Metaethical Realism, Axiology, Religiosity, Secularism, Dogmatism
Articles
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pardon the noise outside its construction hour and I don't feel like doing this video later because I'm gonna move to do a video right now when the mood strikes me is when I have to do it just later I'll just get too lazy so you're gonna hear commotion you're gonna hear there's nothing I can do about that until I move just hopefully sooner than later when I do move it's gonna be a place where no construction anywhere within the vicinity because I'm so sick of this damn thing everyday except on Sundays yesterday I recorded a video there was an hour-long defense of Sam Harris on a particular topic well a handful of topics toward the end of that video and because it was such a lengthy video of me saying yay Harris to the prog Talking Heads on YouTube who say nay Harris I felt it was something of an overkill so I want to make up for that by doing a response to the Vancouver event that he did with Peterson it was back in June that I only recently watched and I kind of want to do a second watch and seeing as how I'm doing the second watch maybe warrants a response as I'm watching it because I remember there was just things that my pedantic mind took issue with the event wasn't horrible by any means but they did sort of dress it up as if they're doing some sort of novel commentary and that's not it they're bringing decent commentary to a much wider audience which is good to do and which you don't have to do all that precisely but I felt this was a little too imprecise on a few themes so let's see if I can properly explain why and we'll kick things off with mr. Peterson who's about to start this is 7 minutes and 17 seconds into the event start well let the record show that I only believe that moral relativism is catastrophic or at least let me start that again Harris's formulation of the good cannot treat relativism as intrinsically bad aka catastrophic I think you were gonna call something catastrophic it has to be in ffensive LY bad it can be it can only be extrinsic leave that and again this is my pedantic self talking but I think a lot of the viewers watching this video will be able to realize why you got the terminal good and the instrumental good and likewise you've got the terminal bad and the instrumental bad you call something catastrophic you can't merely posit it as an instrumental bad the problem with relativism is that a lot of people believe things that don't align with what Harris believes is intrinsically living bad and that is whatever converges on positive mental states for the intrinsic good and negative mental states in the way of the intrinsic bad but I get the sense from this that what they seem to be agreeing is catastrophic about relativism is its falsity and that can only ever within at least Harris's formulation of the good falsity cannot in and of itself be a bad it can be a means toward any terminal bad but in and of itself it can't be I have no idea why they just clapped and unfortunately I can't speak this up because I'm playing it on the phone and I'm not playing it on the speakers because when I play things on the speakers on the laptop it's just me out well this gets interesting when he is pressed on trade-offs between the suffering ill being and the flourishing wealthy end of the spectrum doubly interesting if we do cross generational analysis of these sort of trade offs so I would posit the position withholding peak positives from future generations and I know it's arguable that peak positives can even exist for a non presently existing creature but let's just say that that is the case it can't exist the potentiality of it can be a intrinsic good even if it doesn't exist right now just as the potentiality of the bad can be and intrinsic bad even if that bad doesn't exist right now so I would say that the worst things that the future will contain which is a definite inevitability the worst of the worst is worthy is so worthy of being prevented that it warrants withholding whatever ends up being the best of the best in terms of however the harms and benefit spectrums end up distributed and for much of that not all that but much of that it will be based on pure luck and absence might not be elastic enough if you only think it warrants concern if it interferes with positive and negative balance as opposed to it being stretched out of it further by non hedonic based preferences preferences in the way of dignity preferences in the way of truth acquisition someone wants to be as averse to having false beliefs as humanly possible that will not necessarily impact how they're positive to negative balance ratio goes throughout the course of their life so can that ever be its own intrinsic terminal variable in that all things considered final tally I will be willing to argue that yes so the criterion of the good is indeed pluralistic does Harris think it's pluralistic I don't know maybe he'll review it but from what I remember in this speech I don't think they get into the nitty-gritty of that pluralism and that right there sort of settles it he's talking about consciousness but things do not trickle into consciousness that have to do let me put it this way intellectual virtues versus vices do not spill into that domain and all this concern they pay to meta ethics they want to justify both of them want to justify a form of meta ethical realism as many versions of mathematical realism but I think they want to settle on a fairly robust one and they think that matters but if they both seem to have a more or less similar deal I think Harris more so than than Jordan if they both if Harris ones that have that valence restricted formulation of a intrinsic good versus bad there is no room for an intrinsic concern over truth versus falsity truth versus falsity is at best persuasion tool but it can never be I don't see how he leaves any room for it being a variable in the final tally of what is good and bad it's only ever a tool the truth of a belief is if it gets you when you think about it being true then maybe you can act in certain ways where if you had thought it wasn't maybe not false but if you had thought it had been constructed in some way as many ethical skeptics met ethical constructivist and medical anti-realists tend to believe the problem according to his version of the good can only ever be that sort of failure to act constructivism is not I guess according to him motivationally induce it enough as realism might be so that goes in over to another debate about externalism versus internal ISM in ethics if you truly believe that something is at