or do such things. But, as duties are entirely about what is right, what you should do, it seems reasonably to ask, not only how did you come to do or feel like doing such things, but why is it right to do such things, why should you do such things.
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:56 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:I don't give logical justifications for axioms. Is it what you wanted to hear?

So you consider your duties to be axiomatic then?

No. I consider a model for ethical thinking in which some duties are axiomatic. And the rest is derived.

I don't prescribe which duties are axiomatic. If I did, it would stop to be a meta-ethical model.

Pfhorrest wrote:You don't think they are arguable,

At the meta-ethical level the consistency of the model and the relative (to other meta-ethical model) completeness are arguable. But that's just as much as you can argue about any other meta-ethical model anyway.

Down the food chain, at the ethical level, the consistency and the completeness of a particular choice of the axioms is arguable too. As well as the consistency and the completeness of particular procedures trying to derive the choice of the axioms from the empirical evidence (the idea that such procedures are not purely logical shouldn't bother us much, as the procedures to convert observations into "empirical evidence" are not purely logical either). As well as the consistency and the completeness of the procedures prescribing the changes in ethical views (those changes can by themselves be ethically motivated, can't them?).

Further down the food chain, we can argue which choices of axioms and/or procedures are useful. But that's where any notion of universality stops existing and comes instrumentalism.

Pfhorrest wrote:
As I said, I can give a rational justification for choosing them, but it will be naturalistic, not logical.

What you've offered so far is a naturalistic explanation for choosing them. That's different from a justification.

An explanation of the process can be a justification for its particular result. While an explanation of the result is a completely different thing.

And it's not like it's any different when applied to pure logic.

Pfhorrest wrote:Here's an example to illuminate the difference. I throw up when I drink coffee. The explanation for that is that when I was young I once gulped down a big mug of what I thought was grape juice but which turned out to be cold coffee that had been used for an ash tray, which rightly made me nauseous, and now my body reacts with nausea whenever I taste coffee. I have no justification for that reaction, however. I do not put forth that it is right to throw up when drinking coffee, certainly not in general but not even for me specifically. It is something I do, or at least feel like doing (I've learned to suppress nausea pretty well), but it's an irrational thing I do. I don't have reasons for doing it, so I have no reasons to offer to justify why I do it. But I can explain the cause of that irrational reaction in me.

It would help if you could provide a contrasting example - a justification for something that you consider basic premises. Just don't tell me that you don't need basic premises, as you cay always derive anything from something else - that would be circular reasoning (well, maybe not necessarily in theory, but on practice it will).

Pfhorrest wrote:You seem to be suggesting that your "duties" are just like my coffee-nausea reaction.

I'm suggesting that my "duties" are like your reaction on your first attempt at smoking. This stuff is harmful, and your coughing is justified, although you may not be able to justify it using only logic.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:58 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:So you consider your duties to be axiomatic then? You don't think they are arguable, you don't think you could persuade someone with rational argument and evidence to accept them, and you couldn't be persuaded by rational argument or evidence to reject them, you just accept them, prima facie, that's your starting point? Then I'd say you really do treat rights as a religion. But that doesn't mean everyone else has to.

Isn't that kind of the point of deontology? As soon as you start justifying your rules they have a tendency to become consequentialist. As explaining how you got to a certain rule does not fit your definition of justification. Then again, you cannot really make consequentialist arguments without basic principles (i.e.: 'it will make the world end (literally)' only makes sense as an argument if you care either way).

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby webgiant » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:52 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:Then it seems that "freedom" is something not testable.


I'm not sure where you get that from,

If you are "free" (in this particular sense), how would you test that there is nothing that forces you into your state of freedom?

The point was that "forced into a state of freedom" is logically incoherent; if you were forced into a state, it wouldn't be one of freedom. So you would simply test for whether you are being forced in the relevant ways at all. If the test is positive (you find you are being forced), then you know you are not free. If the test is negative (no findings of force), your freedom is still a live hypothesis.

How about you are forced from a not free state into a free state, having not known you were in a not free state to begin with? If the state you end up in is a free state, then being forced there is irrelevant if you started in a not free state and were unaware that you were in a not free state to begin with.

As in everyone is focused on one boolean, free or not free, when there are two booleans: X = free or not free, Y = knows value of X/does not know value of X.

If X is false and Y is false, then having both X and Y forced to be true ends up putting the object in a free state and aware that a free state now exists.

Freeing people from the gilded cage and all that.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:41 am UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:So you consider your duties to be axiomatic then? You don't think they are arguable, you don't think you could persuade someone with rational argument and evidence to accept them, and you couldn't be persuaded by rational argument or evidence to reject them, you just accept them, prima facie, that's your starting point? Then I'd say you really do treat rights as a religion. But that doesn't mean everyone else has to.

