Wake Up!

Peggotty
atheist
Peggotty's picture
Posts: 116
Joined: 2012-08-07
User is offlineOffline
Wake Up!

Hi, I’m new here and I’d like to ask who determines what success is? Our own stupid society that’s what and the main concern of that society is to keep us sick. The sooner we take that on board the better.   Being rich and being the chairman of something or other hasn’t anything to do with being a success. You’re only a success when you WAKE UP!

After that you don’t have to apologise to anyone you don’t care if you’re not part of a group you don’t care what someone says to you or about you.  Then you don’t bother with your worries and how broken you feel at times - then you’re happy. That’s what I call being a success.

I’m an atheist I don’t believe there is anything out there (religion is just a metaphor for the inner life) and whether people believe in a god or not is not important to me, what’s important is whether you accept human fallibility as a given.  Then you’ve got something to work with.  Beliefs that science can be used to perfect human beings is as ridiculous as a belief in magic, angels or god’s intervention.

According to the four horsemen, reason and science, rather than religion will rid us of human conflicts and evil.  Since the Enlightenment we’ve heard that one so pull another.  No, there was a dark side to the Enlightenment as we’ve found, namely you can’t understand and control people with the rational mind. Knowledge may have increased but morally as a species we haven’t change at all, selfishness is our natural state but once you’re aware of that once you’ve OWNED it you’re not sleeping anymore you’ve become awake.


 

Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
Charles Dickens


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
GodsUseForAMosquito

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:

That would surely be the opposite of what you were arguing for - as you'd have to go through a lot more suffering to do that.

Not on a theoretical level at least. There's nothing logically incoherent about the instantenous end of all life. Anyway, whether you wanna agree with this CONCLUSION of the axiom of sentient welfare isn't the same thing as agreeing with the axiom, if you wanna make an argument why saving a species that does nothing but fuck shit up is worth it, you're free to do so.

Quote:
Also, I think that when you feel the need to destroy yourself to prove a point... generally you've lost the debate.

This makes no sense, sorry.


GodsUseForAMosquito
ModeratorBronze Member
GodsUseForAMosquito's picture
Posts: 404
Joined: 2008-08-27
User is offlineOffline
 The first point directly

 The first point directly counteracts your previous stances - if the conclusion is the end of sentience then it doesn't matter how this is got to, as there's nothing sentient to judge it. Therefore all your previous points must have been subjective.

 

The second point was made for comedic effect.. I might copywrite it as a corollary to Godwin's law.


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
GodsUseForAMosquito

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:

 The first point directly counteracts your previous stances - if the conclusion is the end of sentience then it doesn't matter how this is got to, as there's nothing sentient to judge it.

You don't need sentience to judge value in order for value to exist, I really thought we had gotten past this already.

If you think the lack of sentience can't ever be judged as a better alternative to sentience then prove it by refusing to be put to sleep the next time you have surgery in a hospital.


GodsUseForAMosquito
ModeratorBronze Member
GodsUseForAMosquito's picture
Posts: 404
Joined: 2008-08-27
User is offlineOffline
 You started by arguing

 You started by arguing that the least amount of harm should be done to sentient lifeforms, and conclude by saying everything should be killed.

 

Admit it, you're beaten.

 

I'm done on this thread I think.


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
GodsUseForAMosquito

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:

 You started by arguing that the least amount of harm should be done to sentient lifeforms, and conclude by saying everything should be killed.

 

Admit it, you're beaten.

 

I'm done on this thread I think.

And all you need to do to prove me wrong is argue why I'm wrong to think so, as in how it's a horrible outcome if, for example, killer whales were to all die tomorrow. Who would that hurt exactly and why? Instead you refuse to answer any of my points directly and run away.


GodsUseForAMosquito
ModeratorBronze Member
GodsUseForAMosquito's picture
Posts: 404
Joined: 2008-08-27
User is offlineOffline
Manageri wrote:There's

Manageri wrote:
There's really only one axiom I base all ethics on; Sentient welfare is what value is all about. If you don't agree to this then I really dont know what you could possibly be talking about when you invoke words like morality or right and wrong.

 

No Sentience = no value, so by your axiom, absence of sentient life is the zero state.

Therefore, a universe without sentient life must be the worst outcome of the universe, by your self-proclaimed axiom, irrespective of how this is achieved.

 

You can't have it both ways, and you're being twisted in circles trying to wriggle out of a stance you realise you can't maintain. It's fun to watch, but now I really do need to meet a friend for a beer. Will check in on this tomorrow though.

 

 

 

 


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:No

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:
No Sentience = no value, so by your axiom, absence of sentient life is the zero state.

Kinda, which means that unless the presence of sentience somehow produces a positive value then the nonexistence of sentience is better. I would argue that sentience is logically incapable of being worth it but this is more complicated than it sounds so I really wanted to avoid it in this topic as there's plenty to discuss in the realm of existence alone.

Quote:
Therefore, a universe without sentient life must be the worst outcome of the universe, by your self-proclaimed axiom, irrespective of how this is achieved.

A universe with negative value is worse. To illustrate how this would work in practice, a universe of eternal torture for all sentience is clearly worse than a universe with no sentience.

Quote:
You can't have it both ways, and you're being twisted in circles trying to wriggle out of a stance you realise you can't maintain.

I have absolutely no problem accepting the logical conclusions of my stance. I'm not trying to wriggle out of anything.


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4668
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is onlineOnline
Manageri wrote: Then your

Manageri wrote:
Then your moral condemnations by your own standards hold no more weight than you stating you disagree with someone's taste in women. If you think "suffering sucks" is the same kind of statement as "blondes are hot" then I really don't care what you have to say about my ethical standards, as you obviously don't think ethics is of any importance in general.

I generally consider moral condemnations to only be as important as the respect I have for the opinion person doing the condemning. Why would I give weight to being morally condemned by fundamentalists for my lifestyle? Why would I expect anyone else to give weight to my moral opinions?

Manageri wrote:

 Oh, you dont expect me not to inject you with AIDS, or care if I do?

Oh I care very much what you do to me, I don't care whether you think it is moral or not. What you have in this case is a question of law dealing with the reality that we all have to live together, not morality.

Manageri wrote:

 

Quote:
To me, my bank account has substantially more value than my neighbors, regardless of the relative purchasing power. My neighbor could have trillions over there and it is still worth 0 to me.
All you're saying is you CARE ABOUT your account more than his, not that his account isn't worth more.

Objectively, money isn't worth anything. For the most part, money doesn't exist beyond digital numbers and occasionally printed numbers. A $20 bill is not worth $20 except for the perception that it is worth $20. Like ethics, money is completely a human construct and is worth precisely what we believe it to be worth. It is also a value that changes radically over time. Objectively, the $20 bill is worth less than the linen it is printed on because it cannot be easily repurposed. It's only value is because we arbitrarily agreed to use it as an object to exchange labor and the products of our labor. 

 

Manageri wrote:

 If giving some guy a cup of coffee makes him much happier than giving it to someone else, then it's better to give it to him, not complicated.

Oh? So if stealing from you makes me happier and relieves me of my suffering (which was greater than yours) I should do so?

Manageri wrote:

I don't give a shit if the rapist cares about the victim, I care about whether his pleasure is worth more than the victim's suffering. You do realize what you just said can be used just as easily to justify being a rapist, right?

You are the one who supports the variable amount of suffering as the basis for ethics. I do not. I don't care how much suffering the rapist is relieved from by the act or how much pleasure is experienced or how little suffering is experienced by the victim. Such questioning is irrelevant to me. Rape is always immoral, no exceptions, even if it is done without causing any suffering. 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving wrote:I

Beyond Saving wrote:
I generally consider moral condemnations to only be as important as the respect I have for the opinion person doing the condemning. Why would I give weight to being morally condemned by fundamentalists for my lifestyle? Why would I expect anyone else to give weight to my moral opinions?

