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Tags free will , predeterminism

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Old 27th June 2019, 09:47 PM   #321
HansMustermann
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Hmm, now that's a good point. I hadn't thought about it.
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Old 27th June 2019, 10:03 PM   #322
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
We can judge the evil of his act as lesser, or not, depending on our moral theory. We can assert that he could have acted differently if circumstances were different, such as if he were not hungry, if he had more respect for the law, or if the punishments were harsher. But we can do this with or without accepting determinism.
I would argue, though, that all moral theories are ultimately about: he would have acted differently if circumstances were different. Even in just the aspect: if he and/or more people knew OUR moral theory. Otherwise there would be no point in writing it down, isn't it?

That said, I would also add, more for David's benefit, that there are a lot more options when it comes to acting upon those circumstances than making punishments harsher.

E.g., Confucianism was precisely in opposition to the idea of ancient Chinese legalism that you just have to make punishments harsher. Confucius's idea was that if you make society have more of a sense of honour and conversely shame for the whole family if someone does something wrong, then fewer people would do wrong stuff.

So, you know, using social and family pressuer is not even some newfangled modern idea, nor originating with Skinner. It's ancient.

E.g., one could argue that if everyone had access to a decent baseline standard of living, there would be less of a reason to steal.
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Old 27th June 2019, 10:45 PM   #323
David Mo
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
If the plane were hit by lightning, which caused the software to glitch and fly into the ground, nobody would really find someone to call "evil". Nevertheless, we can say that having a plane loaded with 100+ people fly into the ground is "bad". It's undesirable.
(...)
Just the fact that no human can be blamed doesn't change the fact that certain outcomes are less desirable than others, and that we can take measures to increase the odds of the desirable outcomes and reduce the odds of the undesirable ones.

All you can say is perhaps that then it's no longer a morality problem. And sure, that would even be a fair point. But we can still decide it's a problem anyway, and we can still try to solve it.
You look like Groucho Marx:
“Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others”.

In one of your previous comments the principle to distinguish good from bad was happiness. In the next it is what is desirable.
It would be good if you choose one of them once and for all. But while you are doing it I tell you that this of the desirable is even more subjective than happiness. That is to say, men want different things and many times they do not agree on what they have to want.

For the traveller it is desirable that the plane should fly.
For the terrorist it is desirable that the plane crashes.

You see. Two irreconcilable desires.

That's what morality is all about. Which one is good and which one is bad? Which one should we condemn? Because the two goals are "desirable" and each one provokes "happiness". But in conflict.
You see that your concept of good doesn't work. It's normal. General principles that please everyone tend to end up with empty "don't kill" mandates. They are more or less nice, but unachievable. As I said in another comment, the world of ethics is the world of conflicts in need of resolution.
You should change it, like Groucho.
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Old 27th June 2019, 10:55 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
As for the whole 'but happiness is subjective' argument, all I can say is, "well, duh." Didn't stop any of the schools of subjectivism from dealing with it anyway. I would have expected someone who claims to be a proponent of intersubjectivism to be pre-clued, so to speak, that there's a reason it has "subjective" right in the name

In fact, you seem to be the only one who seems to think that any flavour of SUBJECTIVism needs OBJECTIVE everything to work.
I don't know what you're talking about. What I'm saying has nothing to do with intersubjectivity, nor do I see any flavour in anything.

I see the obvious fact that people have very different tastes about many things. Some want to travel to the beach and others to the mountains. That is to say, that their desires are subjective.

To say that tastes are subjective is a primary truth. You seem to have misunderstood what I said.
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Old 27th June 2019, 11:10 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
But reasons have causes. If a man steals food because he's hungry, he's hungry for reasons.

We can judge the evil of his act as lesser, or not, depending on our moral theory. We can assert that he could have acted differently if circumstances were different, such as if he were not hungry, if he had more respect for the law, or if the punishments were harsher. But we can do this with or without accepting determinism.

We could also assert that the food thief could have acted differently if all circumstances were identical, but that's making an assumption of nondeterminism. We cannot then use that argument or the follow-ons from that argument to argue against determinism. That would be begging the question.

If there are moral theories that assume nondeterminism, then those theories are useless in asserting that nondeterminism is true. No matter how many of them there are.
In psychology, a distinction is made between causes and motives. The principle of causality does not apply to motives. The same motives may lead to different behaviour. The thief may have the same motives, but may refrain from stealing. If psychology were mechanistic, it could predict the behavior of the thief one hundred percent. This is not the case, except in science fiction movies. Even in very controlled laboratory circumstances only a certain probability of response can be predicted.

Naturally there are behaviors more predictable than others, but they are not all behaviors and to the degree of the physical sciences.

Therefore there is useful for us to distinguish between forced acts and free acts. Law and morality make this distinction. It seems inevitable to me if we do not want to cause confusion.
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Old 27th June 2019, 11:30 PM   #326
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You look like Groucho Marx:
“Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others”.

In one of your previous comments the principle to distinguish good from bad was happiness. In the next it is what is desirable.
Geeze. I guess when you ran out of arguments 5 pages ago, you have to do this kind of playing dumb.

I mean, even skipping past that I've clarified my position even before this thread started -- hint: it's the actual intersubjectivism -- exactly where do you see a contradiction there? How are they even alternatives? Is happiness undesirable for you?

But basically they're not even the same variable. "Good" is the name we give to the stuff we deem desirable for society, "bad" stuff is what we deem undesirable for society, and "happiness" is one criterion we can use to make that judgment. E.g., if we happened to be into utilitarianism. Seeing those as alternatives is just about as stupid as thinking that in a trial "evidence" and "verdict" are conflicting alternatives. One is just how we figure out the other, silly.

There, it wasn't that complicated, now was it?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It would be good if you choose one of them once and for all.
I did. Your playing dumb isn't MY failure. It's still yours, silly.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
But while you are doing it I tell you that this of the desirable is even more subjective than happiness. That is to say, men want different things and many times they do not agree on what they have to want.

For the traveller it is desirable that the plane should fly.
For the terrorist it is desirable that the plane crashes.

You see. Two irreconcilable desires.

