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Why all the confusion

  1. Jan 19, 2005 #1


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    I've been reading posts and what not for quite some time now, even replying to some just to be attacked. Now if you are going to reply to this thread, read all the posts, don't insult, speak logically and only logically. If you are unsre of something ask, don't use false authorities like 'the law states' and 'majority believe', I don't care about what specific or alot of people do or believe, just because majority are in favour of or people with high authority are in favour of, in no way implies that there right.

    Now I am posting this thread not to impose personal or religious beliefs but truth. If you can argue it, be my guest, but before you do read the above statement first.

    Now for everything there is a standard, an absolute. If there is no absolute, then in just saying there is no absolute is the same as saying 'the only absolute is that there is no absolute', now this is a contradiction, so that can't be true, meaning there must be an absolute. Now in seeing this we see there is a standard, even one for human nature. In the history of man, man has done just about everything, does that mean it is part of man's nature, no. It is man's nature to have free will, it is my will to write this post, and my friends will to give up on hopeless subjectivists. That is human nature, its human nature to search for happiness. Even in suicide, the suicidals goal is to relieve pain, in return bringing out happiness.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2005 #2
    First, let us just be sure that you are not planning to call it a day on this planet -commit suicide. Are you? I just want to be sure that you are alirght. I Know that some people do hold the view that it's their moral right to end their lives whatever other reason may be available for them not to do so. If you were planning this, or already made up your mind about doing this, I will personally suggest you not to do so. Here me out first.

    Let's take all the issues that you are raising one at a time. First, Suicide. There are many reasons why people should not be selffish about the issue of suicide, let alone thinking about committing it:


    The first fundamental reason not to commit suicide is that, regardless of how low or insignificant you may think of yourself, YOU ARE WORTH SOMETHING, not only to yourself but also to the rest of the world. This is the view held dear by the Universalists. This is what UNIVERSALISM is all about.


    The next fundamental reeason for you not to do so is that YOU ARE THE CAUSAL CONSEQUENCE OF SOMEONE ELSE AND MANY OTHERS (your parents who brought you to this world, your sisters, brothers, extended family and the rest of the society that you are a part). According to UNIVERSALISM, causal relation renders you universally bound to your means of existence and to the wider sphere of the human existence. And that when you commit suicide, you are not only being selfish, but also YOU ROB THE REST OF THE SOCIETY AND WIDER WORLD OF VALUE (See KANT's 'Catigorical Imparitives' Moral Theory for details).

    3) NEEDS

    Another reason is that you should not commit suicide is that someone else may need you as a source of hope or may want your help in so many ways. One of the UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES is that need is the basis of co-existence or even Creation itself. So, in this very sense, you are a valuable part of the show. Another point is that, universalists may view your action not only as selfish but also as risky. They may feel that by commiting suicide you are putting the rest of the society at risk. Ok, take this thought experiment for example:

    Supposing you were a genius. You hold a SUPER MATHEMATICAL FORMUALA that is needed to scientifically make every human being immortal. This fact is unknown both to you and everyone else in the socoety and that this fact was going to be revealed to you tomorrow morning. Now, if you commited suicide today, according to the Universalists, you have selfishly, and perhaps ignorantly as well, robbed the rest of the society of the only single source of everlasting life. And just imagine where there is no other means of ever getting such a formula again, what in your honest opinion would be the consequence your action?

    The fundamental Universalist principle is this:

    Always act in a manner that preserves everyone, incase one of us turns out to be the only means of the human survival. This is a paraphrase of the central thesis of Kant's Catigorical Imparatives which states; "Act in a manner that you wish your action becomes a universal Law". This implies that anyone of us could hold the key to the human survival, for there is nothing which logically rules this out. Just ask youself this: How many Einsteins has the world....and how many times does one come by?

    This is the argument that the Universalists always use to counter the Untilitarian argument that in the process of trying to save or satisfy everyone you may in process end up endangering or completely destroying everyone that you were trying to cater for in the process in the first place. According to the Untilitarians, in a very messy moral dilemma situation, it is safer for you to save or satisfy as many people as you can than to try to save or satisfy everyone. The Untilitarians have a huge catalogue of moral dilemma thoughts experiments that they always use to demonstrate the validity of their own moral position. There isn't many universalist thought experiments around (if there is even any at all). The above universalist thought experiment that I have stated is one I can personally think of. Maybe someone else would turn up with a better one soon, I hope.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2005
  4. Jan 20, 2005 #3
    AiA, you call subjectivists "hopeless" in the same post you call for a decrease in insults?

