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Are moral values objectively real?

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Are moral values objectively real?
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ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

psikhrangkur wrote:
Not really, no. The way they handle severe trauma becomes different, the rate at which their heart is expected to beat is different, their capacity to reproduce is different, etc. There are demonstrable changes of form, there.



YES, I know... but I mean we could say look 'two arms two legs, torso, head, etc' and call it a day, without paying attention to the 'details' that you re doing here. See what I mean? If we take a general enough lens, the child is still a human, just the man or women is a human. But what differentiates one from the other, that's what I'm getting at. Is the bacteria identical when it is small to when it is large with respect to details?

psikhrangkur wrote:
As part of its reproductive cycle, sure. Meaning that no change in form had to occur before this stage began, which can't be said of multiple other species including humans and acorns.


You can correct me if I am wrong here, but I distinctly recall that there are phases a bacteria needs to go through the growth phases in order to be even at the size to divide, which requires the construction of various structures like ribosomes, cytoplasm, cytoskeleton, and/or things to that effect, does it not? And if so, are not these necessary structural features that need to be of a certain aggregate number and order so that the cell can divide? Does it not need to 'develop' enough to be able to divide? If yes, then that's all I'm saying. When one cell becomes two, the two halves are a 'potential' of the cell that is capable of division, which would be the actual, the form.


psikhrangkur wrote:
Even if you're correct about the size of the organism growing before its reproductive cycle, I don't see how that qualifies as a change in form.


Because it doesn't have the machinery to actually divide. I mean, even on the more general level, and mind you this is really quibbling, but some kinds of bacteria when they divide, the two new bacterias are more 'roundish' and later become more oblong. But even if it stays round, again, certain internal parts need to be constructed otherwise the bacteria is not at full size or even capable of division. Granted, this life cycle is VERY simple, but it still goes from potential to actual, then splits and starts all over again.


psikhrangkur wrote:
I'm rather confused by this. You suggest that it would apply to any organism for the sake of argument, but didn't we just accept that bacteria were an exception to this?


I'm not convinced they are, for the reasons above. But IF some organism could gestate its young inside itself, and give birth to fully formed live young capable of all the fully formed functions, then it would simply mean that the 'potential' stage would be the gestation period itself. So IF the bacteria, let's say counted here, which I don't think it does, it would mean that the potential would be the process itself of the division followed by the actuality of the 'fully formed bacteria' which is as of yet incapable of reproducing (I just see that as factually incorrect given what I know about cell division).



psikhrangkur wrote:
You could say the same thing of humans or any other social species, except that this would fail to explain the importance of the superorganism in relation to ants as a species.

Essentially, I can't argue that you could describe ants in this way, but it's all rather wishy washy to me. Better explanations of the species exist if we're approaching this from a biological perspective, and it seems like a matter of convenience on your part if we're approaching this from an ethics perspective. It feels like you're forcing it to work.



We 'aren't' approaching this from an ethics perspective at this point in the conversation (though that is ultimately where this will all be used later). Recall, I said none of this is prescriptive. I'm just talking about a certain kind of causal relation. And yes, you could say the same of other social species. But so what? If there is indeed this natural telos, then why cannot it be 'layered' as all other kinds of organization are layered at times as well?

psikhrangkur wrote:Well, the only point to be made here is that this all just seems like a poor description of what we observe in reality.

We could sit here and describe the superorganism as a whole made of individual organisms that each possess their own potentiality and actuality, but that seems to discount the importance of the superorganism itself, as though it's something that exists as a convenience as opposed to a necessity. Humans could in theory survive outside of society, whereas ants can't actually exist on their own.

We could sit here and try to describe the superorganism the same way we've tried describing other individual organisms, on account of previously cited(and as far as I'm aware, uncontested) evidence that suggests it displays psychophysical reactions similarly to individual organisms, but that comes with its own problem of whether or not a superorganism has stages of Infancy, Maturity, and Impotency.