That's what morality is all about. Which one is good and which one is bad? Which one should we condemn? Because the two goals are "desirable" and each one provokes "happiness". But in conflict.
You see that your concept of good doesn't work. It's normal. General principles that please everyone tend to end up with empty "don't kill" mandates. They are more or less nice, but unachievable. As I said in another comment, the world of ethics is the world of conflicts in need of resolution.
So basically, again, your argument is that you don't understand that:

A) the Nirvana Fallacy is a fallacy, and

B) generally how optimization problems work, and

C) that yes, subjectivism is about dealing with subjective and conflicting stuff, even while you're claiming to be into intersubjectivism

Right? I mean, your whole argument there DOES boil down to the "but the solution won't be a PERFECT maximum on every axis!" stupidity, right?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You should change it, like Groucho.
Snark based on just your comprehension problems... still doesn't impress me.
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Old 28th June 2019, 02:47 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

I mean, even skipping past that I've clarified my position even before this thread started -- hint: it's the actual intersubjectivism -- exactly where do you see a contradiction there? How are they even alternatives? Is happiness undesirable for you?

(...)
So basically, again, your argument is that you don't understand that:
(...)

B) generally how optimization problems work, and

C) that yes, subjectivism is about dealing with subjective and conflicting stuff, even while you're claiming to be into intersubjectivism

Right?
“I mean, even skipping past that I've clarified my position even before this thread started -- hint: it's the actual intersubjectivism -- exactly where do you see a contradiction there?”

This question doesn't make sense. Intersubjectivism is a theory that defends agreements between certain subjectivities. It is neither real nor unreal because it is not a thing but a theory. You can say if it is true (in the case of epistemology) or if it is convenient (in the case of ethics), but not if it is "real".
If you understand by "intersubjectivism" or "reality" something else, please clarify your concept.
But if you pretend that the criterion of desirable is objective and is just a matter of optimizing it, or you are using an empty phrase or you are talking nonsense. Because until you show me otherwise, "what is desirable" is a concept that people interpret in different ways. That is, subjectively.

You are used to answering specific questions with vagaries. Stop making abstract propositions and answer if you can:
How do you "optimize" the subjective interests of the traveller and the terrorist? Note that I am not inventing examples that favour me, but using the one you proposed. Please clarify whether you are sticking to "happiness" or "the desirable". They are two different things.

Do not pass the ball to me before answering, which is a well-known trick.

NOTE: And don't use the "my optimization is not perfect" trick to hide that you have no criteria for optimizing anything. At least you will be able to offer an "imperfect" optimization on the example we have. Don't you?
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Old 28th June 2019, 04:14 AM   #328
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
“I mean, even skipping past that I've clarified my position even before this thread started -- hint: it's the actual intersubjectivism -- exactly where do you see a contradiction there?”

This question doesn't make sense. Intersubjectivism is a theory that defends agreements between certain subjectivities. It is neither real nor unreal because it is not a thing but a theory. You can say if it is true (in the case of epistemology) or if it is convenient (in the case of ethics), but not if it is "real".
Considering that I didn't say anywhere that it can be reified to a real "thing", well, not sure what the point of that detour was. Getting the jitters if you don't produce a strawman for too long, or...?

Plus, the same can be said about maths, evolution or thermodynamics. None of them is a real "thing". They may describe real "things", but aren't themselves anything else than a theory. They also happen to be correct. So the relevance of going "but it's just a theory" is... exactly what?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
If you understand by "intersubjectivism" or "reality" something else, please clarify your concept.
Considering that the post you're answering to doesn't even mention "reality", I'm still not sure what the point of that red herring is. You're still determined to just derail the talk if you can't actually come up with a sane argument, eh? Or did you get confused between what I was saying and what the voices in your head were?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
But if you pretend that the criterion of desirable is objective and is just a matter of optimizing it,
No, silly. Something being "desirable" or "undesirable" for society is the CONCLUSION, not the premise. It's what any ethical system tries to figure out. Do try to focus.

I mean, frankly, if we already had what's desirable or undesirable as a premise from the start, then there'd be nothing else to do, job done, everyone in the field of moral philosophy could just find something else to do

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
or you are using an empty phrase or you are talking nonsense.
No, talking empty nonsense is your domain, silly. You can stop worrying about me getting on your turf

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Because until you show me otherwise, "what is desirable" is a concept that people interpret in different ways. That is, subjectively.
Which is WHY "subjectivism" has "subjective" right in the name, silly.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You are used to answering specific questions with vagaries.
You can stop projecting, silly.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Stop making abstract propositions and answer if you can:
How do you "optimize" the subjective interests of the traveller and the terrorist? Note that I am not inventing examples that favour me, but using the one you proposed. Please clarify whether you are sticking to "happiness" or "the desirable". They are two different things.
Quite trivially, actually.

Easiest solution, which we used for over 2500 years at this point: take a vote. How many people want the freedom to blow up a plane, vs how many think they should be free to reach their intended destination. That optimizes right there how many people get what they wanted.

It's not even the only way, mind you, but it's the most trivial.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Do not pass the ball to me before answering, which is a well-known trick.
Your comprehension problems are still just that: your problem, not my passing the ball.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
NOTE: And don't use the "my optimization is not perfect" trick to hide that you have no criteria for optimizing anything. At least you will be able to offer an "imperfect" optimization on the example we have. Don't you?
You know, there are few things that I ever found sadder than the kind of preemptively proclaiming victory and that surely nobody can answer your trivial questions, like you just did. If you ask a question, do try to wait for the answer before doing the lame ego-wank about how it totally stumped everyone

Not that you needed to ask anyway. I had told you repeatedly even before the thread existed. You just seem to think that pretending to forget everything over night, or sometimes even within rows of reading it, is a perfectly good alternative to actually being able to address it.
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Old 28th June 2019, 07:38 AM   #329
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
In psychology, a distinction is made between causes and motives. The principle of causality does not apply to motives. The same motives may lead to different behaviour. The thief may have the same motives, but may refrain from stealing. If psychology were mechanistic, it could predict the behavior of the thief one hundred percent. This is not the case, except in science fiction movies. Even in very controlled laboratory circumstances only a certain probability of response can be predicted.

Naturally there are behaviors more predictable than others, but they are not all behaviors and to the degree of the physical sciences.

Therefore there is useful for us to distinguish between forced acts and free acts. Law and morality make this distinction. It seems inevitable to me if we do not want to cause confusion.

