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brimstoneSalad
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Re: Greetings from England

Post by brimstoneSalad » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:55 pm

@Logical Celery That's interesting. Any idea how I can get in touch with that mod? Sounds like somebody who might be able to engage in an interesting conversation and maybe shed some light on things.

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Post by Logical Celery » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:23 am

I don't think he'll be interested in discussion, he seems to have been indoctrinated by the little cult that's going on in there. My buddy asked him about minimal moral realism, and referenced your article on the straw man/dichotomy, of which he called cancerous. Though, I believe he's a minimal realist, but his views align more so with Parfit's meta-ethics as he supposedly says.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:09 pm

Logical Celery wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:23 am
My buddy asked him about minimal moral realism, and referenced your article on the straw man/dichotomy, of which he called cancerous.
Any chance he can ask him why, and what's wrong with the article? I'd love to have thoughtful criticism, we always want to improve our articles.
Logical Celery wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:23 am
Though, I believe he's a minimal realist, but his views align more so with Parfit's meta-ethics as he supposedly says.
Does Parfit have any actual arguments? I'm not sure if there's a defined meta-ethics there so much as just some broad discussion/speculation on how secular moral realism could work.
I haven't read much from him.

If this guy is willing to talk about it I'd love to hear what he has to say on the matter.

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Post by Frank Quasar » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:37 pm

@Logical Celery
Though, I believe he's a minimal realist, but his views align more so with Parfit's meta-ethics as he supposedly says.


Interesting that you say that because I believe that may be the moderator known as "Insuperable Line". Though, he's not taken too seriously and seems to have become a joke on his views for moral realism.

@brimstoneSalad
Does Parfit have any actual arguments? I'm not sure if there's a defined meta-ethics there so much as just some broad discussion/speculation on how secular moral realism could work.
I haven't read much from him.


You should watch some of his lectures on YouTube to become somewhat familiar with his views, however, his books might be a better resource although it may be far too time-consuming and I think you may have better priorities in terms of reading material.

I say the YouTube lectures because Ask Yourself has also been watching those too, believe it or not. I overheard him mention this in a voice chat on his discord, and he was specifically relating it back to moral realism. He says Parfit makes many great points (might be referring to moral realism, but also other areas too), but overall he seems to laugh at Parfit's view of "self-evident" truths/non-naturalism or something like that for his justification within morality.

I'm not too sure of Parfit's meta-ethical view, but from what it seems Ask Yourself believes Parfit engages in analogous magical thinking to theists for these self-evident truths of morals etc. He isn't buying it, that's for sure, and moral realism will continue to become a "magical belief" of some sort so long as basic fundamental confusion prolongs in there. AVI also holds something similar to Ask Yourself, if I'm not mistaken.

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Post by Frank Quasar » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:30 pm

Oh, BTW, there's like only 2 lectures on YouTube.

Ask Yourself says he disagrees with Parfit on his moral ontology.

Update: the server just had a debate on moral realism. I'll get the timestamps for these tomorrow so you can see the confusion.

Hey Philo, can you give me a good argument for moral realism that I can copy&paste to send to Destiny? He's going to have a round 2 and I want him to be aware of the strawmans against moral realism.

I'll cite him the wiki on moral realism as well as your article and whatnot, as we as your discord tag for DMs.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:42 am

Frank Quasar wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:30 pm
Oh, BTW, there's like only 2 lectures on YouTube.
Are they long?
I'll try to check them out (if you could link them that'd be great so I'm sure I'm watching the same things Isaac is).
Frank Quasar wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:30 pm
Hey Philo, can you give me a good argument for moral realism that I can copy&paste to send to Destiny? He's going to have a round 2 and I want him to be aware of the strawmans against moral realism.
The confusion is like people claiming math isn't "real" because numbers aren't real things. There's no such thing, physically, as a "3". The problem is that misunderstands mathematics, there's not supposed to be a three, since numbers are abstract concepts that deal with relationships between things. There can be three of something, three times as much of something (within some margin of measurement error), etc.
While the concept "3" being understood is dependent on a subject to understand it and the words are relative to language, even without language or somebody to know there are three of something or three times as much of something, those relationships still hold physically true.
The same is the case with morality. There's no physical heaven or hell or substance of sin, but there is harm and it's something that still holds true whether a third party recognizes it and calls it that or not. We can most certainly compare actions and look at all of those affected by them and determine some of those actions to be more or less harmful relative to the other. Being objective about morality ultimately requires more precision, and a bit less black and white thinking. We need to understand behaviors in context (and even behavioral patterns) as existing on a spectrum of harm or probable harm to others, and I don't think there's anything that controversial about that.

Getting into what makes a harm is an interesting question, and a good conversation to have (we can talk about the distinction between hedonistic harms or harms to interests, for example), but I'm not sure if it's productive to discuss that when people are straw manning the very notion of objective morality as some kind of inherently supernatural thing and are unwilling to consider that it might just be far simpler than they'd realized.
Frank Quasar wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:30 pm
I'll cite him the wiki on moral realism as well as your article and whatnot, as we as your discord tag for DMs.
Happy to discuss with him if he's interested.