If you think my ethical standards are as retarded as those held by a fundie then you should treat both as garbage. If you think your ethical standards are more reasonable than a fundie's then you have every reason to view them as more valuable than that and strive to make people see why they're good standards.

Quote:
Oh I care very much what you do to me, I don't care whether you think it is moral or not. What you have in this case is a question of law dealing with the reality that we all have to live together, not morality.

So infecting people with AIDS isn't generally immoral?

Quote:
Objectively, money isn't worth anything.

Oh, fuck this bullshit. How about you answer the critique honestly isntead of trying to sidetrack the conversation into what money actually represents. It doesn't fucking matter whether I make the example money, sheep, gold, water, beans or inflatable Arnolds, two of something obviously has more value than one.

Quote:
Oh? So if stealing from you makes me happier and relieves me of my suffering (which was greater than yours) I should do so?

Yes, you should. You propably think I'm not serious but I am. The fact I'm recognized as the legal owner of something in our society in no way means said object can't be of more value in someone else's possession, and the fact they have to steal it from me to actualize that potential changes nothing. The only thing that matters is the outcome, society's laws are completely irrelevant to me and so is personal property.

Quote:
You are the one who supports the variable amount of suffering as the basis for ethics. I do not. I don't care how much suffering the rapist is relieved from by the act or how much pleasure is experienced or how little suffering is experienced by the victim. Such questioning is irrelevant to me. Rape is always immoral, no exceptions, even if it is done without causing any suffering.

So if the rapist has to rape someone in order to stop 10 other people from being raped (you can decide for yourself whether you wanna include the rapist among those 10), the rape is still wrong?

As for something being wrong despite causing no suffering, this is absolutely idiotic as it can be used to argue raping a rock is wrong. If you have mad rape skillz and are able to rape me in my sleep without hurting me in any way or letting me know you did it, I gladly give you permission to do so (which you don't really need but I give it to you anyway).


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4668
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is onlineOnline
Manageri wrote: If you think

Manageri wrote:
If you think my ethical standards are as retarded as those held by a fundie then you should treat both as garbage.

I do.

Manageri wrote:

If you think your ethical standards are more reasonable than a fundie's then you have every reason to view them as more valuable than that and strive to make people see why they're good standards.

I see no reason why I should waste my time trying to persuade others to have my ethical standards. Why should I even care what your ethical standards are? Generally, I live my life not caring what other people think, I only care when that thought becomes action.

 

Manageri wrote:

So infecting people with AIDS isn't generally immoral?

I would say it is quite immoral and most people would probably agree, but remember it was you that said the majority is retarded. I also say that I don't care whether the offender considers the act moral or immoral. The morality of an act is irrelevant when deciding whether or not an act should be illegal. The fact that allowing people to run around infecting others with AIDS would lead to a number of undesirable effects in society is enough to make it illegal.

 

Manageri wrote:
 

Quote:
Objectively, money isn't worth anything.
Oh, fuck this bullshit. How about you answer the critique honestly isntead of trying to sidetrack the conversation into what money actually represents. It doesn't fucking matter whether I make the example money, sheep, gold, water, beans or inflatable Arnolds, two of something obviously has more value than one.

My point is that ALL value is subjective, and whether something has any value at all is subjective. For example, if I had two inflatable Arnolds, I would consider it a negative value. I would give away something I do value, say money, to someone in exchange for them removing the inflatable Arnolds. Water is valuable when I am thirsty and can drink it, but when the same water is flooding my basement I will pay very handsomely to have it removed. A sheep is valuable in my freezer, but a sheep running around in my house has a negative value to me. In all cases, the value of an object is relative to the subject perceiving it whether it is money, sheep, gold, water, beans, inflatable Arnolds, pleasure or suffering.  

 

Manageri wrote:

 So if the rapist has to rape someone in order to stop 10 other people from being raped (you can decide for yourself whether you wanna include the rapist among those 10), the rape is still wrong?

Yes. 

 

Manageri wrote:

As for something being wrong despite causing no suffering, this is absolutely idiotic as it can be used to argue raping a rock is wrong. If you have mad rape skillz and are able to rape me in my sleep without hurting me in any way or letting me know you did it, I gladly give you permission to do so (which you don't really need but I give it to you anyway).

I'm a speciesist, I do not have ethics that cover rocks. Most humans are far more important. And yes, raping a person in a coma is immoral. I have no desire to rape you, be assured I have raped everyone I desire to rape, all zero of them. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving wrote:I see no

Beyond Saving wrote:
I see no reason why I should waste my time trying to persuade others to have my ethical standards. Why should I even care what your ethical standards are? Generally, I live my life not caring what other people think, I only care when that thought becomes action.

Changing opinions changes action, so if you care about that then it's only logical to care about changing opinions.

Manageri wrote:

So infecting people with AIDS isn't generally immoral?

Quote:

I would say it is quite immoral and most people would probably agree, but remember it was you that said the majority is retarded.

I didn't mention the majority there so I don't know why you brought it up. You mentioned earlier you don't think welfare is a good axiom for ethics so I'd like to hear why you think infecting someone with a really shitty disease is immoral if not due to its effect on the victims' welfare.

Quote:
I also say that I don't care whether the offender considers the act moral or immoral. The morality of an act is irrelevant when deciding whether or not an act should be illegal. The fact that allowing people to run around infecting others with AIDS would lead to a number of undesirable effects in society is enough to make it illegal.

If you ask me, the only reason anything should be illegal is because it's got a negative effect on overall welfare. You haven't explained exactly what your central ethical premise is (if you even have one) so I don't even know what you're using to judge whether something's immoral.

Quote:
My point is that ALL value is subjective, and whether something has any value at all is subjective. For example, if I had two inflatable Arnolds, I would consider it a negative value. I would give away something I do value, say money, to someone in exchange for them removing the inflatable Arnolds.

In which case the Arnolds hold negative value to you, which means it is objectively wrong to impose more Arnolds on you, assuming of course we agree that imposing negative sensations on sentient creatures for no benefit whatsoever is wrong.

Quote:
Water is valuable when I am thirsty and can drink it, but when the same water is flooding my basement I will pay very handsomely to have it removed.

This doesn't really change anything about what I said. In both cases more water still has more value to you, the only thing that changes is whether that value is negative or positive.

Quote:
In all cases, the value of an object is relative to the subject perceiving it whether it is money, sheep, gold, water, beans, inflatable Arnolds, pleasure or suffering.

If you find suffering to ever hold positive value then your definition of suffering really sucks. Even if suffering prevents some greater suffering, like the heat of the stove burning your fingertip a little to prevent a major burn, the suffering itself is still a negative. If you could have received that "pull your hand out you fucking moron" message through painless means then that would have been better. Paying 5 bucks to prevent you from losing 20 still doesn't mean you didn't lose money.

Quote:
Manageri wrote:

 So if the rapist has to rape someone in order to stop 10 other people from being raped (you can decide for yourself whether you wanna include the rapist among those 10), the rape is still wrong?

Yes. 

 

Alright, then by your logic if I had to rape a woman in order to stop the universe from turning into some kind of hell of endless torment for everyone (including the rape victim, hilariously enough), then it would still be wrong to do that? This is the conclusion of your ethics and you find it totally acceptable?

Quote:
I'm a speciesist, I do not have ethics that cover rocks. Most humans are far more important. And yes, raping a person in a coma is immoral.