stake that is mind-independent then somehow you'll be more motivated to bring about that particular version of the good but I'd like to see some papers on that because I'm an external list I don't believe that moral beliefs are inherently motivating because I know that myself back when I was a medical realist of a very robust variety and I believed in a very thin line between doing harm and allowing harm so again so I believed something of truth injured on these things and at the same time I allowed myself to allow harm day in and day out by for example buying luxury goods instead of spending every last penny on something that can do far more for an individual who is very badly off and the minimal cost to myself and then oddly enough what coincided would mean no longer being nearly as confident in realism in that ethics what coincided with that was actually me having a lot more uncertain the as to whether I can justify to myself purchasing luxury goods and getting to movements like effective altruism which if motivational internal ISM coupled with truth having a motivational role in ethics believing that it's actually true in an objective sense right if that were true the opposite would have been the case in my personal experience back when I was far more eager to justify my belief in realism when I thought it was actually valid in an objective sense it wasn't all that motivating my purchasing of all sorts of items that I didn't need I merely wanted didn't induce anything in the way of guilt it was common dissonance and yet when I leaned closer to a form of skepticism in meta ethics the object level views the day-to-day things I did mattered more and the fact that I wasn't really being in line with my beliefs on the doing harm versus allowing harm merely being a thin line as opposed to a thick line so this meet again seemed very pedantic but I think it's crucial if we want to get at the bottom of why he and Peterson why they think it matters in some final sense whether we can justify a realist moral philosophy and if it comes in the form of an anti realist underpinning yeah I'm just so sick of these 20th century framings they're just so stuck in that you don't swim too far into the deep end era and if you do this will be an inevitability so stay in the shallow end of the pool and of course the philosophies that rationalized things like the gulag and the gas chamber they can actually blend among themselves see we typically think of centrism as a blending of moderate liberalism moderate conservatism but there's another view in political theory called syncretism and it doesn't merely borrow from up it doesn't merely borrow from the moderate end to the spectrum it actually bothers and synthesizes ideas from the far ends of the spectrum which really puts a wrench in all this talk about how if you swim too far out these really bad things will be an inevitability not if you combine things from opposite ends of the spectrum as synchronist s– have been known to do in the past but no one ever talks about syncretism they just talk about centrism being the safe spot or they talk about stupid things like the horseshoe theory of politics that's all but not on the grounds of missing out some moral facts because moral facts when you dig deep enough you'll see that every last one of them the the purported world fact collapses into a psychological fact that's about us well I think the entry fee to any conversation necessitates some sort of right and wrong answers because if it weren't the case then the person who is willing all too willing and all too eager to have the conversation wouldn't be motivated to have the conversation if for example I'm gonna think it back to truth versus falsity because that itself caring about something being true or false is itself a value laced prescriptive call so there's a certain type of metal anti-realist who would be eager to collapse even that and who would say that me and an interlocutor so let's say I'm the interlocutor who cares about my beliefs being true or false valid or invalid coherent or incoherent I care deeply and I want it to be true valid and coherent and I dis value the opposite of that but then my interlocutor does the opposite my interlocutor wants the invalid false and incoherent do to be the view that he lands on and he's going to argue that now if you take anti realism to its ultimate logical conclusion me and my interlocutor in this hypothetical are standing on equal ground I simply prefer certain things in the rocket or simply prefer certain other things so immediately you can't in practice apply anti-realist Metta ethics to dismiss object level things because then you shouldn't even be partaking in the conversation because no conversation is ever possible logic itself is no longer normative it can be jettisoned at your whim sort of reminds me of if I were to have a tennis match with someone and they wanted to have the match with me we can both fully agree that the Nets height is constructed but then say that every time my opponent scored a point against me it would be conveniently ignored and not mentioned in a minute that the net is indeed constructed and that its height does not correspond to any feature of the universe but then anytime I score point against my opponent well makes a big fuss out of the fact that this doesn't mean anything because the Nets height is constructed and if it had been an inch taller or an inch shorter I wouldn't have scored that point sort of Fairweather scorekeeping that's what a lot of people do they make such a big fuss out of the fact that usually when a ethical debate starts going in a way in a direction that they don't like then they'll make a big fuss out of the fact that robust realism seems to not be the view that can be justified and so it's everything's awash at the end but only in those cases only when you score a point against them when they're scoring points against you we can conveniently ignore the fact that the net does not core the Nets height does not correspond to any feature of reality it's just something we made up sure it is but don't pick and choose when it matters if you're gonna make a big fuss of it and say it matters simply disengage in the match itself don't play don't have conversations so that's how I would phrase this but that's not how their phrasing it there's they're trying to have it they're trying to have their cake you need it to the truth matters in an ultimate sense the truth of a certain realist type of meta Efex matters nom is even though the only things that matter non-instrumental e and terminal e are things that impact consciousness in the form of positive and negative balance