Atheistbros i can't believe?

Atheistbros i can't believe /ourguy/ would betray us like this. Looks like we can't have a little morality even as a treat.

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  1. 7 months ago
    Anonymous

    >/ourguy/
    Richard Carrier?

  2. 7 months ago
    Anonymous

    I don't understand his argument.

    Ethics is how an agent should act. A big part of ethics is how an agent should react to external stimuli. What do things being uncaused have to do with ethics? If you condition someone to be evil, then they are evil, they don't become not evil because you made them evil. Victimhood does not absolve ethical responsibility.

    Also literally who?

    • 7 months ago
      Anonymous

      Is it evil for a lion to kill a human? Most would say no, because the lion is not an agent making a decision, it is an animal carrying out behaviour programmed into its genetics.

      Is it evil for a human to murder a human? Most would say yes, because the murderer is choosing to do something immoral. They are an agent making a decision, they could have chosen not to do that. A materialist like Pinker believes in only the physically observable world. With this worldview the murderer, like the lion, is an amalgamation of neurons firing deterministically as a result of environmental and genetic factors. There isn't some magical 'soul' or other decision making center detached from the brain, but rather the person and their brain are indistinguishable. Any moral decision this person appears to make was preordained as a result of physical laws, because free will and materialism are incompatible (and no, compatibilism is NOT free will). Once we discard the belief that free will exists, it is much harder to justify ethical judgements (as in the lion example).

      • 7 months ago
        Anonymous

        The lion thing has nothing to do with "uncaused events"
        >Any moral decision this person appears to make was preordained as a result of physical laws, because free will and materialism are incompatible (and no, compatibilism is NOT free will). Once we discard the belief that free will exists, it is much harder to justify ethical judgements (as in the lion example).
        No it isn't. Imagine you have a robot. A robot has a computer which can make choices, even if they are purely deterministic. There is no issue destroying a robot that makes the wrong choices. Imagine you have a toaster, you don't destroy it before making the wrong choices because it doesn't make choices. You can still destroy it for being harmful or malfunctioning though.

        Ethical judgement has nothing to do with free will unless you ascribe guilt to free will rather than agency.

        All he's saying is that your morality is not individual or "real" if you will, it was created for a purpose

        But ethical theory does not require things to be uncaused. It is a complete non-sequitur.

        • 7 months ago
          Anonymous

          >But ethical theory does not require things to be uncaused
          "Requires idealizations like free, sentient, rational, equivalent agents"

          If you agree with this, then ethics is essentially an illusion. That's his point.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            So he doesn't have a point? The correct statement is an ethical framework that relies on fake things is fake and gay, not ethics is fake and gay.

            Furthermore, the assertion is still moronic. The only one that causes an issue is "free", none of the others have issues with being caused or uncaused. The reason why "free" is problematic is because he goes full moron with the word "free." "Free" can simply mean something like "free from direct coercion" not "free from ever having been influenced by anything ever". It is a profoundly moronic and ignorant argument. If you go to the store and there's a buy one get one free sale, no one thinks the second burger has free will, it's "free of charge". "Free" does not mean "ultimate freedom that is mutually exclusive with determinism" because if you assume determinism, the only freedom that can exist is specific contextual freedom.

            It's a brainlet take that is obsessed with an ethical framework based on the idea of moral sin as the core of ethics.

        • 7 months ago
          Anonymous

          I'm confused as to your point with the toaster/robot example, regardless of good or bad functionality destroying either would not be an ethical dilemma under any system of ethics im aware of because they are inanimate objects. Ethical judgment, as it is used in the world, is to prescribe how those we assume are agents with independent free will (humans) ought to act.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Ethical judgment, as it is used in the world, is to prescribe how those we assume are agents with independent free will (humans) ought to act.
            No, independent free will is not required for ethics. Your world view, and most people's, presupposes free will exists, and therefore ethics must conform to free will. Ethics merely prescribes good and bad behavior.