None of this rules out determinism. Chaos theory and computational complexity theory show that systems following entirely deterministic rules can still be completely unpredictable.

Of course there are other causes besides motives that can influence whether someone steals or not. Two people might have the same motive, but one has more empathy for the victim, or a stronger moral self-image of being "above" thievery, or a different religion, or the expectation of a different punishment if caught, or a different perception of the severity of the potential punishment (such as, claustrophobia that would make prison unbearable, or a dependent who would suffer), or a different perception of the probability of getting caught and punished, or a less enticing opportunity to steal, or one sees a bird fly by just as he's about to steal, which reminds him of something which reminds him of something else which reminds him of his grandmother who once told him something about stealing. Such differences are fully consistent with determinism. As I said before, determinism does not mean that everyone's brains suddenly fail to function.

Pointing out that no single factor is definitive for predicting a person's decisions isn't nondeterminism, it's just common sense.

However, if you would assert that two people might act differently even if all of those factors I listed, and every other possible circumstantial factor, were exactly equal, then you're asserting nondeterminism, but you're doing so with no basis.
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Old 28th June 2019, 09:35 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
None of this rules out determinism. Chaos theory and computational complexity theory show that systems following entirely deterministic rules can still be completely unpredictable.
thank you!
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Old 28th June 2019, 11:01 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
(...)

No, silly. Something being "desirable" or "undesirable" for society is the CONCLUSION, not the premise. It's what any ethical system tries to figure out. Do try to focus.

I mean, frankly, if we already had what's desirable or undesirable as a premise from the start, then there'd be nothing else to do, job done, everyone in the field of moral philosophy could just find something else to do

(...)
Quite trivially, actually.

Easiest solution, which we used for over 2500 years at this point: take a vote. How many people want the freedom to blow up a plane, vs how many think they should be free to reach their intended destination. That optimizes right there how many people get what they wanted.
Long live Grouchism! Now happiness or what is desirable are no longer worth as criteria of good. You have changed your principles again. Now the criterion for knowing that something is good or bad is the majority. Good is what the majority votes. We will leave for the moment that the conclusion of the majority vote is what is desirable and happiness. It is one of your classic simplicities, but we will overlook it for now.

But your new principle is not really promising.

1. What majority? From the ancient Greece to parliamentary democracy the majority has been established in a thousand different ways. What's the good one? I suppose that you consider yourself very actual and you are thinking in universal vote. Why is universal vote better?
2. How is that majority counted? The majority of the US considered bombing Iraqi women and children very good. The majority of Iraqis considered it very bad. What counts?
3. Derived from the above. What happens in the countless cases where majority has not voted?
4. The vote of majority is ever good? This make good a large list of aberrations. Not only can it happen, but in fact it happens, that there are minorities who have the means to manipulate and control the voting systems. The majority vote handed over power to Hitler and Mussolini, which does not make them good. I hope that you will agree with this conclusion.
5. What happens when a majority uses the vote to take away minority rights? Do minorities have the right to rebel against the majority that exploits or degrades them?
6. Moral problems arise mainly in the private sphere. A family must vote to know if a violent parent is bad?
And so on.
You can see as your answer is incomplete, vague or straightforward nonsensical. Not “imperfect” but a simplicity tout court.

Even in the political sphere, moral problems have given rise to a lot of debates from Greek democracy to now. Remember that it was the majority vote that condemned Socrates to death. The general idea among experts is that pretending that the problems of what is good or bad are solved by a simple vote is not “imperfect” it is a simplicity.

You confuse the political system of democracy, which is perhaps the least bad possible, with the problem of deciding what is good or bad, which is a different problem. For example, a democracy that does not somehow recognize the possibility that majorities are wrong on moral issues is doomed to become a totalitarian democracy, which is one of the worst things in this world.

Summarizing: If the only criterion to know what is good is the majority vote, you have no mean to denounce when a majority decision is bad. And this is even worse than a simplicity; it is a moral perversity.
Quite trivially, actually.

NOTE: “Something being "desirable" or "undesirable" for society is the CONCLUSION, not the premise. It's what any ethical system tries to figure out”.
Again a nonsensical phrase. Try to explain it, please.

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Old 28th June 2019, 11:30 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
None of this rules out determinism. Chaos theory and computational complexity theory show that systems following entirely deterministic rules can still be completely unpredictable.

Of course there are other causes besides motives that can influence whether someone steals or not. Two people might have the same motive, but one has more empathy for the victim, or a stronger moral self-image of being "above" thievery, or a different religion, or the expectation of a different punishment if caught, or a different perception of the severity of the potential punishment (such as, claustrophobia that would make prison unbearable, or a dependent who would suffer), or a different perception of the probability of getting caught and punished, or a less enticing opportunity to steal, or one sees a bird fly by just as he's about to steal, which reminds him of something which reminds him of something else which reminds him of his grandmother who once told him something about stealing. Such differences are fully consistent with determinism. As I said before, determinism does not mean that everyone's brains suddenly fail to function.

Pointing out that no single factor is definitive for predicting a person's decisions isn't nondeterminism, it's just common sense.

However, if you would assert that two people might act differently even if all of those factors I listed, and every other possible circumstantial factor, were exactly equal, then you're asserting nondeterminism, but you're doing so with no basis.
I don't know well the use of "determinism" and "unpredictability" in physics. I find it strange that a system in which the same causes produce different effects can be called "deterministic". I had read that the system of quantum mechanics was defined as indeterministic. But I can't know in what sense. I limit myself to the field of psychology which is the one I know. I suppose that the problem of good and evil has to do with people, not electrons.

