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27 year-old David Hume: 1, Sam Harris who should know better: 0

 
DharmaBurger
 
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DharmaBurger
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17 February 2017 22:52
 

Stick to your armchair my friend.

 
Salustro
 
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Salustro
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18 February 2017 03:52
 

Sorry for reviving an older thread, but I feel like AJT has a running point here. I’m throwing my .02 in.

I understand that we should anchor our concepts of morality in the “real world” instead of attempting to justify our morals in the face of theology.  The two are utterly different, and the “is/ought” discussion seems plainly obvious at this point. Something “is” if it can be factually proven through evidence which can be shown to back up the statement that the object/notion/statistic (input noun here) “is” in our reality true. The question of how or what something “ought” to be is from the other plane of existence as we can look through nature and the evolution process to know that “ought” is a relative term. The value of morality as I agree with Sam should be based in reason, science, and also under the guise of some form of WBCC which seems the most logical theory for how we should potentially live our lives.

Someone tell me if I’m nuts, I’ll gladly take any criticism and like our armchair friend, I claim no formal knowledge other than what I’ve read and studied myself.

 
DharmaBurger
 
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DharmaBurger
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18 February 2017 04:59
 

You over estimate logic. As the frontiers of Particle Physics are broken we explore truly strange phenomenon!

 
d0rkyd00d
 
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d0rkyd00d
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18 February 2017 12:38
 
DharmaBurger - 17 February 2017 10:50 PM
d0rkyd00d - 16 February 2017 12:05 PM

I feel obligated to offer this disclosure, because many of the statements I make will be made with undue confidence and implied certainty.  I am a simple armchair philosopher who has never undergone formal training in a college setting, and there are many “deeper” areas of philosophy that I have never delved into.  The language I use to break down why I find your entire take problematic will be as simple as the mind from which it stems.  So there may be a more concise way to phrase this critique with more accurate language a well-studied student of philosophy would employ, but I am limited to the tools I have.

The first error in your line of reasoning, ATJ, stems from this idea that there are “two different philosophical worlds,” which is, at best, a false dichotomy, and to me just appears to be a confusion of what philosophy even is.  So I will attempt to “steel man” what you are saying to see if I understand what you are getting at.

Bertrand Russell said,” “The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or to savages, or even to most civilised men.”  There is only one world: the world in which we live.  Philosophy is an attempt to understand that world.  There is no world one and world two.  What I think you are getting at is that there is an aspect to epistemology that raises the question of whether or not it is possible to “know” anything, and you are arguing that there is no practical path to follow if we do not first start with at least a basic assumption that there is a world out there to know, and that we can gain a better understanding of it through tools like logic and science.  If that is the point you are making, then I agree and grant you that. 

But then you go on to assert that the problem with defining words only exists in “world #1,” which as I mentioned before, is a delusion.  There is only our world, and the problem with defining terms exists regardless of how inconvenient it is, and continues to plague us even if we grant that there is a world that is knowable.  In a discussion like this, we must define terms just so we can know what it is precisely we are arguing, since it is common for words to mean different things to different people.

“A foundational axiom that a rational understanding of the universe is good.”

We have to be clear about words and what they represent.  The word chair refers to something with a specific form and function, and there is an entire class of words like this.  Then there is a word like “good,” which is an abstract concept, like honor or justice.  So defining terms like good is not only essential for discussion to proceed, but now we are wandering into the world of arbitrary definitions, since there is no external referent in the same way that there is for chair.  So you can define “good” however you would like, but I can either accept your definition of good or reject it, if I find it lacking.  Now it appears you are defining good as “maximizing the well-being of conscious creatures.”  If this is the case, then your statement really is “A rational understanding of the universe maximizes the well-being of conscious creatures.”  If this is your assertion, then I have a question: Is this assertion true all of the time?  To me, the answer is obviously no. 

I am going to leave it there for now, as I don’t have time to get back into that pesky is/ought distinction, but I also don’t think it is worth getting into since it appears intrinsically linked to this world #1 and world #2 idea, which I find nonsensical.

I cant believe I read this.

Believe it.  Now, try actually refuting the points instead of avoiding them.

 
d0rkyd00d
 
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d0rkyd00d
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18 February 2017 12:39
 
After_The_Jump - 17 February 2017 03:49 PM

@ d0rkyd00d

I think you are making a classification, or categorization error, then, which I referred to previously.  Do you think “good” and “aluminum” are categorically different?

My argument isn’t that anthropocentric concepts and non-anthropocentric concepts are categorically the same. So yes, I do view ‘good’ and ‘aluminum’ as categorically different.

My claim is that there are both (1) objective anthropocentric and (2) objective non-anthropocentric facts; i.e. there exists observable evidence in our world to make truth claims about both categories.

 

So are you arguing that they should not be treated differently at all, despite the obvious difference?  Do you think the same methods can be used to derive facts regarding both?

 
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After_The_Jump
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19 February 2017 11:20
 

@ d0rkyd00d

So are you arguing that they should not be treated differently at all, despite the obvious difference?

No, I’m saying that they should not be treated differently as it relates to their existence as objective facts. If you’d like to discuss whether or not we should treat them differently in relation to something other than their existence as objective facts, I’m happy to have that discussion too.

Do you think the same methods can be used to derive facts regarding both?

Yes. To state otherwise is to imply (implicitly or explicitly) that determining one kind of fact requires access to a world other than the one we live in (and/or, to a method outside of a scientific one) and the other kind of fact doesn’t.