If you can declare that actions that have no effect on humans yet involve them somehow are immoral, then I can just as well declare the same thing true for rocks with exactly the same (lack of) logic.


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4668
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is onlineOnline
Manageri wrote: You

Manageri wrote:
You mentioned earlier you don't think welfare is a good axiom for ethics so I'd like to hear why you think infecting someone with a really shitty disease is immoral if not due to its effect on the victims' welfare....If you ask me, the only reason anything should be illegal is because it's got a negative effect on overall welfare. You haven't explained exactly what your central ethical premise is (if you even have one) so I don't even know what you're using to judge whether something's immoral.

I have already said my morality is arbitrary. It is solely based on what makes me feel good (moral) and what makes me feel bad or guilty (immoral). I see no need, nor relevance of, having a single moral axiom from which all morality logically stems from. The attempt to do so will inevitably lead to gaping holes, such as your idea that killing is ok and rape is ok as long as there is no suffering. I would feel terribly guilty killing someone without a really good reason, and if I had a really good reason I wouldn't worry about suffering, and in some cases might go out of my way to increase suffering. 

 

Manageri wrote:

Alright, then by your logic if I had to rape a woman in order to stop the universe from turning into some kind of hell of endless torment for everyone (including the rape victim, hilariously enough), then it would still be wrong to do that? This is the conclusion of your ethics and you find it totally acceptable?

Well that sort of situation only happens in fairytale books but yes, rape is always immoral no matter what kind of imaginary thought experiment you care to create. I participated in a rape fantasy once and even had problems with that even though I knew it was all fantasy. So if the future of the universe relies on me raping someone you are all fucked and I won't feel the least bit guilty about it. 

 

Manageri wrote:
 

 If you can declare that actions that have no effect on humans yet involve them somehow are immoral, then I can just as well declare the same thing true for rocks with exactly the same (lack of) logic.

As I said before, you can declare whatever morality you want. Morality is not objective, it is subjective, and it is based in our emotions. Speaking of a single, universal, rational morality is as incomprehensible as arguing for a single, universal, rational standard of beauty.  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
But

Manageri wrote:
Atheistextremist wrote:
I've got no problem with this but I simply argue ethics/morality/welfare depends on a context that is supplied at least in part by an observer's point of view. 

 

 

A person making a judgement has to depend on his subjective interpretation of the situation. This doesn't mean there aren't objective facts involved, it just means the person making the decision doesn't have complete knowledge of them. If I ask you to pick up one of two cubes based on which you think is lighter, one cube appearing to be made out of gold and the other of wood, the fact the golden cube was actually hollow and hence lighter doesn't mean the weight of gold in relation to wood is subjective.

 

ethics cannot be weighed. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving wrote:I have

Beyond Saving wrote:
I have already said my morality is arbitrary. It is solely based on what makes me feel good (moral) and what makes me feel bad or guilty (immoral). I see no need, nor relevance of, having a single moral axiom from which all morality logically stems from. The attempt to do so will inevitably lead to gaping holes, such as your idea that killing is ok and rape is ok as long as there is no suffering. I would feel terribly guilty killing someone without a really good reason, and if I had a really good reason I wouldn't worry about suffering, and in some cases might go out of my way to increase suffering.

So basically your standard is that if your psychology permits you to do something without making you feel guilty then it's ok. Way to take your human intellect and throw it out the window.

Quote:
Well that sort of situation only happens in fairytale books but yes

Irrelevant, thought experiments have no need to be practically plausible.

Quote:
rape is always immoral no matter what kind of imaginary thought experiment you care to create. I participated in a rape fantasy once and even had problems with that even though I knew it was all fantasy. So if the future of the universe relies on me raping someone you are all fucked and I won't feel the least bit guilty about it.

So here you are telling me my standards create gaping holes while yours won't let you torture someone for a limited amount of time in order to save everyone from being tortured forever, including the person you could have raped?

"Hello there, would you rather rape me or sentence me and everyone else to eternal torture?"

"Rape is always wrong so you should suffer forever instead"

The idiocy of this speaks for itself.

Quote:
As I said before, you can declare whatever morality you want. Morality is not objective, it is subjective, and it is based in our emotions. Speaking of a single, universal, rational morality is as incomprehensible as arguing for a single, universal, rational standard of beauty.  

The choosing of a moral system or standard necessarily involves some subjectivity. Once that standard has been chosen however, any logic it's based on is objective. If you disagree with the standard (like you disagree with mine) then you should ignore anything that logically follows from it, I really don't care whether someone as insane and cruel as you agrees with my assessments.


ThunderJones
atheist
ThunderJones's picture
Posts: 433
Joined: 2012-04-23
User is offlineOffline
Insane and cruel? You almost

Insane and cruel? You almost seem to be misinterpreting BS' posts on purpose. He said that he wouldn't be able to rape someone even to save everyone, and that what HE THINKS is morals is what he considers good. I didn't read anything about him saying what he thinks is morality is actually some objective morality, only his perception of morality.

Secularist, Atheist, Skeptic, Freethinker


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
ThunderJones wrote:Insane

ThunderJones wrote:

Insane and cruel? You almost seem to be misinterpreting BS' posts on purpose.

I'd really like you to take the rape thought experiment and explain to me how his answer makes any sense whatsoever and how imposing eternal torture on everyone rather than a comparatively trivial amount of torture on one person isn't cruel.

Given his answer I would literally rather ask the most outta this world insane, tripping balls 24/7 lunatic what the right answer to the thought experiment is if it were real, since at least then we'd have a chance that guy's imaginary talking mushroom friend pulls the right answer outta it's ass.

Quote:
He said that he wouldn't be able to rape someone even to save everyone

No, he said it would be wrong. If he had said he should commit the rape but might not be able to because he'd feel like an asshole, his answer would have actually been in the ballpark of making some goddamn sense.

Quote:
and that what HE THINKS is morals is what he considers good. I didn't read anything about him saying what he thinks is morality is actually some objective morality, only his perception of morality.

No, he said his morality is arbitrary mush depending entirely on whatever his silly psychology makes him feel.


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1830
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
Manageri wrote:ThunderJones

Manageri wrote:
ThunderJones wrote:
and that what HE THINKS is morals is what he considers good. I didn't read anything about him saying what he thinks is morality is actually some objective morality, only his perception of morality.
No, he said his morality is arbitrary mush depending entirely on whatever his silly psychology makes him feel.

I think that's the definition of subjectivity.  He's not defending his views, he's defending the fact that morality is subjective. 

(btw, I was drunk before, I apologize for insulting you).

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
Ktulu wrote:I think that's

Ktulu wrote:
I think that's the definition of subjectivity.  He's not defending his views, he's defending the fact that morality is subjective.

It's different to argue morality has some subjectivity than it is to argue that a great way to figure out what's moral is to just do whatever your irrational psychology makes you feel good about. Even people who argue for complete moral subjectivity typically establish rules that bind them regardless of how following that rule in all situations makes them feel, such as it's wrong to kick a baby in the head for no productive purpose whatsoever even if every fiber of your being urges you to do it and you'd feel no guilt about it.

Quote:
(btw, I was drunk before, I apologize for insulting you).

That's the good thing about these forums, no bullshit mod intervention every time someone says doodyhead.


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1830
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
Well, of course you need to

Well, of course you need to have some sort of commonality of what the basis for the moral compass is.  We are all subjected to the same paradigm.  In other words, even if you were a psychopath, as long as you have an IQ of over 80, you would be able to figure out the difference between good and bad.  You may not give a shit about kicking a baby in the head, but you can equate "baby kicking" with bad, and "baby cuddling" with good.  There is no argument that 80% of our morality would be similar under the same paradigm.  