    When the subjectivist says that everything is subjective, he is not making (if he is consistent) a universal statement; he is simply implying that this is his belief. If he _states_ it is his belief, he is simply implying that it is his belief that it is his belief. The subjectivist says, "there is no certainty anywhere, not even in this statement."

    Consider, hypothetically, an undiscoverable flaw in some piece of reasoning you have created. If the flaw is present, then your reasoning is invalid. And there is no way to determine whether any hypothetical undiscoverable flaw is actually present, by virtue of it being undiscoverable; so there is no absolute way to tell whether any given piece of reasoning is valid or invalid.
  5. Jan 20, 2005 #4
    On this issue of abuse, insult and disresepct, I would just say to you to calm down. Take it easy. I have experienced this as well, and I think many other peope as well. How to handle this? I will suggest the following solutions:


    Perhaps, the best way to handle it is to be diplomatic where you can. There is no guarantee that this will work 100%. But give it ago, anyway.


    Just read around PF and see how other veterans handle bullies. I suggest you look at some of the counter-responses from others. But also look out for the fact that some of the best counter-responders may also be notorious bullies themselves.


    We are not fighting war here. If it can be called a war, I would say it is an intellectual war, which should be fought in a fairly civilised manner. I would say just keep an open mind by being flexible and not taking things too seriously. Because when you take things too seriousely it looks as if you are trying to do the very same thing that you are now angry about: 'impose your will and thoughts upon others regardless of if they are right or not'.


    There is no medicine in the world as good as having a decent sleep (I would say a minimum of six hours sleep in every 24hour day). You should not intellectualise with an empty stomarch either. As the saying usually goes:"A Hungry man is an angry man'. Whether this true or not, it does seem to me to make some sense. Personally, I think it is a bad habit to do so.....you are not doing yourself much favour.


    By giving yourself a reasonable amount of time to reflect, you stand more chance of systematically deriving at a more strategic but very effective response.

    NOTE: Please do not view all this as lecturing you. It is just my innocent and harmless opinion. You are free to reflect on it or completely silently ignore it.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2005
  6. Jan 20, 2005 #5


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    I submit that pain is negative happiness and thus a reduction in negative happiness cannot lead to happiness - only to zero. For example:

    Banging your head against a wall hurts. There is an old joke where a guy is banging his head against a wall and someone else asks him why. He says "'cause it feels so good when I stop!" Does it? If on a "feels good" scale of -10 to +10, banging your head against a wall could be a -3. Stopping just gets you back to zero. So I submit, the guy banging his head against the wall has a screwed-up baseline. Depression and drugs can cause this....
  7. Jan 21, 2005 #6


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    damn it your all missing the point of this thread, wth, I'm not suicidal where ever philocrat got that idea from. I don't need to know how to deal with insults, I'm trying to say that subjectivism and skeptivism is wrong, abortion is not opinion based, logic is not opinion based, people don't construct their own logic, they either find it or miss it. and Russ, I know what your saying, I always new, but I'm saying that thats what the suicidal person is thinking, not me, I'm not suicidal, how this post brought about that asumption is beyond me. Though I said not to insult, I think you guys are just either purposely or subconsciesly trying to avoid the purpose at hand. With philosophy and logic, there is very little room for opinion, hence very little room for subjectivism, we need to find this standard with out yelling, insulting or ignoring the question or using any other logical fallicies. This site is really ticking me off now, every body just repeats themselves, when a logical point is made most just go back to their apeals to emotions, and I'm really sick of it, this thread is to show people that we must find this standard of truth, and not bull shi* our way through these debates, which aren't really debates cause everyone is one sided.
  8. Jan 21, 2005 #7