            The robot is an agent, even if it is purely deterministic. You are conflating an ethical dilemma in your own ethical framework with the existence of ethics. The only of using a robot as an example is because it lies outside your sense of ethics that presupposes free will as the basis for ethical judgement. You can apply a code of ethics (good/bad behavior) to a deterministic robot so long as it has some agency. Agency does not require complete nondeterministic independence.

            Most people justify their ethics through the idea of "free will" and most people believe "free will" exists. This does not mean ethics stops existing even if "free will" doesn't exist. It means your and most people's ethical framework that presupposes "free will" is invalid along with "free will" itself. There's absolutely no problem constructing an ethical framework devoid of "free will" it just doesn't match your current ethical framework.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            Okay, I understand your point now. For context, I do not believe in free will, although I'm open to the possibility of it existing if I were to see evidence which refuted materialism.

            I think this discussion now devolves into a semantic point about the definition of ethics - you say ethics is a category of rules describing good or bad behaviour, but I think ethics describes good or bad behavior in entities with agency. Hence why we don't talk about the actions of robots or animals in the context of ethics, in my experience it is a term reserved solely for humans, or postulations regarding entities with human-like characteristics (ai, aliens).

    • 7 months ago
      Anonymous

      All he's saying is that your morality is not individual or "real" if you will, it was created for a purpose

  3. 7 months ago
    Anonymous

    ?si=Yn5ZIwIqQm5xXcgK

  4. 7 months ago
    Anonymous

    >steven pinker
    https://rsbakker.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/enlightenment-how-pinkers-tutelary-natures/

    "All he ultimately has, on the one hand, is a kind of ‘ta-da’ argument, the exhaustive statistical inventory of the bounty of reason, science, and humanism, and on the other hand (which he largely keeps hidden behind his back), he has the ‘tu quoque,’ the question-begging presumption that one can only argue against reason (as it is traditionally understood) by presupposing reason (as it is traditionally understood). “We don’t *believe* in reason,” he writes, “we *use* reason” (352). Pending any scientific verdict on the nature of ‘reason,’ however, these kinds of transcendental arguments amount to little more than fancy foot-stomping."

    "And here we encounter the paradox that Enlightenment Now never considers, even though Pinker presupposes it continually. The challenge for us today is to construct an informational environment that mitigates the problems arising out of our previous environmental constructions. The ‘bugs’ in human nature that need to be fixed were once ancestral *features*. What has rendered these adaptations ‘buggy’ is nothing other than the ‘march of progress.’"

    "The paradox is that the very bugs Pinker thinks only the Enlightenment can solve are the very bugs the Enlightenment has created.

    What Nietzsche and Adorno glimpsed, each in their own murky way, was a recursive flaw in Enlightenment logic, the way the rationalization of everything meant the *rationalization of rationalization*, and how this has to short-circuit human meaning. Both saw the problem in the *implementation*, in the physiology of thought and community, not in the abstract. So where Pinker seeks to “to restate the ideals of the Enlightenment in the language and concepts of the 21st century” (5), we can likewise restate Nietzsche and Adorno’s critiques of the Enlightenment in Pinker’s own biological idiom."

    • 7 months ago
      Anonymous

      I'm moronic, I don't understand the paradox.

      • 7 months ago
        Anonymous

        https://rsbakker.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/the-knowledge-of-wisdom-paradox/

        "Consider: We’ve evolved to solve environments using as little information as possible. This means we’ve evolved to solve environments *ignoring as much information as possible*. This means we’ve evolved to take as much of our environments *for granted* as possible. This means evolution has encoded an extraordinary amount of *implicit knowledge* into our cognitive systems. You could say that each and every one of us constitutes a kind of solution to an ‘evolutionary frame problem.’

        Thus the ‘Knowledge of Wisdom Paradox.’ The more explicit knowledge we accumulate, the more we can environmentally intervene. The more we environmentally intervene, the more we change the taken-for-granted backgrounds. The more we change taken-for-granted backgrounds, the less reliable our implicit knowledge becomes.