I would go further, and say that due to evolution, 20%-50% (pulled some figures out of my ass, think of don't kill people, try not to hurt others) should be instinctive.  But that is because evolution is part of our paradigm.  However, you will always get the exceptions that enforce the rule. 

That is not an objective standard, however.  The only true objective standard can be claimed by a theist.  Which in a sense says, here's this ruler you can measure good/bad against.  And it is irrelative of space-time, home planet, species or quantum spin, and the ruler shall be called GOD.  That is true objectivity, and it doesn't exist.  

We are not all arguing that causing harm is bad, or that a humanistic approach is not superior to a lack of empathy.  We're simply saying that claiming any objective standard is a slippery slope towards "my values are better then your values" sort of thinking.  I think each individual should be judged "individually" and not based on any predetermined standard.  More or less goes for every action, while a history of tendency can render someone likely to cause a certain crime, it doesn't automatically mean they are guilty in every given situation. 

You have to see that an objective moral standard is an inherently flawed concept. 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
In my earlier post

 

Atheistextremist wrote:
There is no gold standard of perfect moral good.

 

Manageri wrote:
Of course there is, maximum welfare possible for everyone.

 

I raised the issue of the competitive ecosystems all life inhabits and I think your version of ethics discounts this layer of complexity. 'Maximum welfare' certainly includes impinging on the rights of other sentient beings, unless we are imagining some sort of conceptual paradise in which nothing with sentience is hungry for flesh and blood. 

I'd like to pick at the idea of suffering, too. Pain is the body's way of encouraging organisms with complex nervous systems to avoid physically damaging situations. In a way then, central elements of suffering are vital to our well being, vital to our 'maximum welfare'. 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
Ktulu wrote:Well, of course

Ktulu wrote:

Well, of course you need to have some sort of commonality of what the basis for the moral compass is.  We are all subjected to the same paradigm.  In other words, even if you were a psychopath, as long as you have an IQ of over 80, you would be able to figure out the difference between good and bad.  You may not give a shit about kicking a baby in the head, but you can equate "baby kicking" with bad, and "baby cuddling" with good.  There is no argument that 80% of our morality would be similar under the same paradigm.  

I would go further, and say that due to evolution, 20%-50% (pulled some figures out of my ass, think of don't kill people, try not to hurt others) should be instinctive.  But that is because evolution is part of our paradigm.  However, you will always get the exceptions that enforce the rule. 

That is not an objective standard, however.

I think I've been explaining this kinda poorly overall so lemme try it this way:

I'm gonna paraphrase one of Sam Harris's arguments and make the assertion that a universe where an endless number of people are undergoing the worst possible suffering all the time is the worst possible universe (let's just use people for this and pretend animals don't exist). Surely any change at all to this universe is either neutral or beneficial, as the only way these peoples' lives can be meaningfully affected is to make it better as they're currently in the worst possible state.

I'd think any rational person would agree with what I just said, but you can still say such an agreement doesn't make it an objective truth, and you'd be right. Until someone finds a way to bridge the is-ought gap I think it's impossible to make an ethical argument based purely on logic, and I don't think that'll ever happen. Therefore if we accept the claim of such a world's badness, we must do so relying on our subjective preferences. Once we do that however, then any logic that follows from there is objective. As long we accept that world is the worst possible world, then it's objectively true that changing it in any way is good, or neutral if it doesn't affect a suffering person.

To go for another example of what I mean, if I want my house painted red, that's a subjective preference, but as long as I hold that preference it's an objective truth that painting my house red is good for me.

Now I think the Harris argument proves pretty conclusively to anyone who considers it that welfare is what they value the most in their subjective preferences. Survival is an often cited competitor, but few people indeed would rather suffer for eternity than become nonexistent, proving welfare's superiority in their personal value pile.

Now, the reason I limit my ethical axioms only to welfare, rather than making any statements such as Beyond Saving's rape is always wrong stance, is because any such standards are clearly wrong if following them unquestioningly can lead to more harm than they prevent. The rape thought experiment I presented to him is a perfect example. If you're gonna maintain that no matter what, you can't rape anyone ever, then as a logical conclusion you can't even perform one rape to stop 10 others, or indeed rape someone once to prevent the whole population from being tortured forever.

Considering all this, it follows (at least to me, tell me which dots I've left unconnected if you see some) that the objectively best way to act according to your subjective values is to hold overall welfare as the sole axiom of ethics, as long as you accept the subjective preferences I've outlined here that is. If you don't think the worst possible suffering is by definition the worst mode of existence, or that you would rather die than experience that, then this conclusion doesn't apply to you and there ain't a goddamn thing I can do to change that (other than try to argue you're nuts).


thelilith
thelilith's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: 2012-07-13
User is offlineOffline
Atheistextremist wrote:I'd

Atheistextremist wrote:
I'd like to pick at the idea of suffering, too. Pain is the body's way of encouraging organisms with complex nervous systems to avoid physically damaging situations. In a way then, central elements of suffering are vital to our well being, vital to our 'maximum welfare'.


Obviously suffering’s on a sliding scale and after a certain point there’s no return.  How much love and friendship do you think there is in the last stages of starvation in a death camp.  Those that helped others were the first to die.  Those that survive are the most selfish having secured positions that would enable them certain privileges and more food.

Or do you think what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? If so you should read Christopher Hitchin’s last essay in Vanity Fair when he was close to death and had survived, up to that point, various rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
Vanity Fair – January 2012 ‘The Trial of the Will am I really stronger’.

Can sentient beings ever avoid suffering?  The Buddha’s simple definition of enlightenment as ‘the end of suffering’ is an incomplete negative definition, as it only tells you what enlightenment is not, and not what it is. He was silent so that the mind can’t make it something to believe in or strive for but he is implying you will have to find out for yourself.
 

Real change will come when it is brought about, not by your ego, but by reality.
Tony de Mello


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:
Atheistextremist wrote:
There is no gold standard of perfect moral good.

Manageri wrote:
Of course there is, maximum welfare possible for everyone.
I raised the issue of the competitive ecosystems all life inhabits and I think your version of ethics discounts this layer of complexity. 'Maximum welfare' certainly includes impinging on the rights of other sentient beings, unless we are imagining some sort of conceptual paradise in which nothing with sentience is hungry for flesh and blood.

It certainly includes stepping on some toes in the practical world, but that doesn't mean such a state isn't theoretically possible. All we can do is try to identify it and do our best to move as close to it as possible.

Quote:
I'd like to pick at the idea of suffering, too. Pain is the body's way of encouraging organisms with complex nervous systems to avoid physically damaging situations. In a way then, central elements of suffering are vital to our well being, vital to our 'maximum welfare'

Most our pain is completely unnecessary for this task. You can defend my finger hurting when I place it on the stove with the idea that pulling it away prevents a major burn, but that doesn't explain why it keeps hurting for hours after that. There is also absolutely no reason for us to feel the pain we feel when we're dying, whatever the cause may be, as there ain't a goddamn thing we can do about fixing it. Then there's all the shit like migraines etc that really just serve no purpose to begin with.

Anyway, none of this really matters for the subject we were discussing since unless you're gonna tell me that no matter how bad you suffer, you will always choose survival over ending your pain, then this is not really a challenge to my ethics.


thelilith
thelilith's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: 2012-07-13
User is offlineOffline
Ktulu wrote:We are not all

Ktulu wrote:
We are not all arguing that causing harm is bad, or that a humanistic approach is not superior to a lack of empathy.  We're simply saying that claiming any objective standard is a slippery slope towards "my values are better then your values" sort of thinking.  I think each individual should be judged "individually" and not based on any predetermined standard.  More or less goes for every action, while a history of tendency can render someone likely to cause a certain crime, it doesn't automatically mean they are guilty in every given situation.
You have to see that an objective moral standard is an inherently flawed concept.