Here the term determinism is linked to the predictability of behaviours. The same causes produce the same effects. And it is a generalized belief among psychologists that human behaviours are unpredictable in practice. This is recognized even by the most deterministic of all: Skinner. Him assumes that if the same causes have produced different effects it is because other causes without control have intervened. But this is an assumption. Determinism thus becomes a mere supposition.
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Old 28th June 2019, 11:59 PM   #333
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Long live Grouchism! Now happiness or what is desirable are no longer worth as criteria of good. You have changed your principles again. Now the criterion for knowing that something is good or bad is the majority. Good is what the majority votes. We will leave for the moment that the conclusion of the majority vote is what is desirable and happiness. It is one of your classic simplicities, but we will overlook it for now.
Again, your comprehension problems aren't MY problem. They're still yours, dummy.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
1. What majority? From the ancient Greece to parliamentary democracy the majority has been established in a thousand different ways. What's the good one? I suppose that you consider yourself very actual and you are thinking in universal vote. Why is universal vote better?
2. How is that majority counted? The majority of the US considered bombing Iraqi women and children very good. The majority of Iraqis considered it very bad. What counts?
3. Derived from the above. What happens in the countless cases where majority has not voted?
4. The vote of majority is ever good? This make good a large list of aberrations. Not only can it happen, but in fact it happens, that there are minorities who have the means to manipulate and control the voting systems. The majority vote handed over power to Hitler and Mussolini, which does not make them good. I hope that you will agree with this conclusion.
5. What happens when a majority uses the vote to take away minority rights? Do minorities have the right to rebel against the majority that exploits or degrades them?
6. Moral problems arise mainly in the private sphere. A family must vote to know if a violent parent is bad?
And so on.
You can see as your answer is incomplete, vague or straightforward nonsensical. Not “imperfect” but a simplicity tout court.

Even in the political sphere, moral problems have given rise to a lot of debates from Greek democracy to now. Remember that it was the majority vote that condemned Socrates to death. The general idea among experts is that pretending that the problems of what is good or bad are solved by a simple vote is not “imperfect” it is a simplicity.

You confuse the political system of democracy, which is perhaps the least bad possible, with the problem of deciding what is good or bad, which is a different problem. For example, a democracy that does not somehow recognize the possibility that majorities are wrong on moral issues is doomed to become a totalitarian democracy, which is one of the worst things in this world.

Summarizing: If the only criterion to know what is good is the majority vote, you have no mean to denounce when a majority decision is bad. And this is even worse than a simplicity; it is a moral perversity.
Quite trivially, actually.
As was said to you in the other thread too, neither does a system where only ONE person thinks he knows better. It being YOU doesn't lend it any more moral authority than when it was Solon or Stalin who knew better what's good for everyone.

Especially when, quite frankly, you haven't even shown that you even HAVE a system that works better, or really at all. Again, when pressed in the other thread, your supposed moral system so good that it can trump majority... actually couldn't produce more than trivial generalities.

You haven't even shown that it is immune to the dumbass "OMG, but it doesn't solve it PERFECTLY for EVERYONE" arguments that you raise against other systems. E.g., if other metrics are bad because apparently, according to you, there is some unsolvable conflict between the terrorist wanting to bring a bomb aboard and the others wanting him not to, then the same applies when you try to rationalize it based on "freedom." Then you still have to decide whether the freedom of the other guys to get to where they want to in one piece, trumps the freedom of one guy to bring a bomb aboard. You haven't shown that your system deals with it any better than, say, utilitarianism does.

Nor that it is immune to the problems a majority has. E.g., even in your examples above, sure, the majority can vote that a minority doesn't deserve rights, but so can the system of a single person. You haven't shown that your system deals with that any better.

Which frankly, makes you a hypocrite. Quite literally.

All we are left there basically boils down to: rationalizing why ONE guy, who doesn't even actually HAVE a working moral system, should be able to trump majority, just because he does rationalizations and hand-waving about his own importance.

And frankly, every time we tried that, it didn't work better. You mention Hitler and Mussolini, and fail to notice that what they actually illustrate is why the moral system of just 1 person doesn't work better than one where everyone gets a say. Both actually had what they thought was good reasons to think they know what's good for everyone else. Turns out they were just full of it. And so are you.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
NOTE: “Something being "desirable" or "undesirable" for society is the CONCLUSION, not the premise. It's what any ethical system tries to figure out”.
Again a nonsensical phrase. Try to explain it, please.
Again, I'm not entirely sure why your kind of troll thinks that playing too dumb to understand basic English is some kind of winning move. Quite frankly, if even after being told a couple of times, you still need explaining what is even the goal of a moral system, it just means you're unqualified to be having this talk.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:12 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't know well the use of "determinism" and "unpredictability" in physics. I find it strange that a system in which the same causes produce different effects can be called "deterministic". I had read that the system of quantum mechanics was defined as indeterministic. But I can't know in what sense. I limit myself to the field of psychology which is the one I know. I suppose that the problem of good and evil has to do with people, not electrons.

Here the term determinism is linked to the predictability of behaviours. The same causes produce the same effects. And it is a generalized belief among psychologists that human behaviours are unpredictable in practice. This is recognized even by the most deterministic of all: Skinner. Him assumes that if the same causes have produced different effects it is because other causes without control have intervened. But this is an assumption. Determinism thus becomes a mere supposition.
Well, generally that seems to be your problem. You talk about things you don't know well.

And two of the things you don't seem to know well are Occam's Razor or neuroscience. But even just Occam's Razor is enough. The simplest explanation for the experimental data we have is that the the voting we see on an MRI when you take a decision, is based on past associations and how often that association was used. The latter being the synapse strength, which we can even measure.

Now that is not deterministic, in the sense that there is a random factor. So anyone who assumes hard binary determinism is quite trivially wrong. But it doesn't involve some mysterious "free will" element that can take decisions in any other way than what those neural pathways do.

Anyone who needs something extra, that would produce that sort of "free will" element, that is neither based on the inputs, nor just random jitter (which still can't be morally blamed, because it's just random) is the one who has the burden of proof to show it.
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Old 29th June 2019, 12:30 AM   #335
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But let's return to this fallacy, since it's been the core of your argument both here and in the other thread:

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Summarizing: If the only criterion to know what is good is the majority vote, you have no mean to denounce when a majority decision is bad. And this is even worse than a simplicity; it is a moral perversity.
Quite trivially, actually.
That is the appeal to consequences fallacy: If moral system X is correct, then the undesirable consequence is Y.

But as we explained to you repeatedly in the thread, that is a fallacy, i.e., broken logic. Something having undesirable consequences doesn't say anything about whether it is true or false.

So ultimately your whole morality argument hinges on you still being unable to understand elementary logic.
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Old 29th June 2019, 01:32 AM   #336
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

As was said to you in the other thread too, neither does a system where only ONE person thinks he knows better. It being YOU doesn't lend it any more moral authority than when it was Solon or Stalin who knew better what's good for everyone.