It doesn't discount it though, as the two are not in conflict. So take your usual way of thinking about this, and simply note that what I've been saying is one sort of pattern in nature, one among many others. The question is, is any of this factually inaccurate? If no, then it is simply one pattern in nature, one among many.

The whole superorganism is really a red herring because the ants to follow the pattern of going from potential to actual, so whether or not the superorganism does or even if there is a superorganism or just a tightly knit social order, doesn't matter.



psikhrangkur wrote:
Not to me, no. I'm not sure how this explanation ties into the rest of our discussion. Unless I just assume that actuality is based on function, but that seems hasty to me.


Wait and see. My issue for now is, is there anything flat-out factually incorrect about what I have been saying?

psikhrangkur wrote:
The point of the hypothetical is to determine whether the actuality of an organism is tied to its natural form or to its capacity to function. So how about this:

We have an adult that was in a car accident. Their spine has been damaged, and as a result, they can't walk on their own.
Their spine can't actually be fixed. However, we develop some means of bypassing this issue entirely, which results in the man being able to walk.

This man, whose spine is still damaged, can now walk via artificial means. Has actuality been lost, because his spine has been damaged, or has actuality been preserved, because he can still walk?



The problem I have with your example is, unless we 'modified' his body, repaired it, or used some other tool to allow him to walk, he simply cannot walk. Walking is itself a certain function, which is inseparable from a form that allows for such an action. Talking you could say, is a kind of action, which presupposes a certain form that can act in that way i.e. which can 'function' in that way. So if his spine is gone, unless we say, install a prosthetic somehow (which would have to be pretty sophisticated) or have some other assisted method, he isn't going to walk. But any of those options require we bring in 'some' form which allows for said action, said function. You can't have the function of anything.

In regards to your last sentence, the answer is, his actuality 'has NOT' been preserved. Rather, the function of walking has simply been achieved by a different form, albeit one which may be similar or dissimilar to his spine, to whatever degree. His form has been destroyed, though the part which was destroyed has been replaced or assisted by another, which allows for the fucntion he once had. Do you recall, I said that the same fucntion can be achieved by more than one form, depending?
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:07 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:YES, I know... but I mean we could say look 'two arms two legs, torso, head, etc' and call it a day, without paying attention to the 'details' that you re doing here. See what I mean? If we take a general enough lens, the child is still a human, just the man or women is a human. But what differentiates one from the other, that's what I'm getting at. Is the bacteria identical when it is small to when it is large with respect to details?


As far as I'm aware, until it actually begins its reproductive cycle, there isn't any demonstrable change in form.

Exogen wrote:You can correct me if I am wrong here, but I distinctly recall that there are phases a bacteria needs to go through the growth phases in order to be even at the size to divide, which requires the construction of various structures like ribosomes, cytoplasm, cytoskeleton, and/or things to that effect, does it not? And if so, are not these necessary structural features that need to be of a certain aggregate number and order so that the cell can divide? Does it not need to 'develop' enough to be able to divide? If yes, then that's all I'm saying. When one cell becomes two, the two halves are a 'potential' of the cell that is capable of division, which would be the actual, the form.


Out of curiosity, if the bacteria didn't actually possess these ribosomes, cytoplasm, cytoskeleton, etc. to begin with, then how could we argue that the bacteria is even duplicating them?

Are these duplicates actually doing anything? Or are they just present and nonfunctional?

When these duplicates are sorted properly and start functioning as intended, are they functioning insofar as our initial bacteria requires them to stay alive, or is it in essence a new bacteria undergoing its own separate bodily functions?

Exogen wrote:Because it doesn't have the machinery to actually divide.


I don't actually see how that's true, though. The way I see it, material is one thing, and machinery is another. It's the difference between a wood chipper with no wood to work with and another machine that for one reason or another can't function as a wood chipper.

Exogen wrote:I mean, even on the more general level, and mind you this is really quibbling, but some kinds of bacteria when they divide, the two new bacterias are more 'roundish' and later become more oblong. But even if it stays round, again, certain internal parts need to be constructed otherwise the bacteria is not at full size or even capable of division. Granted, this life cycle is VERY simple, but it still goes from potential to actual, then splits and starts all over again.