In terms of animal rights Manageri is asking for a threshold of sentience for all sentient beings, not a threshold of moral responsibility or self-awareness only sentient welfare.  I think what he means by objectivity here in this example is if an individual accepts this as true then it means that logically you cannot eat meat, not without being a hypocrite. Those that want to understand more could read some information on basic animal rights.

Also, if that concept is too tough then an individual could perhaps support basic animal welfare, rather than rights, this is where you would consciously eat organic meat and have consideration for the life the animal has before it dies and perhaps campaign to stop factory farming.  You would also be concerned about laboratory testing and the way domestic pets are treated etc. Native Americans for instance prayed for animals after they killed them as a mark of respect to animal welfare showing how far back this idea goes.

What he is saying here is nothing new this concept has been adopted by the animal rights movement now for many years.
 

Real change will come when it is brought about, not by your ego, but by reality.
Tony de Mello


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4668
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is onlineOnline
Manageri wrote:So basically

Manageri wrote:

So basically your standard is that if your psychology permits you to do something without making you feel guilty then it's ok. Way to take your human intellect and throw it out the window.

What rational reason would I have to dismiss my own psychology? I have to live with mine, I don't have to live with yours.

 

Manageri wrote:

So here you are telling me my standards create gaping holes while yours won't let you torture someone for a limited amount of time in order to save everyone from being tortured forever, including the person you could have raped? "Hello there, would you rather rape me or sentence me and everyone else to eternal torture?" "Rape is always wrong so you should suffer forever instead" The idiocy of this speaks for itself.

I believe there is a rather large difference between doing a harmful action yourself and failing to prevent a harmful action. 

 

Manageri wrote:
It's different to argue morality has some subjectivity than it is to argue that a great way to figure out what's moral is to just do whatever your irrational psychology makes you feel good about. Even people who argue for complete moral subjectivity typically establish rules that bind them regardless of how following that rule in all situations makes them feel, such as it's wrong to kick a baby in the head for no productive purpose whatsoever even if every fiber of your being urges you to do it and you'd feel no guilt about it.

I don't really see a reason to establish rules to bind yourself, I think it is neither healthy nor desirable. Take a look at all the religious nuts who are sexually repressed because of their ridiculous notions of morality. I have never had a need to restrain myself, I have kicked every baby in the head that I desire to kick in the head. If the only thing preventing you from kicking babies in the head is your moral rules, by all means, please keep following them. I don't have the urge to do such things. Guess that makes me immoral and cruel. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving wrote:What

Beyond Saving wrote:
What rational reason would I have to dismiss my own psychology? I have to live with mine, I don't have to live with yours.

You came pretty close to saying it yourself. Psychology != rationality. Our psychology is a combination of unrational impulses created by our DNA and our upbringing. If you can't see why it's better to rationally decide whether enslaving black people is better than deciding it with your psychology that is by design inherently racist, then I really don't know what to say to you, you're just too big an idiot/asshole to converse with.

Quote:
I believe there is a rather large difference between doing a harmful action yourself and failing to prevent a harmful action.

Where's the difference? It's not in the outside world, that's for sure, as allowing a rape and committing a rape still means one girl got raped. The only difference is in your head because you've managed to separate committing an atrocity from allowing an atrocity somehow through bullshit mental gymnastics.

Quote:
I don't really see a reason to establish rules to bind yourself, I think it is neither healthy nor desirable.

Yeah, being a sociopath is extremely desirable for the sociopath, just not for anyone else. I can't fix it if you don't care about anyone else, I just hope you stay the fuck away from us.

Quote:
Take a look at all the religious nuts who are sexually repressed because of their ridiculous notions of morality.

Which are ridicilous. I mean this is like arguing we shouldn't have any speed limits because some fucknut thinks going over 3 mph is too dangerous in all circumstances.

Quote:
I have never had a need to restrain myself, I have kicked every baby in the head that I desire to kick in the head. If the only thing preventing you from kicking babies in the head is your moral rules, by all means, please keep following them. I don't have the urge to do such things. Guess that makes me immoral and cruel.

Technically, if I did have the urge to kick babies, I would be a better person than you because I'd have kept those impulses in check rather than never having to deal with them at all. It's like some idiot vegans who boast about how the taste of meat makes them sick as if that's somehow a virtue, when obviously that just makes veganism easier and means they need to overcome less obstacles to do it.

Oh, and the thing that makes you immoral is the fact you would, at least according to your statements here, kick babies in the head if your psychology urged you to do so.


thelilith
thelilith's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: 2012-07-13
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving wrote:I

Beyond Saving wrote:
I believe there is a rather large difference between doing a harmful action yourself and failing to prevent a harmful action.


Yep, you’re a big teddy really but I’ve never been able to stick bystanders that watch while someone else is bullied although you won’t find me crossing the psychopath not without my gun anyways.  Eye-wink
 

Real change will come when it is brought about, not by your ego, but by reality.
Tony de Mello


GodsUseForAMosquito
ModeratorBronze Member
GodsUseForAMosquito's picture
Posts: 404
Joined: 2008-08-27
User is offlineOffline
 Manageri wrote:Alright,

 

Manageri wrote:

Alright, then by your logic if I had to rape a woman in order to stop the universe from turning into some kind of hell of endless torment for everyone (including the rape victim, hilariously enough), then it would still be wrong to do that? This is the conclusion of your ethics and you find it totally acceptable?

 

The conclusion of your ethics is the end of sentient life in the universe - do you find this totally acceptable?

 


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
GodsUseForAMosquito

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:
The conclusion of your ethics is the end of sentient life in the universe - do you find this totally acceptable?

Do you find it abhorrent there isn't life on mars? Do you find it unbearable the billions of potential humans that could have existed but didn't because the sperm never met the egg don't exist?

If you want to prove this conclusion wrong then all you have to do is explain to me how a potential person is worse off never having existed.

No sentient life means no suffering AND no need for pleasure. Seems like the best of both worlds to me.


GodsUseForAMosquito
ModeratorBronze Member
GodsUseForAMosquito's picture
Posts: 404
Joined: 2008-08-27
User is offlineOffline
Manageri

Manageri wrote:
GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:
The conclusion of your ethics is the end of sentient life in the universe - do you find this totally acceptable?
Do you find it abhorrent there isn't life on mars? Do you find it unbearable the billions of potential humans that could have existed but didn't because the sperm never met the egg don't exist? If you want to prove this conclusion wrong then all you have to do is explain to me how a potential person is worse off never having existed. No sentient life means no suffering AND no need for pleasure. Seems like the best of both worlds to me.

 

But I do exist, so in order to get to that state, existing sentient beings would have to die.

 

I would prefer that I and any children I may have are not fast tracked into oblivion thanks.. Don't worry, the heat death of the universe will get us in the end, but there's time for a little interest first. Frankly, what you want is boring. Life in all its forms, even with suffering, is at least interesting. *

 

 

*This is not my ethical stance, just a throwaway comment, so don't feel you need to consider it as such.

 

 


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
GodsUseForAMosquito

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:
But I do exist, so in order to get to that state, existing sentient beings would have to die.

Killing existing sentients is a different issue from creating more sentients. I would argue procreation is immoral for many different reasons, but that doesn't mean you have to kill yourself right now, those are two different subjects. If you want to kill yourself, I won't stand in your way like most assholes in our society, I'm gonna let you invest your own welfare in your own judgement.