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Post by Frank Quasar » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:20 am

@brimstoneSalad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTUrwO9-B_I&t=330s

^ There you go. He also mentions that we should be ethical vegetarians too, but I think he may be referring to vegans.

Awesome. So, before I think of messaging Destiny, should I clear up that there is an objective standard for morality which essentially deals with values? And said objective standard is logical consistency + being non-arbitrary.

I sent him the basic wiki on moral realism, your article and lesswrong's article. I hope it points him in the right direction, and I also gave him your discord @ as well as information to join the forum to talk to you.

Ask Yourself and his cohorts say they're "anti-realists" on things like Math too. Here's something AVI said:
no, we're not accepting mathematics to be "true"
we're accepting it to be useful!

useful = comports with goals

well if it comports with our goals, it's useful
by definition


They also keep getting caught up on the whole "define true" area too. I'm not sure where this moral realist (the guy discussed here, the mod friend of AY) was going with his debate, but it boiled down to extremely stupid areas of discussion that are irrelevant to what is usually believed/discussed.

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Post by Frank Quasar » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:19 am

Also, out of curiosity, is it possible for Ask Yourself to be a moral universalist, but hold the position that the notion of "good/bad" is subjective to individuals in a subjective moral framework + there are nor moral facts (error theorist). The only thing that Ask Yourself would preclude is that if a system is logically inconsistent it should be rejected as opposed to the one that is logically consistent.

Is there like a slight difference for these kinds of universalists? One could hold that moral propositions reflect facts that are truth apt, but someone like Ask Yourself could reject that and not agree, but in the end they both reject logically inconsistent positions and adhere to positions that ought to be logically consistent.

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Post by Logical Celery » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:49 am

@Frank Quasar

Yeah, that's the name. Out of curiosity, what is your discord tag? Maybe I can add you? I was in the call last night for a bit listening in, I could've probably recognized you in there.

@brimstoneSalad

So, to be absolutely clear, the abstract value such as 4 in of itself is not necessarily objective as it is mind-dependent on a subject for evaluation, but the relationship that is used in order to come to that answer is objective in principle, correct? 2 + 2 = 4 -- This relationship makes the value 4 objective irregardless of one's personal feeling/opinion otherwise.

Likewise with morality; the proposition "torturing newborn babies without killing them in a bath of boiling water for prolonged pleasure is wrong" -- This proposition in of itself is not necessarily "objective", it is still dependent on a mind for evaluation, like the abstract 4 value above. However, this proposition becomes objective when we talk about the relationship that it has to a moral system with an objective standard.

When you're talking about objectivity you're really talking about the underlining principles that make these relationships hold and thus make them objective, as is the case for math and would also be the case for morality. It shows us what the correct mathematical answer is, and in morality we can determine what the correct moral action would be.

If I am correct in my evaluation above, then I believe this may help to clear up a propitiated misunderstanding that many anti-realists hold. It just so happens to be the case that with Destiny he actually regurgitated this on stream to thousands of people, and they bought it to be the case.

If I may have gone wrong in my evaluation above please correct me on it, but from this understanding it really makes sense to me and it clears up a massive confusion I held.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:47 pm

Frank Quasar wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:20 am
Awesome. So, before I think of messaging Destiny, should I clear up that there is an objective standard for morality which essentially deals with values? And said objective standard is logical consistency + being non-arbitrary.
Sure, we can clarify the difference between "subjective morality" which is essentially so useless as to be an oxymoron (we're just talking about personal codes at that point, and nobody can compel another to follow them except with violence/etc.) and Objective morality, which is actually useful because it's based on reason and evidence independent of individual opinion and can be argued for in a universalist sense with appeal to reason and evidence.
AVI wrote: no, we're not accepting mathematics to be "true"
we're accepting it to be useful!

useful = comports with goals

well if it comports with our goals, it's useful
by definition


Yeah, that's pretty silly.
You could also say the same things about evolution, that it isn't "real" because there is no thing or substance that is "evolution".
What we're talking about is an emergent force that happens in a certain context. That doesn't make it any less real.
Frank Quasar wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:20 am
They also keep getting caught up on the whole "define true" area too.
The most asinine part of philosophy is questioning reality itself, which is why I say that moral relativists are ultimately factual relativists as well when it comes down to it. It's just not useful or interesting.

If "real" has any meaning or relevance, then either everything is real in a meaningful sense or it isn't. If it isn't real then it doesn't matter, and it doesn't matter if you call it real and live accordingly because nothing matters. Being incorrect in that circumstance has no negative consequence because nothing does. If it is real in a meaningful sense, then it does matter and you're right to call it so, but if you mistake it as unreal you've been meaningfully incorrect and there are negative consequences.

There's no reason to assume irrealism about reality, at least in terms of any moral discourse. Even asking the question is silly, because one of the answers makes the question useless. There's no reason not to assume reality is real and live and act accordingly.

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