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    Are you implying somehow that this paragraph is a paradigm of logic and clarity which none of us has managed to achieve yet when arguing with you?
    This is false in physics and false in mathematics, and there are no fields of enquiry that are more rigorous. If that is the case, why should there be absolutes in anything else?
    We all know the liar's paradox, but what you argue is akin to what follows: because "this sentence is false" is paradoxical, all sentences must be true. How about the statement "The only absolute is that there are no other absolutes" ? Maybe this statement is paradoxical and maybe it is not, but either way your conclusion doesn't follow.
    I can almost argue that it *is* part of man's nature, and it is so analytically. What is this "man's nature" that you speak of? If it is supposed to be absolute, how shall we go about finding it, if man can act against that nature? Ultimately for any theory of morality you will need to take some axioms, even if they are as restricted as "something is valuable", and you will have a very hard time finding a set of axioms that people can agree on. This is what philosophy has been trying to do for centuries, and there is no indication it will decide on a final form anytime soon; even if they do, it does not mean they are any closer to the "true" axioms if they exist.

    I could go on and on, but I believe my point is made, and I have a seminar to attend. Cheers.
  9. Jan 21, 2005 #8
    Finally someone found the initiative to make a valid point and at least attempt to put an end to the completely absurd -- and quite hilarious may i add -- notion of subjectivism.
    By the way, thanks to whoever posted this:
    Man did i get a good laugh at the irony of that.
    Thank you AiA. Now all you have to do is control your frustration (like i am now).
  10. Jan 21, 2005 #9


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    Dekoi makes a good point I contradict myself in saying that inforcing apeal to emotion is wrong when I my self use emotion with my anger towards the subjectivist view.

    Now, we see that there has to be a standard, this is because for everything, there is a scale of high to low. One person posted that math isn't concrete, well as soon as you prove that 2+2 does not =4, I'll bow down to subjectivism. In truth we see that this can't be argued, 2+2=4, you can'd dispute it, it IS absolute. In truth, I could say that ethics mean nothing, then another could say ethics is everything, either him or myself are correct, or were both wrong, we can't both be right. So here is a clear example of this standard I speak of.

    Now I also spoke of human nature, it is human nature to have free will. That is part of human nature, but it is also human nature to seek the transendentals. Truth, beauty, justice, unity, goodness. People who deny truth are people who can't handle the truth, the people who perverse beauty are people who don't know how to see/hear beauty, people who can't handle justice are people who want more power than they deserve, people who can't handle unity are people in depression, trying to get attention. And those who reject goodness are people who reject others and only live for themselves.

    To search for the transendentals, to choose them to go with human nature, but to go against it is part of human nature of freedom.
  11. Jan 21, 2005 #10
    I sort of agree with this, but sometimes I get a brain freeze if I drink my Slurpee a little too quickly. There is an intense physical pain(seems mine is worse than other people's) but when it stops, it actually feels GOOD. Its not just the absence of pain, but also the introduction of relief. That relief increases my happiness.

    But then theres the scale of happiness. I think your direction of a "feels good" scale doesn't reflect the real world. I believe it would rather be a "feels how much better or worse than my previous state". Any increase in the positive from your previous state would mean happiness, while decreses would be sadness/pain.

    I believe it would also be a parabolic, not linear, scale if compared to a larger sample time period (if looked at by-the-day rather than by-the-second). You break a leg. It hurts, quite badly. Then you get a papercut on your finger. Your increase in physical pain is very small since you were already hurt. But if you were in a good mood, and had zero pain, the papercut would really hurt. So pain is not additive, but more of a maximum of the set of current pains.

    So back to banging your head against the wall.
    If looked at as you had never known what it was like to NOT be banging your head, I believe your happiness would increase relative to your current state.
    If you HAD known life witout the banging of the head, then your time-sample would probably have been larger, and so comparitavely to the pre-banging you would return to your previous level of happiness, and not actually INCREASE, but return from a depression.

    I love ranting on stuff that doesnt matter at all.
  12. Jan 21, 2005 #11


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    Healey01, discussing happiness is not useless ramblings. As I've stated before, there is a standard, expecially one for happiness, happiness is not something you add up, you don't go "I was happy for 12 out of 20 years of my life, so my life was 60% happy." It doesn't work like that, happiness is the final end, we all strive to be happy. Hence it is something that lasts till death, now following human nature is what leads to happiness. We find truth, were happy, this isn't a matter of a moment or event, you don't read a book and get 100 pages into it and say "I learned something, i'm happy, so I'm not going to finish the rest of the book." It is something one can never stop seeking cause one can never have perfect truth, the same goes for the rest of the transendentals.