 

[ Edited: 19 February 2017 12:03 by After_The_Jump]
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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19 February 2017 12:15
 

dorky -

I’m still trying to understand what axioms you’ve committed to in this thread? E.g., do you value logic? evidence? well-being? This is a sincere question, from what baseline are you operating?

 
 
icehorse
 
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19 February 2017 12:15
 
DharmaBurger - 17 February 2017 10:52 PM

Stick to your armchair my friend.

Got anything constructive to add?

 
 
Salustro
 
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19 February 2017 17:52
 
DharmaBurger - 18 February 2017 04:59 AM

You over estimate logic. As the frontiers of Particle Physics are broken we explore truly strange phenomenon!

I almost feel the sarcasm but I’ll bite… what do you mean overestimate logic?

 
DharmaBurger
 
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DharmaBurger
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20 February 2017 04:32
 
Salustro - 19 February 2017 05:52 PM
DharmaBurger - 18 February 2017 04:59 AM

You over estimate logic. As the frontiers of Particle Physics are broken we explore truly strange phenomenon!

I almost feel the sarcasm but I’ll bite… what do you mean overestimate logic?

Reading your post made me cringe. Nobody likes a smartarse. You sound like a Pseudo intellect and you could have easily framed your .02 worth in a far less self serving way. Did you just feel that? it was your ego tapping out.

 
d0rkyd00d
 
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d0rkyd00d
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20 February 2017 04:44
 
DharmaBurger - 20 February 2017 04:32 AM
Salustro - 19 February 2017 05:52 PM
DharmaBurger - 18 February 2017 04:59 AM

You over estimate logic. As the frontiers of Particle Physics are broken we explore truly strange phenomenon!

I almost feel the sarcasm but I’ll bite… what do you mean overestimate logic?

Reading your post made me cringe. Nobody likes a smartarse. You sound like a Pseudo intellect and you could have easily framed your .02 worth in a far less self serving way. Did you just feel that? it was your ego tapping out.

Don’t feed the trolls.  Welcome to my ignore button Dharma, enjoy the stay!

 
d0rkyd00d
 
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d0rkyd00d
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20 February 2017 07:47
 
After_The_Jump - 19 February 2017 11:20 AM

@ d0rkyd00d

So are you arguing that they should not be treated differently at all, despite the obvious difference?

No, I’m saying that they should not be treated differently as it relates to their existence as objective facts. If you’d like to discuss whether or not we should treat them differently in relation to something other than their existence as objective facts, I’m happy to have that discussion too.

Do you think the same methods can be used to derive facts regarding both?

Yes. To state otherwise is to imply (implicitly or explicitly) that determining one kind of fact requires access to a world other than the one we live in (and/or, to a method outside of a scientific one) and the other kind of fact doesn’t.

At the very least, I think we may have come across the bedrock of the disagreement here.  I do not think factual statements regarding what is good can be the same as factual statements regarding aluminum.  Furthermore, I do not think the implication is access to another world; rather, it implies a different process is required to derive factual statements regarding a word like “good” vs. a word like aluminum.  And I think that tracks back to the fact that a concept such as “good” cannot be sensed in the same way as aluminum.  Our five senses can discover qualities of aluminum, but I do not think the same can be said for “good.”

 
d0rkyd00d
 
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d0rkyd00d
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20 February 2017 07:49
 
icehorse - 19 February 2017 12:15 PM

dorky -

I’m still trying to understand what axioms you’ve committed to in this thread? E.g., do you value logic? evidence? well-being? This is a sincere question, from what baseline are you operating?

I am not sure what you mean by axioms.  Presuppositions?  Or something else? 

I already stated my presupposition regarding an external world that exists, and that we can gain knowledge of this world indirectly via our senses. 

In answer to your other questions, yes I value evidence, logic, and well-being.

 
Salustro
 
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20 February 2017 08:13
 
d0rkyd00d - 20 February 2017 04:44 AM
DharmaBurger - 20 February 2017 04:32 AM
Salustro - 19 February 2017 05:52 PM
DharmaBurger - 18 February 2017 04:59 AM

You over estimate logic. As the frontiers of Particle Physics are broken we explore truly strange phenomenon!

I almost feel the sarcasm but I’ll bite… what do you mean overestimate logic?

Reading your post made me cringe. Nobody likes a smartarse. You sound like a Pseudo intellect and you could have easily framed your .02 worth in a far less self serving way. Did you just feel that? it was your ego tapping out.

Don’t feed the trolls.  Welcome to my ignore button Dharma, enjoy the stay!

I didn’t see my post as egocentric at all. I was expressing my view of the world and how we live in it. Nor do I feel that I’m a troll in any way. I’ve come here like most of yourselves to attempt to broaden my knowledge and connect with people who (at least from the portions of the forums I have read so far) strive to see the world like I do. Should the words “plainly obvious” been omitted from from previous post? Possibly, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not able to be swayed to a foundation of clear logic and reasoning. Also, to me it seemed your post gave me another thing to look into (being the frontiers of particle physics) but gave me no starting point, nor any explanation on what specifically you meant. As we’re here to have a conversation I’d like to think all input is welcome, but if not I can kindly exit stage right and that’s not a jab at my self-importance that a nudge towards attempting to learn. Come on man, just because some of our aren’t on your level doesn’t mean we can’t strive to be better right?

 
d0rkyd00d
 
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d0rkyd00d
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20 February 2017 08:30
 

Salustro, my comment about trolling was directed towards Dharma, who seems to be obviously trolling.  I was not responding to you, sorry for the confusion.  Your thoughts are welcome here too, Dharma is being a d-bag.

 
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