Quote:
I would prefer that I and any children I may have are not fast tracked into oblivion thanks.. Don't worry, the heat death of the universe will get us in the end, but there's time for a little interest first. Frankly, what you want is boring. Life in all its forms, even with suffering, is at least interesting.

I'd prefer you don't impose life on other people. Whatever you do with your life is your business, you just don't have the right to gamble with another sentient being's welfare for no productive purpose whatsoever.


GodsUseForAMosquito
ModeratorBronze Member
GodsUseForAMosquito's picture
Posts: 404
Joined: 2008-08-27
User is offlineOffline
Manageri wrote: I'd prefer

Manageri wrote:
I'd prefer you don't impose life on other people. Whatever you do with your life is your business, you just don't have the right to gamble with another sentient being's welfare for no productive purpose whatsoever.

 

Your whole paradigm is based around the assumption that sentient life is necessarily negative to the net value of the system's welfare. (you have said as much earlier).

 

 I'd like to hear your reasoning that an additional sentient being decreases overall welfare.


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3704
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
Manageri wrote: No sentient

Manageri wrote:
No sentient life means no suffering AND no need for pleasure. Seems like the best of both worlds to me.

 

    Antinatalism.  I'm all for it.

www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/misanthropy

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." Rudyard Kipling


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4668
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is onlineOnline
Manageri wrote: You came

Manageri wrote:
You came pretty close to saying it yourself. Psychology != rationality. Our psychology is a combination of unrational impulses created by our DNA and our upbringing. If you can't see why it's better to rationally decide whether enslaving black people is better than deciding it with your psychology that is by design inherently racist, then I really don't know what to say to you, you're just too big an idiot/asshole to converse with.

And yet you continue to converse with me. 

 

Manageri wrote:

Quote:
I believe there is a rather large difference between doing a harmful action yourself and failing to prevent a harmful action.
Where's the difference? It's not in the outside world, that's for sure, as allowing a rape and committing a rape still means one girl got raped. The only difference is in your head because you've managed to separate committing an atrocity from allowing an atrocity somehow through bullshit mental gymnastics.

The difference is one of who is causing the suffering and the fact that I would have to live with myself afterwards. 

 

Manageri wrote:

Yeah, being a sociopath is extremely desirable for the sociopath, just not for anyone else. I can't fix it if you don't care about anyone else, I just hope you stay the fuck away from us.

I think it is obvious that a psychopath wouldn't worry about morality except to the extent that the psychopath might want to fit in with society, so would behave in socially acceptable ways to avoid standing out. A psychopath wouldn't bother creating a code of ethics to restrain themselves. You say I should stay the fuck away... you are the one suggesting the rational conclusion of your ethics is the destruction of every sentient being. I am completely harmless because I have no desire to harm anyone, at least until a person gives me a really good reason. I have already stated that I wouldn't harm an innocent even if some psychopath was holding others hostage attempting to force me to. 

Manageri wrote:

Technically, if I did have the urge to kick babies, I would be a better person than you because I'd have kept those impulses in check rather than never having to deal with them at all. It's like some idiot vegans who boast about how the taste of meat makes them sick as if that's somehow a virtue, when obviously that just makes veganism easier and means they need to overcome less obstacles to do it. Oh, and the thing that makes you immoral is the fact you would, at least according to your statements here, kick babies in the head if your psychology urged you to do so.

If that is your definition of more moral. I wouldn't agree, I would say that a person who desires to kick babies in the head but doesn't because maybe they are afraid of going to prison is hardly moral. An inherently good person is someone who doesn't want to kick babies. Someone struggling with themselves to avoid kicking babies is only one mistake away from killing a baby, not someone I would want around any baby I care about. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3312
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
Manageri

Manageri wrote:
harleysportster wrote:

Manageri wrote:
Unless by vegetarian you mean vegan you're still a major contributor to animal cruelty.

   What do you mean by that ? Can you explain that in more depth for me ?

All animals in factory farms are treated like shit, given minimal room to move in, no health care and just in general no consideration whatsoever (unless doing so is somehow conducive to making more money off of them). You can find tons of info about this, just google cow cruelty or something like that. The conditions of egg laying hens are also something worth looking into. EDIT: A good onestop source for a lotta this shit is the documentary Earthlings, you can watch it free on their homepage http://earthlings.com/

I understand that. But, I don't know the difference between Vegan and Vegetarian. I was asking what the difference was.

There is an abandoned factory close to where I live, someone had spray-painted the term : Vegan Power, in bright green lettering at the top of the building.

Now, I have heard references to radical actions from groups like PETA and such, but am not well informed enough to know about whether the stuff I have heard is an exaggeration or not.

Is this what you are referring to when you use the term Vegan over vegetarian ? If there is a difference, could you please explain that to me.

Arrogant asshole that I can be at times, I'll also be the first to admit that I do not know everything and am FAR from being as knowledgeable as most.

EDIT : Also if you could clarify. It seems that in your debates with Godsuseforamosquito, you seem to be taking the position of advocating the end of sentient life. Am I reading that correctly ?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4668
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is onlineOnline
thelilith wrote:Beyond

thelilith wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:
I believe there is a rather large difference between doing a harmful action yourself and failing to prevent a harmful action.


Yep, you’re a big teddy really but I’ve never been able to stick bystanders that watch while someone else is bullied although you won’t find me crossing the psychopath not without my gun anyways.  Eye-wink
 

I would agree, I am sickened by videos where you see someone getting beat up in public and no one steps in to stop it while dozens of people are recording it on their phones. On the other hand, if someone puts a gun to someones head and demands that I rape or kill the woman next to me or they are going to kill a bunch of people, I am not going to do it. I would attempt to stop the psycho if I saw an opportunity. Besides, it is a false choice anyway, because anyone psychotic enough to present a person with that choice can not be trusted to uphold their end of the bargain. Trusting that psycho would be pretty irrational if you ask me.  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4668
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is onlineOnline
Manageri wrote: No sentient

Manageri wrote:
No sentient life means no suffering AND no need for pleasure. Seems like the best of both worlds to me.

Personally, I am rather fond of life and glad I get to live it. Although, I do support anyone who decides they don't want to live it, as long as they go quietly and don't insist on taking a bunch of others with them. Also, while you have done nothing to persuade me on the topic in this thread, I do consider it a very good thing that you live in a country that will not allow you to have a gun, just in case you decided to actually act on your stated "ethics". 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
GodsUseForAMosquito

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:
Your whole paradigm is based around the assumption that sentient life is necessarily negative to the net value of the system's welfare. (you have said as much earlier).

 

 I'd like to hear your reasoning that an additional sentient being decreases overall welfare.

It's not exactly a question of overall welfare, at least not if you're gonna make that mean how good the average life is. Let's just say for argument's sake that the maximum pleasure and maximum pain possible have equal but opposite value, and in a hypothetical universe you have 10 people experiencing each, so a total of 20 people. Now if I give you the choise of taking one of the suffering people and moving him to the pleasurable side of the universe, or instead creating 10 new pleasure experiencing people, are you gonna add the 10 people? I'd argue that's clearly the wrong choise despite the fact that would be the better option if you simply use the math of average welfare, as there's nothing good about giving life to a potential person who has no need for it at the cost of torturing an already existing person who clearly has a need not to be tortured, ergo you can't use simple math like that when it comes to the creation of people.

I'd rather focus on the ethics of how to deal with existing shit than turn this into a discussion on antinatalism but if that's of great interest to people I suppose we can do that too.

Beyond Saving wrote:
And yet you continue to converse with me.