the more positive the balance the more it is inherently good and the more negative the more inherently bad it is you can't have at the moment you land with that form of axiology truth value or given belief goes right out the window it's arbitrary in one sense in the sense that it is mind dependent but it's not arbitrary if it is conducive to certain psychological facts about what kind of creatures we are so there's a two-fold analysis of the word arbitrary that I could go on and on again the avoidance of relativism is a contingent avoidance if he and Harris found themselves living in a world where everyone's moral outlook is identical to the sort of moral outlook they clamor for more or less they might have some disagreements on a few object level issues but if they found themselves living in such a world what would be the problem everyone would act in the ways they want people to act and the fact that it's relative would not induce any sort of conflict because there will be no disagreement to begin with so it's only contingent to the catastrophe of relativism is just that we find ourselves in a world where people have profoundly different an identical moral outlooks and so they're gonna care about profoundly different things and it's going to be very hard to do trade offs even in the micro and then forget about the macro that's what's gonna be nearly as impossible as any other like political gridlock is making it seem well how many decades has it been since we've seen wide scale secular fundamentalism in an irreligious state in quite a number of decades things that led to severe harms not like bureaucracies that got way too bureaucratic but I'm talking something fine way of cleansing or barbarism or stuff like that a number of decades five decades six decades so you have to stretch pretty far back to make the case that secularism breeds that as sort of norm that sort of dogmatic incorrigible view on ethics where the proponents of it just simply cannot are just not receptive to sensible counter arguments yeah decades upon decades as you're gonna want to count bureaucracies as some sort of severe harms not if you are foundationalist epistemically who just sort of accepts these properly basic beliefs that you know it can't be justified by a bill to any other reason or pre belief that you're just gonna have to start from there and that is a quasi dogmatic thing because we're simply left without any alternative options not to equate that with the Catholicism but you can see how there's a starting point thank morality plays a role in the latter I think it's simply the pursuit of power I mean they have in international relations they have a term for it it's called realism it's the nation's pursue their own self-interest it's somewhat different than the totalitarianism Peterson is talking about here but it does play into it now I also believe that there is no direct line between moral and political philosophy I do think that it's sensible to have certain intermediary philosophies between those two things in the way of social philosophy legal philosophy / jurisprudence and that's going to blur the line there's many things that I would on the face of it say should be unethical but within the context of a policy become prescriptive in their own right things in a form of dessert meritocracy ultimately all meritocratic worthiness is worthiness that was arrived at through brute luck serendipity and that is arbitrary but this is where those weird psychological facts about the kind of creatures we are do creep in and actually contradict certain other ethical things that I would drown my theory in so even I can believe that if I were to do something and pick up the slack for a bunch of teammates for example at work bunch of colleagues would do nothing but slack and I'm the one picking it up and I can sort of give myself a pep talk about how they're the way they are simply because of their these these and Desson factors and they did weren't the architects of their own brain and blah blah blah but then if there is a reward being given out bonuses for that given day I'll still feel entitled to the biggest bonus because I did most of the work and I will feel cheated if there's that sort of even split among all of us if I had done the lion's share of the work and this on just on the face of it contradicts the sort of evenness that one might think my view of causal determinism would lead me to think that everyone was entitled to even slice of the pie because I am every bit as responsible for or sorry I'm every bit as non responsible for the fact that I did more than them as they are for the fact that they did less than me it's all ant Destin factors that led to it which I had no ultimate ending so there's that recognition in the abstract but then there's also the necessity to cater to the psychological reality and the catering should be more in the form of whereas the and to play devil's advocate it can allow for a fear-based lifestyle where it ends up being a immensely risk-averse lifestyle to the extent that the theist is devout I see no way around that the reason we see so many people now not being not conforming to it is because they are far from devout because there's no way to actually believe that this is a eternal threat that's facing you into hereafter and to have confidence in that belief and yet feel free to live I guess just the average modern life which I think I think overwhelmingly theologians agree is a simple life to some extent now there's done thank for forgiveness cop-out but there certain denominations do not give that then I'll make it clear that that is always a sure thing so you always want to be as cautious as possible and that sort of caution I think can in certain circumstances be beneficial to welfarist aims indirectly let's just say so it's it's it's a mix back is what I'm trying to say I grant his point but someone can come along and play devil's advocate the way I just did and then conclude that well there for some mixed bag and not believing that there is anything in the way of a hall monitor of celestial hall monitor will sentence you up or down following everything based on your deeds I can certainly see a certain psychographic profile who would find the absence of that liberating and if they're a sadist or some sort of sociopath or psychopath they'll do what they're gonna do was if they are devout theists and they happen to be a sociopath or a psychopath and again enough and having high confidence in it yeah Germany pernicious yeah I'm just so sick of people still after god damn 70 years drawing to these two examples when the history of medieval Europe was people killing in the