        In other words, the more robust/reliable our explicit knowledge tends to become, the less robust/reliable our implicit knowledge tends to become."

        https://rsbakker.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/the-augmentation-paradox/

        "The Augmentation Paradox: The more you ‘improve’ some ancestral capacity, the more you degrade all ancestral capacities turning on the ancestral form of that capacity."

        • 7 months ago
          Anonymous

          That's not a paradox though? It also says nothing of the rate of degradation versus the rate of knowledge gained. This is just some schizo zeno's paradox brainlet shit applied to knowledge.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            >It also says nothing of the rate of degradation versus the rate of knowledge gained.
            https://rsbakker.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/enlightenment-how-pinkers-tutelary-natures/
            "the big question has to be how far—and how fast—can humanity go? At what point (or what velocity) does a recognizably human cognitive ecology cease to exist?"

            >some schizo zeno's paradox brainlet shit
            https://rsbakker.wordpress.com/2018/03/27/enlightenment-how-omens-of-the-semantic-apocalypse/
            "‘Free will,’ on this account, is ancestral lemonade, a way to make the best out of metacognitive lemons, namely, our blindness to the sources of our thought and decisions. To the degree it relies upon ancestrally available (shallow) saliencies, any causal (deep) account of those sources is bound to ‘crash’ our intuitions regarding free will. The free will debate that Pinker hopes to evade with speculation can be seen as a kind of crash space, the point where the availability of deep information generates incompatible causal intuitions and intentional intuitions.

            The confusion here isn’t (as Pinker thinks) ‘merely conceptual’; it’s a bona fide, material consequence of the Enlightenment, a cognitive version of a visual illusion. Too much information of the wrong kind crashes our radically heuristic modes of cognizing decisions. Stipulating definitions, not surprisingly, solves nothing insofar as it papers over the underlying problem—this is why it merely adds to the literature. Responsibility-talk cues the application of intentional cognitive modes; it’s the incommensurability of these modes with causal cognition that’s the problem, not our lexicons."

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            Again, not a paradox, the simple solution is transhumanism. There's no need for the future state of knowledge to be bound to caveman brains.

            >more schizo shit
            ok schizoid. Whoever writes this shit seems to think writing flowery words makes him sound smart.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            >the simple solution is transhumanism
            No, it isn't. What you think your mind to be is pic related.
            Whenever you talk about digitalizing your mind, you are talking about improving those building dwellers' life conditions. But they never existed.

            Your mind is like an exaptation of a delusion. A Type I False Positive error, that happened to have helped you to survive. No mind actually exists.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            I didn't say anything about digitalizing my mind or building dwellers. There's just no reason to be attached to the idea that caveman brain tier humans are the end all be all, and if you want to claim caveman brain minds are illusions, then even more reason for something to transcend humanity.

            It's not a big fricking for something more than human to gain knowledge and be the product of humans with illusory minds. I'm human, I'm going to die just as all my ancestors did before me including that fricking fish with legs. This has nothing to do with your schizo rantings. The only point is there's no reason to obsess about the human mind being the endpoint of possible epistemology.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            Also I disagree with you on the transhumanism point, I think eugenics and orienting society around how our brains evolved is probably the best option for resolving this issue.

            >the problems that arise when we use our intellect to alter the environment
            except that the brain is also part of the environment.

            [...]
            >Yes, but the observation has already made by others more succinctly and without the midwit pretentiousness
            What happens when you rationalize your rationalizations? The reasons behind reason? When you understand how your brain works?