    Happiness is not a result of physical pleasures, yes we can obtain joys and pleasure from physical things. I love movies, I have a collection, I like action movies cause they stimulate my eyes, my physical emotions and gratifaction, but the movies I really love are those that bring about the transendentals, movies that show beauty and teach truth, those are the movies that surpass those physical movies because they bring about those transendent elements into them. The closer and more we have of these transendentals, the happier we are, and this isn't based on moments but our life as a whole. you can't say "I learned truth for 12 out of 20 years of my life, I'll stop now cause thats enough." no, it doesn't work like that, upon our deaths we can look at our life as a hole and say "I found unity as a hole person, I found truth, I knew truth, I saw, heard beauty." Another example of this same life goal of happiness as an end is a musical orchestra. the exellence of the orchestra is not brought on by a moment, but through out the entire concert, the art behind architecture transends time and brings transendent beauty. The Sphynx is still an idolized and beautiful sculpture amongst other works of historical art. This is not momentary, when runners run, do you say "Wow, he was really fast for the first five seconds, but kinda slacked off during the fifth and sixth second." no, you say "wow, that runner beat the world record, he ran (throughout the hole thing) really fast, he achieved his goal of spead, as a hole." Just as we ought to say "We lived a good, happy life as a hole."
  13. Jan 21, 2005 #12
    For all you absolutists scoff, I notice that you carefully ignore this very, very logical argument.
  14. Jan 21, 2005 #13


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    At heart your question is how can we truly know whats really truth or not correct. For all I know, what I believe, there could be a logical fallicy to it that I have not uncovered yet, I have asked this question myself.

    Use logic, thats the only answer, there has to be a truth which we can uncover, if we couldn't, not even remotely, then that would just be crual.
    If you believe you know a truth, the best way to justify it is to use it in the most extreme case, and if the argument still stands reasonable, then its just as reasonable to asume its true.

    In some things there may be no absolute way of knowing, but that truth is still absolute. But in realizing this absolute, wether we know it or not, we know that it isn't different per person, it can't be, I can't say killing is good and you say killing is wrong, this isn't a logical statement that can be refuted, there are circumstances which can be refuted but the act of cold blooded killing, that can't be refuted, so we see this, already, as a truth.
    And another thing we see as absolutes are self evident truths, one being existence, you can't deny your own existence nor could I deny my own. This is a truth that is unrefutable.
  15. Jan 21, 2005 #14
    Are you saying that there is an ultimate combination of philosophies that humanity has failed to realize? I would agree with that statement. The belief that everything is the result of perspective is an arguement that justifies actions in the minds of intellectuals; however, I would deem it flawed. People refuse to realize and accept the failure of themselves and humanity; we have not found the answers we seek. Instead of religion, intellectuals turn to the belief that everything is arbitrary. The quest to find meaning subsides, because everything is claimed to be the result of opinion.

    If a tree needs to be cut down there are multiple ways chop it. If an axe becomes avaliable it is the most efficient way to achieve success. The addition of a simply variable can create a self-evident most effecient course of action. In philosophy there are even more variables, and the course of action is more efficient but more complicated. We can accept that differences in opinion may have a place in idealism, but we cannot disregard the necessity to force certain beliefs on people. Happiness may have variances and the potential for molding, but it has a most effecient course.
  16. Jan 21, 2005 #15
    AiA, what "seems reasonable" and what is necessarily true are two quite different things.

    "Self-evident" knowledge is subject to the same argument I posed. What if there is an undiscoverable flaw in your judgment that a particular idea is self-evident? You would never know it if such a flaw were there, so you can't be sure. Perhaps you are like a malfunctioning computer, senselessly spitting out data that you see as "self-evident" but that is nonsense to a clear-seeing god.