name of ideology take a look at just just take a quick glance at the wiki entry of romantic nationalism not a long read I mean you can read about it at length if you want I'll recommend you to text but if you don't have time it just quick browse through the wiki entry of romantic nationalism and see how much blood was spilled prior to the 20th century and the only reason the 20th century contained more because you had a higher population count and more sophisticated weaponry so it's just bad to use these two examples and then just tiring as well because god damnit we gotta we gotta have different reference points it's a new century the century is too damn near to decade decades old now so enough with the last century frameworks I'm so just just the disclaimer that mixed bag devil's advocate argument I engaged in a few minutes ago nothing to do with this because that particular charge is a charge that applies to non sadists non sociopaths non Psychopaths ordinary individuals who simply don't believe in God and somehow if you have that absence of belief it'll be why and it's widespread and encouraged in society it can lead to the sort of things Harris is saying Jordan said in the past and he did and I've got screenshots of those sorts of tweets and in other comments he's left where he's just unambiguously saying this is a viable threat so that's not a caricature if you think it is you haven't looked through mr. Peterson's history enough because he definitely maybe doesn't believe in anymore but he definitely did for a number of years and that's not at my mixed bag little detour that I went into that's completely different my detour had to do with specific rare types of individuals the sadists the sociopaths and thus and the Psychopaths they can definitely Thea ISM that's devout and genuine can definitely put a leash on them but that's the exception and that doesn't prove the rule and Jordans trying to make it into a rule when it comes to atheism or at least who tried a few years ago yeah it was a combination of social Darwinism and vitalism deeply unscientific now no one will actually come out and say that but Nietzsche believed the vitalism you can infer from many of his texts and this whole canard that it was actually Elizabeth that doctored will to power and that's why Nazis drew support from it and that if it had been left unaltered I'll leave a full post that explains why that's just a cop-out and then the Nietzsche scholars just want to purify their precious that the precious object of their study but it's not the case he laid the groundwork for vitalism and the Nazis ran with it and it's it's obfuscation to deny that connection the you might be able to deny it by saying that he didn't want a strong state but you can't deny it by appealing to some sort of deep underpinnings of Nietzsche's philosophy it wasn't the underpinnings to his philosophy it was his view on political ideology and skepticism of all political ideologies but he had an apolitical they robustly a political value laced outlook his reevaluation of all values do lead to a dead end it led to certain conclusions if you if you deny that it had concrete conclusions nature's reevaluation of all values you pretty much have to deny that when he said things like oh that thing is bad because it's like denying which I've never heard anyone deny that that is what he said right something can be bad if that thing is like denying you're gonna have to say that well actually what he meant was something completely different that it's not really bad even though he clearly liked verbatim just clear-cut that would just like denying is that which is prescriptively bad okay so I guess if you just sort of redefine all ideological fervor and ideological hypnosis into religion sure you can play that game to a point where apostasy and blasphemy or killing offenses well it's a reverential cult the dear leader must be revered but not all reverence is religious reverence as you sort of demonstrate with your I would say mostly all inspiring statements that you smuggle in every now and then are inspiring when it comes to things that you poke and prod at them and see how they actually just lay the groundwork for all sorts of unspeakable harms because they can't be traded away because you can't withhold the benefits of future generations that will be the worst possible thing that could happen even though those benefits are going to be doled out based on pure luck and the flip side of that the worst case scenarios are likewise going to be doled out based on misfortune so it is in the name of reverence for the good that people will rationalize the worst of the worst in order to not withhold whatever they do to be the worthy sorts to perpetuate life into endless generations in the future like not just on planet earth but you look into panspermia you look you look into terraforming you look into space colonization asti's individuals all these keyword searches actually have higher returns than anything in the way of philosophical pessimism this is why I advocate for the yellow button it's because you have to think in terms of likelihoods right now interventionism in the wild likelihood of that gaining momentum and catching fire like that sort of project going viral on the internet and people pulling resources into doing something big time much smaller likelihood then in a few decades something like panspermia and and colonizing space and implanting Darwinian life onto other planets that's why it says press the yellow button right now and I guess I'll link to my post on the yellow button from a few months ago if you're not familiar with what I mean by that I'm already yeah we believe in our properly basic beliefs based on insufficient evidence because there's nowhere else to appeal to so all things all epistemic justification bottoms out at a certain point on the surface again that seems like a nitpick but it is a mindfuck when you realize that the house of cards doesn't have because I think free discourse like the discourse that were engaged as the mechanism corrects totalitarian accepts our dogmatic excess that's only as good as the population at large is versed in critical thinking versed in spotting Sophists and other types of cognitive charlatans let's call the rhetorician z– spin Meister's people that you're sort of chummy with on I'm half your days so I don't think the current population is large is very well Burstyn spotting that sort of stuff which is not a claim on restricting people's ability to propagandize they can propagandized all they want I'm just saying it's not that's it's not a it's not a foregone conclusion that's what I meant to say that