Can we even describe the initial shape of the bacteria as a matter of growth? As far as we're aware, it could simply adopt this oblong shape as a result of attempting to move in its environment.

This construction you're talking about takes place before this daughter bacteria even comes into existence.

Exogen wrote:I'm not convinced they are, for the reasons above. But IF some organism could gestate its young inside itself, and give birth to fully formed live young capable of all the fully formed functions, then it would simply mean that the 'potential' stage would be the gestation period itself. So IF the bacteria, let's say counted here, which I don't think it does, it would mean that the potential would be the process itself of the division followed by the actuality of the 'fully formed bacteria' which is as of yet incapable of reproducing (I just see that as factually incorrect given what I know about cell division).


This representation strikes me as a misunderstanding of asexual reproduction. The daughter bacteria aren't fostered inside of the mother bacteria and then birthed. At best, the daughter buds off, and at worst, the mother bacteria evenly divides into daughter bacteria. I'm not even sure you could argue that there is a daughter bacteria until it splits off, or that in the case of even splitting that there's a mother bacteria at the end of the cycle.

Exogen wrote:We 'aren't' approaching this from an ethics perspective at this point in the conversation (though that is ultimately where this will all be used later).


For that reason, we aren't capable of separating this from ethics. That's what all of this is in service of. I can't just pretend that this isn't an ethics argument when it's ultimately an ethics argument. That we're still arguing about the base of this ethics argument without having dived into how it would be applied in the realm of ethics doesn't change that fact.

Exogen wrote:And yes, you could say the same of other social species. But so what? If there is indeed this natural telos, then why cannot it be 'layered' as all other kinds of organization are layered at times as well?


I can't honestly sit here and say that this natural telos couldn't be 'layered' as you call it, but I don't see why I should consider an ethics argument based on a 'natural telos' that we apparently don't even understand, and for all we know might vary to the point of being contrary ideas based on what exactly we're talking about because in reality nature might simply just not care at all about our ethics and philosophy and just function on a very simple principle of "screw it, it works".

Exogen wrote:It doesn't discount it though, as the two are not in conflict.


It doesn't need to conflict with the idea in order to discount it. It simply needs to ignore it, which it definitely does. If we were to seriously consider the importance of the relationship of the ant to its colony, we wouldn't actually have any reason to discuss ants as single, solitary beings.

Exogen wrote:So take your usual way of thinking about this, and simply note that what I've been saying is one sort of pattern in nature, one among many others. The question is, is any of this factually inaccurate? If no, then it is simply one pattern in nature, one among many.


Granting everything said in this quoted section, I fail to see how "one pattern among many" is sufficient for any kind of objective morality.

Exogen wrote:The whole superorganism is really a red herring because the ants to follow the pattern of going from potential to actual, so whether or not the superorganism does or even if there is a superorganism or just a tightly knit social order, doesn't matter.


Doesn't matter in respect to what?

Biology? It absolutely matters in that regard. The superorganism is how the individual survives.
Ethics? I would argue that it does. I simply don't respect the idea that we can ignore these individual differences in species which are so crucial to the continuation of said species if we're going to make any kind of argument in respect to its nature.

Exogen wrote:My issue for now is, is there anything flat-out factually incorrect about what I have been saying?


My issue for now is, even assuming that nothing is flat-out factually incorrect concerning what you've been saying, that in itself doesn't strike me as a proper foundation by which we can begin to discuss ethics.

Exogen wrote:The problem I have with your example is, unless we 'modified' his body, repaired it, or used some other tool to allow him to walk, he simply cannot walk. Walking is itself a certain function, which is inseparable from a form that allows for such an action.


I don't really find this relevant, as the whole point of this example is simply to derive whether actuality is tied to the form of an organism or its capacity to function, but to be honest I'd disagree outright. My example is quite literally an example of a particular function being separated from the form which allows for it by virtue of said function being achieved by some other means.