Purely for the reason it isn't a private conversation so I can show people how fucked up the conclusions of your stances are.

Quote:
The difference is one of who is causing the suffering and the fact that I would have to live with myself afterwards.

So assuming you have the power to do so, not preventing a rape doesn't make you feel guilty at all?

Quote:
I think it is obvious that a psychopath wouldn't worry about morality except to the extent that the psychopath might want to fit in with society, so would behave in socially acceptable ways to avoid standing out. A psychopath wouldn't bother creating a code of ethics to restrain themselves.

You mean kinda like how you don't bother to do that either beyond the point of calling whatever you feel like doing moral?

Quote:
You say I should stay the fuck away... you are the one suggesting the rational conclusion of your ethics is the destruction of every sentient being. I am completely harmless because I have no desire to harm anyone, at least until a person gives me a really good reason. I have already stated that I wouldn't harm an innocent even if some psychopath was holding others hostage attempting to force me to.

You said you'd rather let everyone be tortured for eternity than rape one woman, and you call yourself harmless? What definition of harmless could you possibly be using?

Quote:
If that is your definition of more moral. I wouldn't agree, I would say that a person who desires to kick babies in the head but doesn't because maybe they are afraid of going to prison is hardly moral. An inherently good person is someone who doesn't want to kick babies. Someone struggling with themselves to avoid kicking babies is only one mistake away from killing a baby, not someone I would want around any baby I care about. 

I dunno, I'm not really impressed if a random dude tells me they've never molested a child. Now if a pedophile tells me they've had the urge to do so for a long time but never did it, I'd say he's propably a pretty ethical guy just based on that. Obviously that doesn't mean it's better to be a pedophile or that I'd want that guy around kids just because he hasn't molested one yet.

Beyond Saving wrote:
Personally, I am rather fond of life and glad I get to live it. Although, I do support anyone who decides they don't want to live it, as long as they go quietly and don't insist on taking a bunch of others with them.

I support anyone's choise to do whatever they want to themselves. If you wanna stick your dick into a beehive, that's fine by me, just don't force new people into this shithole. I'm rather not fond of the fact my mongoloid parents decided they have the right to gamble with my welfare just because they wanted someone to change their shitty diapers when they're old and all that other fucking bullshit parents think they're entitled to.


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
harleysportster wrote:I

harleysportster wrote:
I understand that. But, I don't know the difference between Vegan and Vegetarian.

Vegetarians simply don't eat meat. Vegans don't use any animal products which includes dairy stuff and eggs. Veganism is also not restricted to food, we won't buy a leather jacket for example or buy tickets to go see bullfighting. In short, we don't support products/services based on exploiting animals.

Quote:
Now, I have heard references to radical actions from groups like PETA and such, but am not well informed enough to know about whether the stuff I have heard is an exaggeration or not.

Not living in the states I'm not all that familiar with what PETA does but I generally don't believe in a soft approach on this issue. I think it's nonsense of vegans to argue abusing animals is no less barbaric than abusing humans, and then not support serious measures to do something about it. If PETA fucks shit up for people who abuse animals I say way to go.


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4668
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is onlineOnline
Manageri wrote: So assuming

Manageri wrote:
 So assuming you have the power to do so, not preventing a rape doesn't make you feel guilty at all?

There is horrible shit happening all over the world every day. Theoretically, I have the power to stop some of it. I could strap on my guns, track down and kill people who do evil shit, preventing them from doing more evil shit. I don't and no, I don't feel guilty about it. Now if a rape was happening in front of me, I would kill the SOB without thinking twice. I wouldn't kill the person being raped to prevent the rape, nor would I kill some random innocent bystander if in some fucked up way that would prevent the rape. 

 

Manageri wrote:

You said you'd rather let everyone be tortured for eternity than rape one woman, and you call yourself harmless? What definition of harmless could you possibly be using?

What is rape if it isn't causing harm? Just because you somehow justify in your fucked up head that it makes the world a better place doesn't mean you are not causing real and immediate harm to the person you are raping. 

 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Hi Manageri

 

Atheistextremist wrote:
I raised the issue of the competitive ecosystems all life inhabits and I think your version of ethics discounts this layer of complexity. 'Maximum welfare' certainly includes impinging on the rights of other sentient beings, unless we are imagining some sort of conceptual paradise in which nothing with sentience is hungry for flesh and blood.

 

Manageri wrote:

It certainly includes stepping on some toes in the practical world, but that doesn't mean such a state isn't theoretically possible. All we can do is try to identify it and do our best to move as close to it as possible.

 

I agree with you completely. I only argue that theoretical frameworks of variously subjective idealisms are not objective. This does not mean these ideals are not worth pursuing. 

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

I'd like to pick at the idea of suffering, too. Pain is the body's way of encouraging organisms with complex nervous systems to avoid physically damaging situations. In a way then, central elements of suffering are vital to our well being, vital to our 'maximum welfare'

 

Manageri wrote:

Most our pain is completely unnecessary for this task. You can defend my finger hurting when I place it on the stove with the idea that pulling it away prevents a major burn, but that doesn't explain why it keeps hurting for hours after that. There is also absolutely no reason for us to feel the pain we feel when we're dying, whatever the cause may be, as there ain't a goddamn thing we can do about fixing it. Then there's all the shit like migraines etc that really just serve no purpose to begin with. Anyway, none of this really matters for the subject we were discussing since unless you're gonna tell me that no matter how bad you suffer, you will always choose survival over ending your pain, then this is not really a challenge to my ethics.

 

I would not argue all pain and suffering are always useful but some pain is the brain's way of telling us something is physically wrong. The fact it doesn't switch off after the injury is unfortunate but certainly encourages us to keep injuries out of harm's way. Applying this to extremes of agony - I have no stomach for arguing that.

In any case, I'm not trying to challenge your ethics. They seem more than usually fine just as they are - idealistic perhaps but that's a fine way to be. I only argue there's a degree of subjectivity in elements of ethical behaviour that's anthropocentric, coloured by culture and context, that there's no universally objective set of ethics. Personally, I would argue respect for all life based on our common heritage, our symbiosis within the organism of life.

I have no problem with anything you're saying concerning values and I assume the 'death to sentient life' jibe was tongue in cheek. In fairness, I have to admit there are times I've wondered whether the planet would be better off without us. We are a scourge to fellow travelers on spaceship Earth. If you consider the number of species we have obliterated and will soon push to extinction as we endlessly pontificate about universal morality and ultimate meaning, it's hard not to think humans are a blind and selfish lot. 

Finally, I'd love to hear your definition of sentience...

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3312
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
Manageri wrote:Not living in

Manageri wrote:
Not living in the states I'm not all that familiar with what PETA does but I generally don't believe in a soft approach on this issue. I think it's nonsense of vegans to argue abusing animals is no less barbaric than abusing humans, and then not support serious measures to do something about it. If PETA fucks shit up for people who abuse animals I say way to go.

PETA (and groups like them) have been attributed to dumping animal blood on people coming out of stores that buy leather and furs, damaging labs where animal experimentation has taken place, vandalizing companies that use certain cosmetics and such. Whether PETA actually takes credit for these actions or whether they take the stand that these types of radical groups are acting on their own is not something that I know for certain. I know there are other groups over here that are labeled : "eco-terrorists" that pretty much engage in the same types of behavior on an environmental type scale.

I know one  guy that claimed to be a member of PETA made the headlines of the local news where I live. He snuck into a zoo late one night and set a whole bunch of animals loose. I don't remember what he was charged with, but he was protesting what he called : animal enslavement.  I don't remember if the local PETA group here endorsed it or not.