    Even my own existence is subject to question. I would never seriously question it, but if you are honest you must admit that even in your judgment that you are real, there may be an undiscoverable flaw; such a flaw could be present anywhere at all.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2005
  17. Jan 22, 2005 #16


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    Barthalemew, you make a good point, but what you must realize is that truth is not limited by time. Aristotle lived around 400 B.C. (I could be wrong, but that isn't important.) That was over 2000 years ago, valid workable arguments for his teachings are few and for distinct teachings, not his teachings as a hole. If two thousand years can't uncover his 'lies' then maybe these 'lies' will never be uncovered, then maybe their actuall truth. Another thing is that the future is not limitless as people may think, there will not be robots with souls, and there won't be valid proof for subjectivism. You claim that maybe subjectivism is true but we cna't see it yet, but even if it is true that would mean only chaos, cause then everyone would have their own morality. Human beings as a hole, what distincts each of us apart from eachother and what is it that makes us all man. what makes us all man is our nature, wether it subjective or truly a transendent nature. I suggest you stop waiting for the future to validate subjectivism and argue it now, if you can't, don't beg the question by saying "the future will prove other wise, don't worry." Prove other wise now, and if you can't, then maybe, just maybe what I'm saying isn't all that bad, and maybe just might be true.

    I'm not gonna lie, at heart, part of what I say envolves faith. But everyone has faith, no matter what. You most likely believe in math right, how do you know pi=3.14, did you yourself calculate it, and if you did, you have faith that your calculations were right just like the original people who calculated it. So if your gonna have faith in science, have faith in a philosophy that is yet to be proven wrong for over 2000 years, good luck with that.
  18. Jan 22, 2005 #17


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    >You claim that maybe subjectivism is true but we cna't see it yet, but even if it is true that would mean only chaos, cause then everyone would have their own morality.

    But only anarchists would take the idea of subjectivism into an anything goes situation. Many people wouldn't want to live like anarchists anyway. The chaos you speak would probably happen for some time at least, but not in the same way as your imagination.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2005
  19. Jan 22, 2005 #18


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    You know what I find so hilarious, when I argue about specific things, people bring about their subjective views just about all the time, blatently being subjective saying things like "its not business, its their choice, if its good for me its good for me etc." But then when I argue subjectivism as a hole, state that this form of arguing is wrong, no body really argues back, normally there would be like five posts for every one post of mine, but not this time. Is it that maybe people KNOW that subjectivism is WRONG. Maybe everyone truly realizes that its not opinion based but just make things opinion based cause they really don't know what their talking about, because their actually ignorant on the subject they just say "its up to me or them," And they just say this cause they really have nothing else to say, and for the clever subjectivist they use other and more logical fallicies to support their claim. Like kerrie as she attempts so hard to prove that abortion is good just because its been legalized. This is a misplaced authority, yet she still uses it as an argumetn, cause she really doesn't know what she's talking about.

    If theirs another explanation for my findings, please tell me.
  20. Jan 22, 2005 #19


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    Exactly what have you presented that wasn't subjective? About the only thing I can think of, in this thread anyway, is the rather obvious fact that humans have a tendency to seek out pleasure and minimize pain.

    For the sake of fairness (I'm actually pro-life), what argument have you produced that is any better than Kerrie's? Screaming that something is true, no matter how forcefully you do so, doesn't make that something true. Kerrie's basic argument seems to be to be that there are both ethical and pragmatic reasons to either favor abortion or oppose it. The ethical issues are very difficult to resolve, but the pragmatic issues are obviously in favor of the pro-choice position, so that is the position she takes. Heck, she is even willing to admit that abortion at some point very obviously becomes an act of murder and that the practice should at the very least be banned by the third trimester. At least that's a start.

    If you want to chime in with some authoritative ethical facts, go ahead and try. But what exactly is an ethical fact? As far as I can tell, the best a human can present is an ethical argument. It's nice if that argument relies as little as is possible on subjective impressions, but you'll almost never be totally free from them.
  21. Jan 22, 2005 #20


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    Is there something fundamental about ethics and pleasure and pain?

    I'd say it is certain that a universe where all beings are always happy, is better than a universe where all beings are always miserable. I believe this is an absolutely true fact. But is there a way to demonstrate this?
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