Exogen wrote:Talking you could say, is a kind of action, which presupposes a certain form that can act in that way i.e. which can 'function' in that way. So if his spine is gone, unless we say, install a prosthetic somehow (which would have to be pretty sophisticated) or have some other assisted method, he isn't going to walk. But any of those options require we bring in 'some' form which allows for said action, said function. You can't have the function of anything.


That's the whole point of the example, Exogen: a preservation of function in spite of the deterioration of the form which initially allowed for said function for the sake of determining whether the actuality of the organism is tied to its capacity for function or to its physical form.

Exogen wrote:In regards to your last sentence, the answer is, his actuality 'has NOT' been preserved. Rather, the function of walking has simply been achieved by a different form, albeit one which may be similar or dissimilar to his spine, to whatever degree. His form has been destroyed, though the part which was destroyed has been replaced or assisted by another, which allows for the fucntion he once had. Do you recall, I said that the same fucntion can be achieved by more than one form, depending?


So actuality is tied to form, not function?
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:37 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:Then Sparhafoc

says this


Sparhafoc wrote:Provide a single instance of me employing even one of these fallacies (not that most of them are actually fallacious).

The only time its even come close is when you've misread what I wrote and inserted one of the above ideas on my behalf.


You will notice he actually didn't ask a question, just for the record. You said he asked me a question, but he didn't, at least not here. Are you referring to another post, or just meaning that his response prompts one?



How predictable.

Provide a single instance of me employing even one of those fallacies = the question.

Sure, it doesn't have a question mark, or an auxiliary modal to make it a proper question form, but it's still a request format - the imperative.

Of course, you knew perfectly well what Dragan Glas meant, but instead of doing a best reading, you opted to write dozens of words and still fail to respond to the request.

The reason you can't cite any fallacies, and instead are tossing out all these distractions, is because there aren't any actual fallacies other than the rhetorical tactic you're employing to be evasive.

In exactly the same way that you declared I kept misrepresenting you, when the fact is that the only time you cited something I'd written, it was bloody obvious that you had completely misunderstood my point, apparently because you don't understand enough Biology regardless of your claims to the contrary.

In exactly the same way I had 'completely descended into insults' without ever having written an insult.

Just because you wave your magic word wand at the screen, that doesn't mean the product of your sentences is worth a wazz.


Exogen wrote:So I said

...

So then I went on later to write


Yes, we know what you wrote, it still being written there, and Dragan Glas obviously having read it prior to pointing out how you failed to cite a single instance of me committing any fallacies.

But what it HAS done is serve the purpose of taking the focus off the Aristotelian hole you'd dug for yourself in contravention with the last 150 years of scientific (and philosophical) knowledge. Funny that.


Exogen wrote:As you can see here, and go back and read for yourself, I DID answer his 'question.'


As you can see here: bollocks.

First you claimed there was no question, now you're saying you answered my question. :lol: Trump much?

I'm not sure if you're lost in your own doublespeak or whether you think you're going to confuse someone long enough to make a get-a-way?

Secondly, of course you didn't answer it. You claimed there were numerous fallacies but you failed to produce a single instance of this. Yes, you waffled a lot. But cite an example? No, not at all.

No one here's a tool, chap. We've all seen the fallacy game played dozens of times. It doesn't work. No one's going to buy into the diversion.

All that happens is that people start viewing you differently, as per my previous comment - but that's reap and sow, so perhaps you might descend from your lofty heights for a moment and note that you're the one who stepped in the shit making all that stench.


Exogen wrote:AND, I said in my initial list that these were 'just some' of the errors that I saw, which I later clarified as it is off of the top of my head. I told him on at least two instances that there is no homunculus in any sense in the acorn, and that potential isn't something that something 'has' in any literal sense, nor is it a property or aspect of something.


It boggles the mind that you think my sentence about homonculi was meant to be taken as an accurate representation of what you'd written.