Especially when, quite frankly, you haven't even shown that you even HAVE a system that works better, or really at all.(...)

Again, I'm not entirely sure why your kind of troll thinks that playing too dumb to understand basic English is some kind of winning move. Quite frankly, if even after being told a couple of times, you still need explaining what is even the goal of a moral system, it just means you're unqualified to be having this talk.
I don't think you're aware that "Yes, but yours is worse" includes a yes. If you don't answer my objections, you will have to conclude that you don't know how to answer.
You should also be aware that responding to a request for clarification with an insult is to acknowledge that you cannot clarify anything. That was my guess.
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Old 29th June 2019, 01:43 AM   #337
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And two of the things you don't seem to know well are Occam's Razor or neuroscience. But even just Occam's Razor is enough. The simplest explanation for the experimental data we have is that the the voting we see on an MRI when you take a decision, is based on past associations and how often that association was used. The latter being the synapse strength, which we can even measure.
Ockham's knife is double-edged and you have to know how to hold it. It applies when there are two answers to a problem with the same level of evidence. Both the mechanistic and indeterministic explanations present no evidence. So the simplest thing is rational skepticism. The simplest thing is to adopt a metaphysical determinism. Which is what you do.

You certainly said nothing about my interpretation of the principle of causality that excludes metaphysical solutions from determinism and free will. If you haven't understood it I can explain it a little more.
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Old 29th June 2019, 01:46 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't think you're aware that "Yes, but yours is worse" includes a yes. If you don't answer my objections, you will have to conclude that you don't know how to answer.
Considering that your objection was a Nirvana Fallacy (combined with the below), "yours is worse" is more than enough.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You should also be aware that responding to a request for clarification with an insult is to acknowledge that you cannot clarify anything. That was my guess.
All the clarification you need is that your objection is based on textbook fallacies, including a textbook appeal to consequences fallacy. The rest is fluff.

And the fact that you still think that you have some point even after it's been pointed out that you fail logic epically, is really all both of us need to know. Honestly, any insult I could think of wouldn't top the fact that you're THAT unequipped to have a logical discussion
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Old 29th June 2019, 01:54 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But let's return to this fallacy, since it's been the core of your argument both here and in the other thread:
Leave the word "fallacy" at home because you don't know what you're talking about.

You have shown nowhere that the voting principle is "correct". It will be true if it is proven by some kind of experience. It will be correct if you can explain what people say when they use the word good. Or if it is useful for choosing between different moral options. It is clear from the objections and examples I have given you that your concept of good is vague, contradictory, and does not respond to the use people make of it. A disaster, wow.

You'll have to apply the Groucho doctrine and change principles again.
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Old 29th June 2019, 02:06 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Leave the word "fallacy" at home because you don't know what you're talking about.
Heh. Cute. Not unexpected, though.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You have shown nowhere that the voting principle is "correct". It will be true if it is proven by some kind of experience. It will be correct if you can explain what people say when they use the word good. Or if it is useful for choosing between different moral options. It is clear from the objections and examples I have given you that your concept of good is vague, contradictory, and does not respond to the use people make of it. A disaster, wow.
So basically we ARE at the point where you just play dumb word games, and every word has to be explained to you individually. That determined to derail it, eh?

But, again, what you're saying is that you need to have explained to you again even what moral philosophy means by elementary terms like "good", "bad" or "moral evil", or how they relate to "desirable" and "undesirable". Never mind that it's been quite clear ever since Plato. And you are apparently too unable to even check what Wikipedia says about "good".

Well, then my dear troll, you just said that you're not qualified to be even having this conversation. I mean, if your recurring objection boils down to just the fact that you don't even understand the most elementary terms and they sound too unclear to YOU, then go educate yourself first. There is no such thing as being right by virtue of being too ignorant to even understand what's being discussed, silly.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You'll have to apply the Groucho doctrine and change principles again.
I never did. Considering that that claim was always based on your apparently being so ignorant of even the basic terms that you can't even recognize when I'm saying the same thing in different words, it doesn't make it a failure on my part. It just illustrates how far you've lost the plot by now

You really don't have a coherent argument, do you?
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Old 29th June 2019, 04:08 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Ockham's knife is double-edged and you have to know how to hold it. It applies when there are two answers to a problem with the same level of evidence. Both the mechanistic and indeterministic explanations present no evidence.
That is actually just as false when you do it, as when the religious apologists do it. The fact is, we can show that the brain is at least partially responsible for decision taking. As I was saying, in the meantime we can even watch it on MRI in real time. Just because you don't know, doesn't mean you can just postulate that that there actually is no evidence for either and we can go with the fairytale that is the most convenient. (E.g., the one that lets one person claim that they're more moral than the rest of the species combined.)

The simplest explanation therefore is that it causes ALL of it. Any extra mechanisms being involved in creating some extra "free will" would be just that: extra entities. There is no way, except maybe going full-tilt dualist and excluding the neurons entirely from the decision making, for it to be anything else than extra entities on top of the ones that the simpler explanation involves.

Therefore the mechanistic explanation is in fact the one that passes Occam's Razor.

And before we knew about the randomness involved, the same applied to determinism. We knew that reasons (e.g., previous experiences) are involved at least partially in the decisions taken. So any working explanation would have to involve them. Any extra mechanisms involved would be just that: some extra entities.

Therefore the deterministic explanation was the one that passed Occam's Razor. Period.

In the meantime not that much has changed, actually. The decisions are still based on reasons to do it vs reasons not to do it, just every reason on both lists now has a probability to actually be counted. Instead of being just a sum of the number of reasons for vs against, now it's a probability between 0 and 1.

That does rule out pre-determinism, but it still doesn't change the issue of "free will" at all. Now the reasons are dice rolls, but that's still reasons. If I call in sick at work because I rolled my D&D 20-sided die and it rolled a 1, the number that randomly came up is still a reason, not an act of "free will". The plastic polyhedron has no free will. And more importantly, it being random still doesn't mean anything when it comes to assigning moral blame.

And that's about it. That's all that that randomness really means.

And again extra "free will" mechanism than that would have to be just that: something extra. And the version with extra stuff, in the absence of any evidence that would need it, FAILS Occam's Razor.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
So the simplest thing is rational skepticism. The simplest thing is to adopt a metaphysical determinism. Which is what you do.