Isn't that kind of the point of deontology? As soon as you start justifying your rules they have a tendency to become consequentialist. As explaining how you got to a certain rule does not fit your definition of justification. Then again, you cannot really make consequentialist arguments without basic principles (i.e.: 'it will make the world end (literally)' only makes sense as an argument if you care either way).

The father of modern deontological ethics, Immanual Kant, claimed to be able to derive the fundamental duty from which all others derive, the Categorical Imperative, from pure pragmatic logic. He didn't just say "this is a duty, because it is", he said "this is a duty because it being a duty is a logical consequence of the Categorical Imperative being a duty, and that is a duty because it would be logically incoherent for it not to be".
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Kit. » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:14 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:The father of modern deontological ethics, Immanual Kant, claimed to be able to derive the fundamental duty from which all others derive, the Categorical Imperative, from pure pragmatic logic.

You cannot derive all other duties from the categorical imperative alone. You can only derive the duties for justifications of the acts, but not for acts (as something independent from their justifications) themselves (unless those acts are the acts of justifications).

For example, it doesn't say that you shouldn't perform an act that can be defined as stealing. It says that once you performed it, you should stop to believe in the universality of the concept of 'property' used in this definition. Quite a honest position, in my view.

Pfhorrest wrote:He didn't just say "this is a duty, because it is", he said "this is a duty because it being a duty is a logical consequence of the Categorical Imperative being a duty, and that is a duty because it would be logically incoherent for it not to be".

I've though you aren't coherentist, aren't you?

"Logical coherence" is not a logical property (such as consistency or completeness), it's an aesthetic property. If you accept aesthetical justification, I might say that I accepted my duties because of their perceived coherence with the observed reality, and it would be true on quite a few levels, just not logically meaningful in any way.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby bmonk » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:27 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Besides, we're all being completely manipulated by a galactically distant species, whose sole goal is the delivery of a replacement part to Titan.


I thought it was a long-running experiment with initial readout on the Moon, and more in-depth sampling on Iapetus


Nope--you are both wrong. It is an experiment by unknown beings from another dimension testing various possibilities for creatures; the current test involves humor. :shock:
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby addams » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:12 am UTC

webgiant wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
Kit. wrote:Then it seems that "freedom" is something not testable.


I'm not sure where you get that from,

If you are "free" (in this particular sense), how would you test that there is nothing that forces you into your state of freedom?

The point was that "forced into a state of freedom" is logically incoherent; if you were forced into a state, it wouldn't be one of freedom. So you would simply test for whether you are being forced in the relevant ways at all. If the test is positive (you find you are being forced), then you know you are not free. If the test is negative (no findings of force), your freedom is still a live hypothesis.

How about you are forced from a not free state into a free state, having not known you were in a not free state to begin with? If the state you end up in is a free state, then being forced there is irrelevant if you started in a not free state and were unaware that you were in a not free state to begin with.

As in everyone is focused on one boolean, free or not free, when there are two booleans: X = free or not free, Y = knows value of X/does not know value of X.

If X is false and Y is false, then having both X and Y forced to be true ends up putting the object in a free state and aware that a free state now exists.

Freeing people from the gilded cage and all that.

Finely, someone wrote something that makes sense to me.
Examples are good.

Education. I am grateful for my education.
My education makes me free in some very important ways, to me.

I have listened to other people talk about education.
That woman from Brown University said, "Education is for the Soul, not the pocket book."

If a person is Forced against their will to learn to read and write, go to school, show up on time and do some Hard Labor.
Has the Government stolen that person's Freedom away?
Who made you do so many Freedom crushing things?

If you are constrained into a classroom and forced into a desk?
Have your Freedoms been taken from you?

What if you don't know what you are missing?
"I Don't Want That!" they say.

In return you get the Whole World and a fair chunk of the Universe.
In return you get to share in the glories and follies of Humanity.
In return you get to use a calculator to figure out how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Is it a fair deal? Did you get freedom or only lose freedom?
Do you think you are free? Do people that can not read, think they are free?

Education is not Freedom. Education is The Door.
Freedom is on both sides of the door.

Who else is in this prison?
After the lower rungs on Maslow's Hierarchy are satisfied;
Spoiler:
The Difference Between Heaven and Hell is The Company You Keep.


Socially we are free to the mean. (mean=add them up and divide.)
If many of us are free up in the clouds, breathing rarified air.
All of us are more free. But; That is a boring freedom.

My people have arrested development and ADD.
Freedom? Adults with the intellectual and emotional development of four year olds.
Four year olds are Great! Four year olds only need their Lucky Rocket panties and a Cape!
Those guys are Ready for The World! Do you feel free while you have one of those on your hands?

Welcome to America. A strong majority of our men are arrested at four years old.
Charming and frightening. How do we get more grown ups?

Take the freedom to do any fucking thing they want to do away from them?
Four year olds do not understand that. The men of the US would not understand, either.