I should imagine it was obvious to everyone that I was poking fun at the shoddy idea, not attempting to recapitulate your claim via medieval metaphor.

Perhaps you need to spend a little more time processing what people write if this is how far off base you're going to be?



Exogen wrote:I would also like to point out, that at no point is such manors required or justified.


I would like to point out that you don't make the rules, whether they be about forum etiquette or country estates.

I would also like to point out that when you act like an ass and people start responding to you like you're an ass, it's not actually they who have nefariously abandoned civil etiquette. But perhaps I should quieten down a bit so I can listen to your on-going piteous violin playing?


Exogen wrote: Misunderstandings happen all the time, but there is something called 'charity' to the one you are debating.


It's funny how the people who invoke the principle of charity NEVER apply it to their own actions. Ironically (or rather, predictably), that's exactly what you didn't do with respect to Dragan Glas' point. Ironically, I can actually cite a number of instances where, quite the contrary to applying the principle of charity, you took the opportunity to act like a patronizing twat. The only thing that saved you then from a harsher response was how amusingly ironic it was given how poorly you seemed to grasp what was being discussed.


Exogen wrote: If they have a bad idea, you let them hang themselves, you don't go psychologizing the conversation attributing motives when you don't know who is on the other end and what their demeanor is.


You don't?

Then don't.

Probably best though if you also don't consider yourself to be in a position to dictate how others are obliged to react to you. That's not really going to build any fucking bridges, is it?

As for being hung. It's already happened. But that's 'philosophy' fora on the internet. People who bring their pet notions for praise refuse to let them die an honorable death in the line of duty.



Exogen wrote: He also accused me of basically saying 'you just don't understand what I'm saying' to people as a way to avoid criticism, which of course would be disingenuous.


Awwww, he said!

One moment you're pretending there's some kind of formal debate setting, the next you're in play-ground mode whining about what I supposedly said (while not actually quoting me, everyone cannot fail to notice) as if that legitimizes your behavior.

No, look back and see why you're reaping this. Either I am a cunt, or you acted like a twat. Perhaps, just perhaps, it's the latter, eh?



Exogen wrote: YET, I provided clarifications which differentiated my idea from the one he was attributing to me. Just an example, and I can bring up others.


Well, you already cited half the fucking words you've written in this thread, so why not the other half too? It's not like they'd contain any more information validating your spin anyway.



Exogen wrote: I think I have been quite honorable here.


Well, it's great to know that you think you're fab.


In reality, you need to differentiate your idea from your self. Criticism of a shoddy, half-baked analogy failing to exhibit knowledge expected to pass high school Biology does not equate to criticism of you as a person.

The criticism of you as a person was when you started acting like a condescending prick and employed the age-old 'you people' bullshit while playing your inane fallacy game.

You want robust discourse? Then fucking discourse already. Listen to what people say and acknowledge that just because you think differently, that doesn't mean their rejection of your claims are disposed of. That's proper, adult discourse.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:39 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

psikhrangkur wrote:
As far as I'm aware, until it actually begins its reproductive cycle, there isn't any demonstrable change in form.


We should look into this, but my understanding is the bacteria will divide once it reaches a certain stage, and on its way to that stage it grows and growing involves the production of cellular machinery.

psikhrangkur wrote:

Out of curiosity, if the bacteria didn't actually possess these ribosomes, cytoplasm, cytoskeleton, etc. to begin with, then how could we argue that the bacteria is even duplicating them?


Good question. 'What' did it actually duplicate? That's the million dollar question. My understanding is that the bacteria which gets duplicated is not as complete as it is once it reaches the stage which triggers is division i.e. all the cellular machinery still needs to be built, which implies growth.



psikhrangkur wrote:Are these duplicates actually doing anything? Or are they just present and nonfunctional?

When these duplicates are sorted properly and start functioning as intended, are they functioning insofar as our initial bacteria requires them to stay alive, or is it in essence a new bacteria undergoing its own separate bodily functions?