I DO know, that when several groups were pushing for much tougher laws on dog fighting and chicken fighting (several major underground gambling operations were busted here a few years ago) some of the groups tried to keep their distance from PETA when they joined in the protest.

Anyway, at least I now know the difference between vegans and vegetarians.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
harleysportster wrote:PETA

harleysportster wrote:
PETA (and groups like them) have been attributed to dumping animal blood on people coming out of stores that buy leather and furs, damaging labs where animal experimentation has taken place, vandalizing companies that use certain cosmetics and such. Whether PETA actually takes credit for these actions or whether they take the stand that these types of radical groups are acting on their own is not something that I know for certain. I know there are other groups over here that are labeled : "eco-terrorists" that pretty much engage in the same types of behavior on an environmental type scale.

Let's do a thought experiment and change the examples in our heads a little. Let's make it throwing blood on people who buy black people as slaves, damaging labs where black people are experimented on, and vandalizing companies that use slave labor. If those were the headlines would your first reaction be that the protesters are assholes or the people they're protesting are? From the vegan viewpoint (or any rational viewpoint for that matter) there's no inherent difference between racism and speciesism so actions like these make perfect sense to me.

Many vegans and vegetarians will argue we shouldn't engage in this type of behaviour and instead just be calm and talk to people, and not even be at all rude ever when we do that. I think that sends the exact wrong message. After all, if people interpret that to mean vegans have no real passion for their message, doesn't that send the signal that the message can't be all that crucial? I was personally converted to veganism by first being shown the proof of how badly animals are treated and then listening to people who don't mince words make the argument about how you're a massive asshole if you support it. Was it wrong to go to war with the assholes who didn't wanna release the slaves? Should the North have just calmly corresponded with the assholes forever?


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3704
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
Manageri wrote:.... From the

Manageri wrote:
.... From the vegan viewpoint (or any rational viewpoint for that matter) there's no inherent difference between racism and speciesism so actions like these make perfect sense to me.

 

  Then don't waste your time with PETA and instead join ALF ( Animal Liberation Front ).   The employ tactics that are "direct action" in nature but be prepared  to endure serious criminal penalties if you are caught by the authorities.

www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/misanthropy

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." Rudyard Kipling


GodsUseForAMosquito
ModeratorBronze Member
GodsUseForAMosquito's picture
Posts: 404
Joined: 2008-08-27
User is offlineOffline
 To complete that thought

 To complete that thought experiment they'd have to be throwing black people's blood at people..


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving wrote:What is

Beyond Saving wrote:
What is rape if it isn't causing harm? Just because you somehow justify in your fucked up head that it makes the world a better place doesn't mean you are not causing real and immediate harm to the person you are raping.

Well duh, of course raping someone harms them, the point is if raping someone causes less harm overall than not raping them then it's obviously better to rape them.

If you're gonna cling to your idiotic notion that we can't cause any harm whatsoever to someone without their consent then you can't, for example, support vaccinating children too young to consent as the injection causes them pain. We also can't administer CPR as that risks injury, we can't push someone outta the way of an oncoming truck as that will cause minor pain etc etc. There's a reason we use the term lesser evil.

Atheistextremist wrote:
I have no problem with anything you're saying concerning values and I assume the 'death to sentient life' jibe was tongue in cheek.

I don't give a shit what people do with their own lives as long as it affects just that - their OWN lives. If people minded their own business I'd see no reason to interfere whatsoever. Problem is, they don't do that. They abuse the shit out of animals and they create kids who go on to abuse the shit out of animals and create more kids and so on. There's nothing incoherent about the possibilty it would be better if we didn't exist. If you think it is better we exist then all you have to do is present an argument as to why.

Quote:
Finally, I'd love to hear your definition of sentience...

Ability to feel positive and negative sensations. This does not apply to trees for example because while they clearly react to things that cause sensations in us, like temperature, there's no evidence they feel it. We know what parts of our bodies are responsible for creating these sensations and trees just don't have them, nor would it even make sense for evolution to let a tree feel pain when you rip off a leaf as there's not a goddamn thing the tree can do about it. Pain is evolutionarily advantageous in animals precisely because it prompts us into action.


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4668
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is onlineOnline
Manageri wrote:Was it wrong

Manageri wrote:
Was it wrong to go to war with the assholes who didn't wanna release the slaves? Should the North have just calmly corresponded with the assholes forever?

 

Many other countries eliminated slavery without the extreme violence of civil war. Slavery was already a diminishing institution at the time, it was becoming increasingly unpopular and was being outlawed state by state. I think that it is obvious that slavery would have been eliminated without the civil war. Now it would have taken longer, but one could speculate that the large levels of violence during the time of reconstruction wouldn't have been as bad. No doubt, integrating newly freedmen into free society a state or two at a time would have gone a lot smoother than all of them at once. Remember, the slaves were taken out of a place where they had shelter, water and food and were thrown into the general population with no job, no money, no education and high levels of racism. Not an enviable position and many suffered more being free than they did as slaves. 

So whether the amount of suffering caused by the civil war and reconstruction was greater than if the North had taken a calmer approach and slavery was phased out over time I will leave for you to determine. I think there is a pretty strong argument that the horrors and suffering of the war were far greater to a much larger number of people than the suffering if slavery was phased out over a longer period of time. So using your moral basis, where simply summing up the suffering on either side of the equation and choosing the side of the least suffering I should say that the more moderate approach would have been more consistent your stated ethics. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4668
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is onlineOnline
Manageri wrote: If you're

Manageri wrote:
If you're gonna cling to your idiotic notion that we can't cause any harm whatsoever to someone without their consent then you can't, for example, support vaccinating children too young to consent as the injection causes them pain. We also can't administer CPR as that risks injury, we can't push someone outta the way of an oncoming truck as that will cause minor pain etc etc. There's a reason we use the term lesser evil.

I don't see vaccinating someone or pushing someone as immoral. Who said anything about not harming anyone no matter what? I just said I will not commit an act I believe is immoral. 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3312
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
Manageri wrote:  I don't

Manageri wrote:
  I don't give a shit what people do with their own lives as long as it affects just that - their OWN lives. If people minded their own business I'd see no reason to interfere whatsoever. Problem is, they don't do that. They abuse the shit out of animals and they create kids who go on to abuse the shit out of animals and create more kids and so on. There's nothing incoherent about the possibilty it would be better if we didn't exist. If you think it is better we exist then all you have to do is present an argument as to why.
Quote:

So your arguing that the world would be better if everyone in it was dead ? How do you define that as being better ?

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Manageri
atheist
Manageri's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: 2009-05-09
User is offlineOffline
harleysportster wrote:So

harleysportster wrote:
So your arguing that the world would be better if everyone in it was dead ? How do you define that as being better ?

Creating a sentient being means creating need (food, sex, comfort blah blah...). Unless that need serves some pre-existing greater need, there's no logical reason to create it. Seeing as the only needs we serve are the ones created by our own existence, creating us is entirely without a constructive purpose. It's like shitting all over the floor just so you can clean the shit up and then calling yourself productive.

Now if we could actually fulfill all these needs there wouldn't really be a problem. Unfortunately, we can't. About a million people kill themselves annually because their lives fucking suck. I don't even wanna guess how many want to kill themselves on some level but for whatever reason are unable or unwilling to take that risk (afterall, some asshole might "save" you just so you can wake up in a hospital paralyzed from the neck down making your life even more unbearable).

Bringing a potential person to life, even if they find their life to be just peachy, is therefore not a good act. Unfortunately, bringing a person who will be miserable and hate their life into existence is still wrong. This is known in our antinatalist circles as the "Benatarian asymmetry" if you wanna do some googling on it on your own.