            >except that the brain is also part of the environment
            Yes, re read all the stuff that the linkguy pasted. We are altering the environment to the extent that our inherent knowledge and instincts no longer match the world around us, but our brain is not being altered in the same direction of at the same pace.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Also I disagree with you on the transhumanism point
            Transhumanism is merely beyond human, prefix trans. It's the entire umbrella of things that could happen. The only point being made is that future sapient beings don't need to have the limitations of current humans, and any limit involving the limit of the human mind is not a fundamental epistemological problem, but a human contextual epistemological problem, which is proximal and relevant to us humans, but ultimately not any kind of major insurmountable problem beyond the context of the self. Eugenics is nearly just soft transhumanism and creating ubermensch who are above earlier men. There's just no particular reason to stop there.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            I see, well that is an agreeable concept, although highly speculative because the specifics of how we would actually go about pursuing such a thing are very relevant to my judgement of it. Eugenics works within the existing system we already have, so seems less risky and prone to catastrophe. Either way, eugenic policies would have to be implemented to reverse our plummetting intelligence, and transhumanism may follow. Without eugenics I don't see our current level of technology and societal complexity persisting long enough for any sort of transhumanist breakthrough

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            That's possible, although it seems unlikely to me that we will continue to alter the environment at such a rapid pace. Stagnation or collapse to pre industrial conditions are distinct possibilities.

            >this isn't some revolutionary insight
            The constructive role of ignorance, the strategic placement of (un)known (un)knows in the scientific methodology is not that widely discussed. Especially, in a science-compatible manner.

            All I can think of is Proctor's agnotology (but it is shit), and Stephen Park Turner's tacit knowledge.

            That's true, the building blocks of the argument are original (at least I haven't seen them before). The overall thesis is already discussed in some circles, it's usually framed a little differently is all.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            It's hard to me to keep track of what exactly is being argued because some guy seems to think random schizoid thoughts are some sort of coherent and deep philosophical world view and keeps jumping from one thing to the next. The original thing was based on some free will hand wringing and pearl clutching.

            Is the argument, civilization is good, and humanity is good, but humans are also morons, and humans might destroy themselves and civilization by being moronic?

            This is a somewhat separate argument from humans have minds, but they don't actually have minds and its all an illusion, but because they sort of have minds, they'll change things so they become extra moronic moreso than they already are.

            The problem here is the stance on everything seems to be bad, but good, but bad, but good, but bad.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            I don't know if paradox is the right term, but I think he's basically describing the problems that arise when we use our intellect to alter the environment, but genetics which evolved under previous conditions persit when those conditions are no longer present. For a very obvious example, we have implicit genetic 'knowledge' regarding fat storage and appetite, but we environmentally intervened and made food vastly more plentiful than it was when those genetics were selected for. As we can see today, the result of this mismatch is a lot of very fat and unhealthy people.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            Yes, but the observation has already made by others more succinctly and without the midwit pretentiousness. He seems to be confusing his ability to use flowery language on shallow thoughts as somehow being profound.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            Yeah I agree with you that this isn't some revolutionary insight, just a verbose rephrasing of already existing ideas. Of course, the complexity of his language is obfuscating meaning, which makes it difficult to criticize confidently- maybe I've missed some key point in the sea of synonyms and technical language, I can't be sure.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            >this isn't some revolutionary insight
            The constructive role of ignorance, the strategic placement of (un)known (un)knows in the scientific methodology is not that widely discussed. Especially, in a science-compatible manner.

            All I can think of is Proctor's agnotology (but it is shit), and Stephen Park Turner's tacit knowledge.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            schizoid ranting on the internet isnt making is science compatible or science related

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            >the problems that arise when we use our intellect to alter the environment
            except that the brain is also part of the environment.

            Yes, but the observation has already made by others more succinctly and without the midwit pretentiousness. He seems to be confusing his ability to use flowery language on shallow thoughts as somehow being profound.

            >Yes, but the observation has already made by others more succinctly and without the midwit pretentiousness
            What happens when you rationalize your rationalizations? The reasons behind reason? When you understand how your brain works?

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            >What happens when you rationalize your rationalizations? The reasons behind reason? When you understand how your brain works?

            Please, enlighten us. I would guess you either cope by avoiding thinking about it or become depressed/suicidal/nihilistic.

          • 7 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Please, enlighten us.
            Cognitive ecology collapse. Obsolescence of your pre-installed cognition toolkit. Inability to adapt to the speed of the environmental change. Mis-cueing of your behavioral responses. Semantic Apocalypse.

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