I don't know what you're asking. There is no 'as intended' as I understand it. The bacteria, as far as wel know, is mindless. Could it be conscious? Maybe, but I have no idea. If you're talking about things like the cytoplasm, ribosomes, etc, then no, those are not non-functional. They are functional. Ribosomes, for example, make proteins.






psikhrangkur wrote:
I don't actually see how that's true, though. The way I see it, material is one thing, and machinery is another. It's the difference between a wood chipper with no wood to work with and another machine that for one reason or another can't function as a wood chipper.


I agree with the distinction between material and machinery. But the bacteria need machinery, and that is composed of matter. To get to a point where it can divide, it needs to grow, or in other words, reach a certain point of development in terms of that machinery. Once it reaches that stage, it can divide. See, potential to actual. It has the potential to develop, it develops, then it splits.

psikhrangkur wrote:
Can we even describe the initial shape of the bacteria as a matter of growth? As far as we're aware, it could simply adopt this oblong shape as a result of attempting to move in its environment.

This construction you're talking about takes place before this daughter bacteria even comes into existence.


I'm saying that when it divides, the bacteria is roundish in shape, then as it grows, it becomes oblong. The shape isn't because it is like stretching or something, it is because it is bigger than it was prior to growth. I'm not saying btw that all bacteria have that same shape, just an example. It grows, and in order to do that, cellular machinery needs to be built. And just to be clear, I'm talking about growth after the split, not before or during the split. Though, as I said, the split process of differentiating is a potential as the bacteria whcih is being differentiated is 'forming.' Which brings me to


psikhrangkur wrote:
This representation strikes me as a misunderstanding of asexual reproduction. The daughter bacteria aren't fostered inside of the mother bacteria and then birthed. At best, the daughter buds off, and at worst, the mother bacteria evenly divides into daughter bacteria. I'm not even sure you could argue that there is a daughter bacteria until it splits off, or that in the case of even splitting that there's a mother bacteria at the end of the cycle.


Yes, but don't confuse the hypothetical example with the bacteria. Suppose the bacteria 'evenly split.' With respect to the new 'two' organisms that are actualized, there is a process by which THEY come into existence and 'develop.' In other words, there is a point where they don't exist, then, through a gradual process, they come into existence and 'form.' See, they 'actualize.' It's quite accurate, even for the even split of the bacteria, or the 'budding' off, like virons with respect to viruses. It's still a potential state of the organism to the fully developed state, the actuality.

psikhrangkur wrote:
For that reason, we aren't capable of separating this from ethics. That's what all of this is in service of. I can't just pretend that this isn't an ethics argument when it's ultimately an ethics argument. That we're still arguing about the base of this ethics argument without having dived into how it would be applied in the realm of ethics doesn't change that fact.


Not true. Why? Because as you shall soon see, I will be arguing that ethics is an 'emergent' phenomenon, and therefore isn't present at every level of organization with respect to natural phenomenon. So it is not incoherent then, to say that I must first 'build up' from a level of organization which is amoral, all the way to a 'moral landscape' to borrow from Sam Harris.

Also, don't confuse the base of an argument for ethics, for the ontological status of the referents in the base of that argument. The argument is making reference to amoral phenomena at this point. It will become clear that those amoral phenomena will be 'part' of phenomena which is 'emergent.' Do you know what emergence is?

psikhrangkur wrote:
I can't honestly sit here and say that this natural telos couldn't be 'layered' as you call it, but I don't see why I should consider an ethics argument based on a 'natural telos' that we apparently don't even understand, and for all we know might vary to the point of being contrary ideas based on what exactly we're talking about because in reality nature might simply just not care at all about our ethics and philosophy and just function on a very simple principle of "screw it, it works".


Nature doesn't need to care, all of that is not relevant. I think you are getting ahead of yourself, as they say putting the cart before the horse. There need not be some sort of personification of nature for what I'm saying to be true.


psikhrangkur wrote:
It doesn't need to conflict with the idea in order to discount it. It simply needs to ignore it, which it definitely does. If we were to seriously consider the importance of the relationship of the ant to its colony, we wouldn't actually have any reason to discuss ants as single, solitary beings.