You certainly said nothing about my interpretation of the principle of causality that excludes metaphysical solutions from determinism and free will. If you haven't understood it I can explain it a little more.
Honestly, I don't give a flip. What I'm talking about isn't metaphysics as in some guy pulling stuff out of the ass while gazing at his own navel, nor about philosophical assumptions. I'm talking about stuff that was actually measured in labs and observed on an MRI machine. That is by now quite overtly in the domain of science. There is in fact a reason why we have a domain of science called "NEUROscience."

And frankly excluding science just because it overlaps with what someone arbitrarily decided to call "metaphysics", is just silly. If the guys without evidence want to exclude something for ZERO reasons other than that they filed it under a funny name -- be it "metaphysics" or "soul" or "mind" or whatever -- well, nobody else cares. Names aren't magical. Giving something a funny name doesn't actually make it special and deserving its very own special rules.

If you want to play, you have to show your own evidence for whatever extra entities you want introduced in the model. It's really that simple.
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Old 29th June 2019, 06:53 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But, again, what you're saying is that you need to have explained to you again even what moral philosophy means by elementary terms like "good", "bad" or "moral evil", or how they relate to "desirable" and "undesirable". Never mind that it's been quite clear ever since Plato. And you are apparently too unable to even check what Wikipedia says about "good".
I'm not talking about Plato or Wikipedia. I'm saying that you don't know what you're writing. I ask you direct questions and you get entangled in empty answers.

I will give you two examples:

Answer how it is possible that "what is desirable" is the conclusion of an argument that has other premises. The conclusion of an argument cannot be an isolated concept. It will be a proposition that includes the desirable as part of it. What is it? What are the premises?

Another example taken at random that your theory of what is good (what the majority voted for) does not mean anything or serve any purpose:
Moral problems arise mainly in the private sphere. A family must vote to know if a violent parent is bad? It is obvious that your criterion of the vote is useless to resolve what is good in private context. That is to say, 90% of moral problems in ordinary life.

Try to answer these questions simply. Go on!

NOTE: About what determinism is, I will explain it to you on another occasion, because you don't know what you are talking about.
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Old 29th June 2019, 07:50 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I'm not talking about Plato or Wikipedia. I'm saying that you don't know what you're writing. I ask you direct questions and you get entangled in empty answers.
Nope. It's still just you getting tangled when it comes to understanding basic English.

Again, if your argument is that you need even the meaning of the most elementary terms explained to you, then all you're saying is that you're unqualified to be having this argument.

But while ignorance could be remedied, insisting page after page that an argument must be wrong because YOU don't understand even the basic words, is what moves it into the domain of the outright stupid.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I will give you two examples:

Answer how it is possible that "what is desirable" is the conclusion of an argument that has other premises.
Every calculation or logical inference has a conclusion that is different from the premises, silly. In fact, if they were not different, you'd have an "if X then X" argument, a.k.a., the begging the question fallacy.

And it's having to explain to you this kind of absolutely elementary stuff, that just makes the case that you're unqualified to even be having this talk. In fact, any talk involving logic.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The conclusion of an argument cannot be an isolated concept.
Nobody said that it is isolated from the premises. If that's what you've understood when I told you that the value of X is the conclusion, not one of the premises, frankly you ARE claiming to be too unqualified to be having this discussion. In fact, you're too unqualified for ANY discussion involving logic.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It will be a proposition that includes the desirable as part of it.
No it won't, silly. Or not directly and/or not at the same level. Because that would be begging the question. Just because you still don't seem to understand fallacies, doesn't mean that doing them is mandatory

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Another example taken at random that your theory of what is good (what the majority voted for) does not mean anything or serve any purpose:
Moral problems arise mainly in the private sphere. A family must vote to know if a violent parent is bad? It is obvious that your criterion of the vote is useless to resolve what is good in private context. That is to say, 90% of moral problems in ordinary life.
It was an example, in response to a very specific question from you, that did not involve an ordinary life situation. Now you're just moving the goalposts, and quite blatantly at that. What you're saying now is that no no no, answering the setup in YOUR question doesn't count, I should have answered some completely different setup that you made up post-facto. Cute, but ultimately still just another fallacy to add to the list of ways you've failed logic.

But I'll answer anyway, because it's actually a very basic and well understood issue: no, the same principle of figuring out what the majority of people want -- which again, is what ACTUAL intersubjectivism is about -- can be applied to just about any other situation. It also doesn't involve narrowing it down to just the family voting. E.g., would most people WANT to be hit by a family member? Well, no.

You can take an actual vote, or do a survey on the street, or whatever, but the basic principle is the same.

And it doesn't matter if it's about passing terrorism laws, or about whether it's ok to hit a spouse, or whether it's ok to flush the toilet at 3 AM, or whatever really. The basic premise of intersubjectivism -- you know, the very one you CLAIMED to represent -- is to start from figuring out what most people want or don't want.

Or if you go utilitarian, what makes most people happy or unhappy, and by how much. And a few other similar versions, depending on which exact school of moral philosophy you subscribe to. Intersubjectivism just cuts directly to asking what do they want, but ultimately it's the same principle.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Try to answer these questions simply. Go on!
Not sure what you feel a need to be smug and taunting about, since all you did was ask elementary stuff, rather than anything confounding anyone. In fact, all you shown is exactly what I was saying: that you don't understand enough to be even having this conversation. Because if you had even the most elementary knowledge about subjectivism -- you know, since you claimed to actually be a proponent of intersubjectivism -- or generally moral philosophy, you wouldn't need to ask this stuff in the first place. That you think it's something that surely confounded me (or anyone else for that matter) just illustrates the depth of your own incompetence on that domain, nothing more.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
NOTE: About what determinism is, I will explain it to you on another occasion, because you don't know what you are talking about.
So basically instead of answering the objection, you dodge and ego-wank. Cute, but stupid and predictable. As usually when it comes to your messages
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Old 30th June 2019, 12:08 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Answer how it is possible that "what is desirable" is the conclusion of an argument that has other premises. The conclusion of an argument cannot be an isolated concept. It will be a proposition that includes the desirable as part of it. What is it? What are the premises?