it will lead to very bad things yeah but what the elephant in the room is there they're gonna put it on the top of the instrumental pile not the intrinsic good pile and I just think it sucks that they can spell that out yes my argument um now brick used the word fear and he is right there but what I didn't point out before when I talked about the mixed bag is that I still personally would find non-dogmatic religion annoying personally because I happen to find absolutely nothing in there that's motivating and it just sucks that my psychological profile is so underrepresented that so many other people do find it they find something in it so I'd like to see my psychological profile more represented in the culture at large so again fear is the Ross host again if one can one has no reason to fear non-dogmatic religion but one has if one has a certain type of psychographic profile definitely a reason to be annoyed by it because it's masks a certain subset of the population and maybe isolates them intellectually or and also there's plenty of indoctrination that takes place by theists money comes through the household and family within the family a by theists who are far from the belt and yet they still put many ideas into their children's heads I'm not through fear tactics but just through conventional exposure and when you get them when they're that young you don't even need for your tactics a lot of the time and it'll just get stuck in their heads and it will do you'll spinning it their heads this is some part of your core identity so it doesn't take a fanatic a religious fanatic – I would say confuse a child that way and that is not something to fear nor is that something as trivial as the annoyance I spoke about a second ago it's some sort of middle synthesis between the fear and the annoyance insofar as you do actually think the child is being robbed of they otherwise intellectually more virtuous like they could have lived had they not been exposed to those pointless ideas whatever experienced someone like Jesus if spirituality does not alter belief does not induce reverential there's the sort of thing I spoke about a few minutes ago when I talked about how irreverence often justifies the unwillingness to withhold future benefits in the name of preventing the worst case scenarios that are also going to be unavoidable in the future for a certain number of individuals I don't see how reverence often spiritually induced reverence for most people doesn't steer them toward that unwillingness to withhold the benefits yeah so it's very rare where someone has these profoundly spiritual experiences and it doesn't alter anything in the way of their cognitive beliefs I don't think I can cite a single example I know that's what his 2014 book waking up aspire to do at least when it comes to metaphysical all these dubious metaphysical views that often are the baggage of spiritual experience for many people so he's very worried about that unjustifiable metaphysical claims resulting from that but he doesn't seem to be all too concerned with what I take to be indecent ethical views willing to make all sorts of insidious trade-offs in the name of reverence and what we can achieve in the future by colonizing space and spreading Turanian life and predation starvation all these other things that we can't even solve on planet and already been talking about solving it but now we want to spread it to other planets that we take maybe mmm somewhat habitable you're just spreading the disease in the name of reverence so it may seem disconnected from whether talking about but if you hit me up in the comments I will go at length more as to why it actually is connected I just I mean I have absolutely nothing to add there I fully agree wish I could pick some bone with it but no chimney you know because there was this idea that bricks really rooted in Brazilian thinking that the reason that people committed atrocities in the service of their group identity let's say they're tribal identity was because of their territory I don't think warfare in well they commit atrocities it's all instinct and they have no ability to engage in moral reasoning not on any sophisticated level anything that comes close to a sophisticated level they have intra species bare-knuckle levels of moral behavior but the moment you venture out then it's just it's game over I don't see how that poses a problem for any of the points Harris made he says yeah you don't need to engage in awful behavior in the name of ideology or any other form of simplistic belief it can be done purely out of instinct such is the vicious nature of life I don't get why this detour whoops and now we have an act no I doesn't want to play well you know what I give them a good 15 minutes and this is running on an hour almost so I think I'll end it here and maybe I'll play another sometime later I'm up to it I just looked over what I recorded and it struck me that I didn't make the most obvious point I did sort of touch on the most obvious point but I didn't spell it out in plain terms so just as a summary of this whole video I suppose what I can point out is that Jordans worried that the secular fundamentalism and that the religious fundamentalism are not distinguished by religiosity per se and that there's some other variable to it the assumption he's making is that the secular fundamentalists or the totalitarians as he keeps referring to them because they are in many cases but the difference is is that he thinks that they've actually sat down read a bunch of moral philosophy and decided to act on that as if they believe they're advancing some impersonal good that's not what it's about it's about the pursuit of power and I did say to the pursuit of power but I didn't really hang on that point nearly as much as I should have it's about a blind relentless pursuit of personal power in a lot of the 20th century examples that he's hung up on you had megalomaniacs it's what you had and they said oh look here's an opening this society is becoming destabilize on that opening and do our megalomaniacal thing cuz that's what we do were megalomaniacs it's not about advancing some impersonal good it's not about trying to put some really complex moral philosophy into practice which can't be done even if someone tried to do it but in this case they didn't even try to do it it was megalomania 101 in many other cases that he's willing to equate with religious fundamentalism in the religious case it's very hard to make that to say that it's about some narrow interest the religious funding truly does act in what the religious funding believes is and all things considered approach to the good you