We do have a reason. The ant going from a potential to an actual is a 'true' statement about nature. Just because there are more true statements, say that the ant is a 'part' of a superorganism doesn't invalidate the fact that the ant goes from potential to actual, that is has a certain form once developed which has certain functional capacities.


psikhrangkur wrote:
Granting everything said in this quoted section, I fail to see how "one pattern among many" is sufficient for any kind of objective morality.


By itself, it isn't, as I said. I need to develop this argument to actuality for you to see. Don't count the chickens before they are hatched, they say.

psikhrangkur wrote:
Doesn't matter in respect to what?


The ant has a telos whether or not there is a superorganism with a telos.

psikhrangkur wrote:Biology? It absolutely matters in that regard. The superorganism is how the individual survives.
Ethics? I would argue that it does. I simply don't respect the idea that we can ignore these individual differences in species which are so crucial to the continuation of said species if we're going to make any kind of argument in respect to its nature.


I don't see what we are actually ignoring though? The statement about 'the ant' in particular is a statement about IT. So if the ant plays a larger functional role in a larger whole that doesn't invalidate its own functions, right?

psikhrangkur wrote:
My issue for now is, even assuming that nothing is flat-out factually incorrect concerning what you've been saying, that in itself doesn't strike me as a proper foundation by which we can begin to discuss ethics.


It wouldn't be, if that was ALL I am going to provide here. I can't just move from function STRAIGHT to ethics for that would not be an INFERENCE. I need to give more information in order to do that. I simply haven't done that yet.

psikhrangkur wrote:
I don't really find this relevant, as the whole point of this example is simply to derive whether actuality is tied to the form of an organism or its capacity to function, but to be honest I'd disagree outright. My example is quite literally an example of a particular function being separated from the form which allows for it by virtue of said function being achieved by some other means.


Maybe I'm just not following you here. But if you removed the guy's spine, and don't replace it with an identical one, the function is lost UNLESS, you either replace the spine with something that achieves the same function. SOMETHING has to carry out that function, it can't be nothing right?


psikhrangkur wrote:
That's the whole point of the example, Exogen: a preservation of function in spite of the deterioration of the form which initially allowed for said function for the sake of determining whether the actuality of the organism is tied to its capacity for function or to its physical form.



Again, I don't see what your issue is. If we give this guy a modified device that 'performs the same function' we change his form, but not his function, at least generally anyway. There will be minute differences that can and do matter in different contexts. After all, isn't this what allows for evolution to work in the first place i.e. the idea that small changes can have large changes in terms of say, an organisms competitive edge? But generally, say for the function of walking, if the prosthetic allows him to walk the same as he did, even though the form is no longer the same, how does that contradict the notion that function follows form? I don't see the issue.

psikhrangkur wrote:So actuality is tied to form, not function?


No, the actuality IS the form, the particular organism itself to be exact. And that organism has a certain form, and this allows for certain functions. So the function is ironically a function of the form, you could say, in that form allows for certain capacities to act. The functional capacity is inseparable from the form. They are distinction, but the two are linked.

There is some particular organism let's say. The organism is matter in a certain form, some arrangement in particular. That arrangement, that form, has certain functional capacities consequently.

Does that clear things up?
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:42 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Sparhafoc wrote:
Exogen wrote: Function follows form


Biology if it were taught by artists.

Of course, it's just a tad more complex than that.



Psikhrangkur wrote:
Exogen wrote:In regards to your last sentence, the answer is, his actuality 'has NOT' been preserved. Rather, the function of walking has simply been achieved by a different form, albeit one which may be similar or dissimilar to his spine, to whatever degree. His form has been destroyed, though the part which was destroyed has been replaced or assisted by another, which allows for the fucntion he once had. Do you recall, I said that the same fucntion can be achieved by more than one form, depending?



So actuality is tied to form, not function?