I know it is not a gender problem. The arrested development occurs in women, too.
It is not as charming. A four year old boy is a hoot. A four year old girl is better than a three year old girl.

In the Open Letter the artist asks for all groups to Get Our Shit Together.
What responsibility do we have to answer that Open Letter?

If we can read it (and I could) we have duty to our Teachers.
We have duty to our people and to the world to Get Our Shit Together.

What about the people that are listened to?
Can they read? Do the people on Capital Hill have the same duties?

How does it work? A person gets a job on Capital Hill then what?
We get to any place by taking one step, then another.

Is there only one way to get to Capital Hill?
The path to Capital Hill changes the person the way an education changes a person?

One kind of a man begins the journey.
A different kind of man arrives?

Was he ever free?
My old definition of free:
Spoiler:
From an old folk song.
The Only Time I Was Ever Free Was When I Was Loved.

It is a sweet old folk song. It tells the story of a young man that worshiped his freedom.
This man wanted Freedom. There was no price too high.

He left his parents and home town. He was chasing Freedom.
He left his wife and son. They cramped his style. He was chasing Freedom.
He left is close friends. They made demands of him. He was chasing Freedom.
He had strength, he was fast and he alway won. He was chasing Freedom.

At the end of the song, He says, "Now; I look back on my life and see that the only times I was ever really free were when I was loved."
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Coyoty » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:54 pm UTC

You're talking about Uplifting. You're improving a creature against its will, and expecting it to be grateful and maybe pay you back for it. If you consider that creature to be indentured, don't expect the payback to be pleasant. When you impose free will and power on something, be prepared for the will and power to be against you, and accept the consequences of your audacity.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby addams » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:51 am UTC

Coyoty wrote:You're talking about Uplifting. You're improving a creature against its will, and expecting it to be grateful and maybe pay you back for it. If you consider that creature to be indentured, don't expect the payback to be pleasant. When you impose free will and power on something, be prepared for the will and power to be against you, and accept the consequences of your audacity.

Well; You are a ray of sunshine; aren't you? (sarcasm)

Yes. It seems I am advocating improving the creature against its will.
But; Not much.

After the beast knows it has choice, then it can choose.
A University Education is not a thing that should happen to a person without consent.

I was not forced to go to University. Were you? Who forced you? Your parents?
Or; Were you forced by a culture that values that piece of paper?

With the degree you are allowed to live a decent and dignified life,
like the lives Mom and Dad lived?

Without that degree you are forced to live a degrading life,
like the lives Mom and Dad lived?

I don't know what we can expect from our fellow human beings.
I am grateful for my education. I was fortunate.

My nation offered me an education I took it and I am grateful.
I might not have taken the gift if they had forced me to study History.

History is boring. They did force me to take some history.
I took enough to maintain my distain for the subject.

My nation was becoming a Welfare State.
My people were interested in the Welfare of each other.

There were agents of the government working toward offering all persons education.
Those agents and the government they worked for allowed me to peer into microscopes and gaze into telescopes.

Even in a Welfare State the individual has choices.
To read the language of the land is almost forced upon a person.

To read volumes and volumes and take test after test is a choice I chose.
Many don't want that choice. Those that do should be allowed to.

I was allowed to and I am grateful. This lowly creature is grateful.
I was told I could and would repay my nation by doing my best. I did.

We have lost a big chunk of our collective soul.
Some of our people can read. Too many can not.

Too many share your outlook on us.
You think that poorly of us? Why?

No. Don't tell me.
It may be the way you are using the mirror.

You see you and think you are seeing me and all others.
That is not the truth. The person in the mirror is you, not me.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby jovialbard » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:41 pm UTC

addams wrote:It may be the way you are using the mirror.

You see you and think you are seeing me and all others.
That is not the truth. The person in the mirror is you, not me.


:)

Oh, wait, +1s are frowned upon. Hmm... profound statements, profound statements... A person who can't see beyond themselves, or question their own certainty, can only see their own fears and doubt when they point their eyes outward, and only their virtues and strengths when they point them inward.

(not directed at Coyoty, I just really like the poetry of the statement addams made)
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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby addams » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:05 pm UTC

jovialbard wrote:
addams wrote:It may be the way you are using the mirror.

You see you and think you are seeing me and all others.
That is not the truth. The person in the mirror is you, not me.


:)

Oh, wait, +1s are frowned upon. Hmm... profound statements, profound statements... A person who can't see beyond themselves, or question their own certainty, can only see their own fears and doubt when they point their eyes outward, and only their virtues and strengths when they point them inward.

(not directed at Coyoty, I just really like the poetry of the statement addams made)

Thank you.

Your statement is a subject that has been discussed, in the past, in musty old books.
We are the same creature with better tools. It is right and proper for us to discuss it, again.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1274: Open Letter

Postby Coyoty » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:45 pm UTC

I use funhouse mirrors to reflect on things. It's fun.


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