Harris suggestion that make-believe religiosity brings the most pernicious form of delusional & dangerous thinking is kinda off imo.
Isn't the fantasy of expansionist capitalism within a closed system just as catastrophic as the wars & torture justified by the god delusion? In fact, don't the religious fairy tales serve a more practical, base function – to control a populous? If Harris is saying that religiosity in and of itself deserves its own category of scorn because of its heightened ability to screw humanity, it feels as if he needs to dig down another layer. Better to approach it from a psychological bent and recognise that it is the human faults to blame that lie beneath all damaging beliefs and dogma – greed, envy, pride, most of the deadly sins, ironically. Not because they were recognised in a religious text, but because there are the manifestations of the inherently selfish drive to survive that can come to corrupt a human brain if it is not properly managed.
Power & control is the real name of the game, religion is just one form of window dressing.
I was going somewhere with this. nope, that's all for now.

omg they're still doin the construction near your place? how longs that been goin now?!
you can speed videos up on a phone tho? it's ok tho I sped you up to 1.5 so it's probably good that u hadn't sped that video up or it would be x.3 and that would be hard to understand.
OK.. now to watch….

One of my favorite videos of yours. I thoroughly enjoyed the philosophical talk and I am really reading the links. I love learning about philosophy. I know, I am not very smart, but I give myself credit on this; I love to read and learn. It is always good to learn new things. It keeps the brain fresh and healthy.