Another example taken at random that your theory of what is good (what the majority voted for) does not mean anything or serve any purpose:
Moral problems arise mainly in the private sphere. A family must vote to know if a violent parent is bad? It is obvious that your criterion of the vote is useless to resolve what is good in private context. That is to say, 90% of moral problems in ordinary life.
NOTE: About what determinism is, I will explain it to you on another occasion, because you don't know what you are talking about.
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
No it won't, silly. Or not directly and/or not at the same level. Because that would be begging the question. Just because you still don't seem to understand fallacies, doesn't mean that doing them is mandatory

But I'll answer anyway, because it's actually a very basic and well understood issue: no, the same principle of figuring out what the majority of people want -- which again, is what ACTUAL intersubjectivism is about -- can be applied to just about any other situation. It also doesn't involve narrowing it down to just the family voting. E.g., would most people WANT to be hit by a family member? Well, no.
You can take an actual vote, or do a survey on the street, or whatever, but the basic principle is the same.
It's very clear. You don't answer the first question I asked you because you don't know what you said.
This is obvious. Not only because you can't answer my simple question, but also because you continually contradict yourself.
First of all, you have said that the criterion for knowing what is good is the desirable. After that, you say that the desirable was not the criterion, but the conclusion of some unknown (?) premises. Finally you say again that good is what "people want," that is, what is desirable.
And when it seems that the dance had stopped, suddenly utilitarianism appears. "Or if you go utilitarian, what makes most people happy or unhappy, and by how much". In Spain we say: Éramos pocos y parió la abuela. (We were few and grandmother gave birth). Is utilitarianism now the unquestionable solution to our moral problems, to happiness o whatever else?
(In the meantime, voting has been relegated to limbo).

My friend, you're so dizzy that you're stumbling around.

What seems like a joke is that, according you, anything goes in order to know what people want, including polls. This is absurd because the survey method is useless for complex issues such as morals, because surveys depend on circumstantial variables and because surveys reflect the existence of diverse opinions about practically everything. Including people who think that a certain amount of parental violence is necessary to maintain family order. If so, which criterion guarantees that one answer is morally more correct than the other? Majority again? And Socrates?

We don't seem to have the same concept of intersubjective. That is, you do not use the word as it is used among experts. See here, please:
http://www.informationphilosopher.co...jectivism.html
In any case, intersubjectivity has nothing to do with majorities neither vote.

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Old 30th June 2019, 03:11 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It's very clear. You don't answer the first question I asked you because you don't know what you said.
This is obvious. Not only because you can't answer my simple question, but also because you continually contradict yourself.
First of all, you have said that the criterion for knowing what is good is the desirable. After that, you say that the desirable was not the criterion, but the conclusion of some unknown (?) premises. Finally you say again that good is what "people want," that is, what is desirable.
None of that is actually anything more than your continued misunderstanding even simple terms. I assume that that has to be some intentional derailing, because frankly nobody can actually be that stupid. I've actually worked with someone who had Down Syndrome, and even he wouldn't have been confused by my using words like "good" and "desirable".

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
And when it seems that the dance had stopped, suddenly utilitarianism appears. "Or if you go utilitarian, what makes most people happy or unhappy, and by how much". In Spain we say: Éramos pocos y parió la abuela. (We were few and grandmother gave birth). Is utilitarianism now the unquestionable solution to our moral problems, to happiness o whatever else?
Utilitarianism was just an example of one of the many schools of moral philosophy, which uses its own criterion. Nobody said it was now the unquestionable solution or anything.

In short, all you do there is more of your schizophrenic reading between the lines and ignoring the actual lines

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
(In the meantime, voting has been relegated to limbo).
No, voting was just one example of how you can go about it, and the message where that appeared explicitly said so. If you get that confused by reading simple English, it's still just your own comprehension problems.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
My friend, you're so dizzy that you're stumbling around.
Nope, it's still just you playing too confused to read simple English. Presumably in order to avoid actually having a coherent argument.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What seems like a joke is that, according you, anything goes in order to know what people want, including polls.
Not literally anything, but it is one of the methods for figuring that out.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
This is absurd because the survey method is useless for complex issues such as morals, because surveys depend on circumstantial variables and because surveys reflect the existence of diverse opinions about practically everything.
That you can't maximize every single variable, in this case how much everyone gets of what they wanted, is pretty much the nature of the beast in multivariable optimizations. (You could have googled that when I told you the term repeatedly. Except you were still too busy playing the "I don't understand what 'good' means" spiel.) And for that matter in any school of moral philosophy. None say that you can have a solution that is perfect for everyone. So I'm not sure how you managed to miss that all these years

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Including people who think that a certain amount of parental violence is necessary to maintain family order. If so, which criterion guarantees that one answer is morally more correct than the other? Majority again?
The one that is best for the most people, in a nutsa... err... nutshell. Is there even ANY school of philosophy which doesn't aim for the 'what's best for most people' point? They may disagree on how you get the data for that, or what criterion to use when judgting what's 'best', but I'm not aware of ANY that just give up because someone might want the opposite.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
And Socrates?
Got the crap end of the stick. It's pretty clear that the subjective morals of the times had a "thou shalt not question my gods" as what the vast majority of people wanted. (The main charge levelled against him was impiety.) You can try to convince them that it shouldn't be so, which ultimately he and Plato did, but the notion that just one person can decide what is really moral and overrule everyone else, is no more valid to claim about Socrates than about Critias. Not the least because it requires the leap of faith that, when it conflicts with your values, the guy you're following anyway is more of a Socrates than a Critias.

I'm not sure what you find so confusing about him?

I would add though that if you actually read all about it, including the Apologia, it's pretty clear he was actually trying to annoy as many people as possible and make himself a martyr.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
We don't seem to have the same concept of intersubjective. That is, you do not use the word as it is used among experts. See here, please:
http://www.informationphilosopher.co...jectivism.html
In any case, intersubjectivity has nothing to do with majorities neither vote.
Not entirely wrong, but it seems like you went with the first link that came up in Google and it wasn't even from the right domain. You can find a more relevant description of what intersubjective/intersubjectivity means for ethics for example here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/36f...1c23c13a75.pdf

In a nutshell, it means that it's about shared valued and norms, and about social contracts. Rather than proclaiming that some criterion is absolute and set in stone, whether anyone else agrees or not, ethical intersubjectivism applies, surprisingly enough, the intersubjectivity idea to it. It's about reaching a common understanding of what our collective values are and how we agree to go about it.