As far as the end goes. I agree, I used to be one of these hard line socialist who thought capitalism was the ills of the world and socialism is the cure. Now, I am still personally a socialist. I just don't know if any nationalized economy can work because by nature, human beings are different. One person may not fit a socialist system, but another person would and same with capitalism. I am for people picking and choosing what type of company they want to work for, a socialist company or capitalist company.

Anyway, I think it is mad people (and not things like capitalism or whatever Stalin and Hitler tried to peddle). At the end of the day, most humans can control their bad instincts I think, so capitalism or secularism don't cause people to kill. We do it. I hope I didn't get any of your views wrong.

God, every time Peterson "argues," it's a pointed, depressing reminder that human cognition is fundamentally associational rather than inferential in its dynamics.

Anyway, nice analysis. I confess I'm rather less inclined to give up on robust metaethical realism. A common problem in these sorts of discussions is that we can mean quite a few different things by "mind-(in)dependent." Plenty of general psychological facts or facts about local world-states caused by human action are mind-dependent in the sense that their existence is causally or constitutively contingent upon our minds being generally the way they are, yet they are nevertheless broadly regarded as objective, 3rd-person-accessible facts we would be irrational to refuse to believe.

What matters in the moral realm, I submit, is not dependence on the existence or general features of minds per se, but dependence on particular mental states. The realist's goal, practically speaking, is a theory in which I can't exempt myself from moral obligation simply by citing or changing my desires.

Now, a lot of realists here go looking for universal values, and I think this is a mistake (even if there are universal values). We should look instead to the general conditions of value satisfaction. If I'm to act effectively in the world in so as to consistently realize my values (whatever they are), I will need, at minimum, three things: 1. freedom from unnecessary external constraints on my ability to act (i.e., liberty); 2. freedom from unnecessary internal constraints on my ability to act (i.e., healthfulness); and 3. sufficient knowledge of how the relevant parts of the world are apt to respond to my interventions. These, I submit, are objective moral goods insofar as we all have reason to realize them irrespective of the particular values we hold. It matters only that we are value-having beings. There is a kind of mind-dependence here (in that if value-having minds didn't exist, no moral facts would exist), but the categoricity demanded by moral realism is preserved. The normativity stems solely from the contingent values people happen to have (i.e., it's no more exotic than the Humean theory reasons found in many an anti-realist theory), and the objectivity stems from that small subset of satisfaction conditions applicable to all values.

We could, in Rawlsian fashion, pose to ourselves the following question: "What should I want of the world knowing nothing about what I will, in fact, want?" The rational response, it seems to me, would have to go something like: "I should want to be able to satisfy whatever my wants turn out to be. Ergo, I should want to be able to act freely, capably, and successfully in the world. Ergo, I should want liberty, healthfulness, and knowledge."

And it shouldn't stop there, for one is apt to depend for the realization of these goods on the actions of many others (scientists, judges, doctors, etc.), the success of which actions depends in turn on the actors having sufficient liberty, health, and knowledge of their own. I thus have a stake in their ability to realize these goods as well as mine, and vice versa, with the global moral upshot being a world that stably affords optimal access to these general value satisfaction conditions.

There's nothing, I think, terribly controversial or (in Mackie's words) queer here. To say that "I ought (in the general, pre-moral sense) to x" is just to say that I have a reason to x (which, on a Humean view, is to say that I have a value that will be satisfied by x-ing). The truth conditions for such claims are rather clear, even if we can't know all the truth values until after the x-ing. The subset of "ought" statements that are properly moral have an additional constraint, but it too is quite metaphysically innocent. I morally ought to x iff:

1. I have a (Humean) reason to x (whether I know this and am motivated by it or not); and
2. Others have a (Humean) reason to want me to x (whether they know this and are motivated by it or not).

A moral claim is true for a given x where both these conditions are satisfied and false otherwise. The truth-makers of such claims (the "reduction base" as Railton collectively calls them) are simply the many physical (including neuropsychological) facts that determine whether both conditions obtain. No weird, sui generis moral properties required.

I'm enjoying these response videos. You should be able to speed up YouTube videos on mobile as long as you're using the app.

As a man who suffers from chronic flatulence disorder, I wish not to perpetuate a species that is capable of acquiring such a horrible disease. Like you, I am for prevention rather than perpetuation.

Lets put an end to chronic flatulence disorder; let's put an end to suffering.

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