And yes, if you want to talk about Socrates, he was obviously into none of that. If he thought what he wanted to do was the right thing, screw what the others thought. Well, turns out they agreed to screw him in return It essentially took Plato to actually do the intersubjective thing and put out enough information and arguments to change the opinion of society about it.
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Old 30th June 2019, 11:59 PM   #346
David Mo
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Utilitarianism was just an example of one of the many schools of moral philosophy, which uses its own criterion. Nobody said it was now the unquestionable solution or anything.
(...)

That you can't maximize every single variable, in this case how much everyone gets of what they wanted, is pretty much the nature of the beast in multivariable optimizations. (...) None say that you can have a solution that is perfect for everyone. So I'm not sure how you managed to miss that all these years

The one that is best for the most people, in a nutsa... err... nutshell. Is there even ANY school of philosophy which doesn't aim for the 'what's best for most people' point? They may disagree on how you get the data for that, or what criterion to use when judgting what's 'best', but I'm not aware of ANY that just give up because someone might want the opposite.

Got the crap end of the stick. It's pretty clear that the subjective morals of the times had a "thou shalt not question my gods" as what the vast majority of people wanted. (The main charge levelled against him was impiety.) You can try to convince them that it shouldn't be so, which ultimately he and Plato did, but the notion that just one person can decide what is really moral and overrule everyone else, is no more valid to claim about Socrates than about Critias. Not the least because it requires the leap of faith that, when it conflicts with your values, the guy you're following anyway is more of a Socrates than a Critias.
(..)

Not entirely wrong, but it seems like you went with the first link that came up in Google and it wasn't even from the right domain. You can find a more relevant description of what intersubjective/intersubjectivity means for ethics for example here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/36f...1c23c13a75.pdf

In a nutshell, it means that it's about shared valued and norms, and about social contracts. Rather than proclaiming that some criterion is absolute and set in stone, whether anyone else agrees or not, ethical intersubjectivism applies, surprisingly enough, the intersubjectivity idea to it. It's about reaching a common understanding of what our collective values are and how we agree to go about it.

And yes, if you want to talk about Socrates, he was obviously into none of that. If he thought what he wanted to do was the right thing, screw what the others thought. Well, turns out they agreed to screw him in return. It essentially took Plato to actually do the intersubjective thing and put out enough information and arguments to change the opinion of society about it.
You said that the problem of good was "easy to solve" in a "trivial" way. It is wise to rectify.
It seems that we have finally reached an agreement (this is intersubjectivism!): the problem of knowing what the good is does not have an automatic solution. It must be solved by a variety of scientific, sociological, philosophical, etc. reasons.
Then, the problem of good cannot be solved with the mere analysis of causes and effects. It involves making decisions that involve the freedom to choose between different options. Whether or not that decision is determined for internal reasons is something that cannot be known. Nor is it foreseeable that it will be known, given the tremendous complexity of human affairs.

Anyway, as I said in a couple of previous comments. Freedom is not contradictory to the principle of causality and methodical determinism. Because the principle of causality is not a description of facts, but a methodological principle. I am surprised that this proposal has not been discussed here.

I brought here the problem of Socrates because it contradicts your naďve confidence in the simplicity of the problem of good and the law of the majorities. Neither the Athenian majority, nor that supposed current pro-Socrates majority solves the problem of good. Both can be wrong. Socrates is an enigma of history and Plato's defence has nothing to do with the myth of Socrates, which is commonly used in textbooks. It is a furious criticism against democracy. Absolutely counter your "democratic good". A more expert reading discovers that the little we know about Socrates is full of lights and shadows. There is no consensus, then, on Socrates. And be careful with Plato.
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Old 1st July 2019, 12:38 AM   #347
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You said that the problem of good was "easy to solve" in a "trivial" way. It is wise to rectify.
For a particular example you asked about.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It seems that we have finally reached an agreement (this is intersubjectivism!): the problem of knowing what the good is does not have an automatic solution. It must be solved by a variety of scientific, sociological, philosophical, etc. reasons.
Well, I didn't say it was downright automatic. But sure, I'll agree that one must apply some reason to it.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Then, the problem of good cannot be solved with the mere analysis of causes and effects. It involves making decisions that involve the freedom to choose between different options. Whether or not that decision is determined for internal reasons is something that cannot be known. Nor is it foreseeable that it will be known, given the tremendous complexity of human affairs.
Sure, we probably won't have 100% certainty any time soon.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Anyway, as I said in a couple of previous comments. Freedom is not contradictory to the principle of causality and methodical determinism. Because the principle of causality is not a description of facts, but a methodological principle. I am surprised that this proposal has not been discussed here.
Actually I think I've addressed it before. In short, it is both. It can be both a methodological assumption (e.g., there must be a cause why all my arrows went to the left) and a statement of fact (e.g., the cause IS the wind.) I will grant though that at this point, sure, we can't follow every single neural pattern and say with absolute certainty what the cause was why some person decided to turn left instead of right in the supermarket.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I brought here the problem of Socrates because it contradicts your naďve confidence in the simplicity of the problem of good and the law of the majorities. Neither the Athenian majority, nor that supposed current pro-Socrates majority solves the problem of good. Both can be wrong.
Or both can be right, given the different circumstances. That is actually quite possible and normal under moral subjectivism and/or relativism. But yes, both can also be wrong.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Socrates is an enigma of history and Plato's defence has nothing to do with the myth of Socrates, which is commonly used in textbooks. It is a furious criticism against democracy. Absolutely counter your "democratic good". A more expert reading discovers that the little we know about Socrates is full of lights and shadows. There is no consensus, then, on Socrates. And be careful with Plato.
I will even agree to that, especially given Plato's anti-democracy slant in The Republic. And, yes, the fact that he has no problem putting his own words in the mouth of Socrates, Solon, and other figures who couldn't have had those dialogues by virtue of not even being alive at the same time.

Still, for the purpose of discussing how a given trial fits a certain moral or legal system, it seems to me like we can discuss the possibly fictional trial of Socrates just as well, if that's what you asked about.
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Last edited by HansMustermann; 1st July 2019 at 12:39 AM.
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