Hop aboard the Merry-Go-Round. Exogen's sure he knows where we're going.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:43 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Again, I don't see what your issue is. If we give this guy a modified device that 'performs the same function' we change his form, but not his function, at least generally anyway. There will be minute differences that can and do matter in different contexts. After all, isn't this what allows for evolution to work in the first place i.e. the idea that small changes can have large changes in terms of say, an organisms competitive edge? But generally, say for the function of walking, if the prosthetic allows him to walk the same as he did, even though the form is no longer the same, how does that contradict the notion that function follows form? I don't see the issue.


Of course you don't see it because you're using the wrong semantic tool-kit for the job.

Work through it yourself from the evolutionary perspective you invoked.

Genes produce form (phenotype). You say the function follows after. So a form is produced which has no function at all? Why, then, was it produced? And if a form is produced that has no function, then it can't be the 'actuality' or any of the other things you've said: it's an empty suit.


In reality from an evolutionary perspective, function follows form only insomuch as form follows function (the same discontinuity problem you had with the acorn and tree), and form also follows form, and function also follows function. Each is intertwined, but you keep arbitrarily assigning causal chains starting in places which really are just the limit of your comprehension but aren't real quantities in the real world, only artifacts of the way you're thinking about it.

And isn't that the point of philosophy? To order one's thinking towards a valid and true correspondence with whatever one is considering? Even if it's more than that, it assuredly doesn't stretch to projecting woolly notions of purpose onto Biology.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:55 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Yeah....that's the only potential I've been referring to. The egg has the 'potential' because it has the capacity, to develop into the fully fertilized organism. In other words, there is a causal potential towards a certain end. The end of what? The fully developed form, which is the biological structure we would call the adult organism.


This is wrong, Exogen.

It's wrong. No amount of confidence you exhibit, no matter how forcefully or condescendingly you frame your responses, it remains wrong.

You have got the wrong end of the stick.

You're painting a discontinuous picture, and it's a spherical cow in a vacuum: it fails to take into account what we know of Biology.

In reality, the cycle of acorn, sapling, tree doesn't end with the tree at all. The acorn, the sapling and the tree were all a vehicle used by genes to produce another iteration of themselves.

There is no 'end', and if there were, as has been told to you by several people, then the most valid cut-off point would be the acorn. The entire enterprise exists only to make more acorns; the tree's just the most convenient (from a historically contingent perspective) to make more acorns. The form of the tree is cultivated by survival through environments towards succeeding at making acorns, not succeeding at being a tree.

Now perhaps you don't grasp this. Perhaps you disagree. But you cannot oblige people to buy into such an obviously false concept simply by slinging more words at it. Repeating yourself to the cows come home isn't going to have any impact whatsoever other than making you hoarse (ba-dum-tish). And really, if you pull the condescending shit while exhibiting such a poor grasp of the topic YOU are presenting, then it stands to reason that the conversation is going to start focusing on that condescending shit, because the topic's already been adequately addressed.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:07 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

A. Empirically false as it doesn't fit the data
B. Logically erroneous as there is a failure of inference in my reasoning or contradiction internal to the descriptions I've given.

Until anyone can show that, no valid objections have been given.


Already shown empirically false as it doesn't fit the data of the last couple of centuries, shown logically erroneous as a product of discontinuous thought framed via essentialized ideal forms containing none of the relevant actual mechanisms, therefore valid objections have already been given regardless of whether you acknowledge or address them.

As with Monistic Idealism, the mere fact that you reply doesn't mean you've rebutted those valid objections to anyone else's satisfaction. Telling them to be satisfied does not work.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:20 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Sparhafoc,

You claim I'm being evasive, yet my questions have been quite straightforward.

1. You wanted me to cite at least one example from the list. I did, it was number 7. You just said that you didn't mean it to be a "recapitulation" of what I said. Fair, but I also said somewhere in here, that it doesn't need to be. Was it not you that said that it doesn't need to be literal, but could be figurative or metaphorical earlier in the discussion? But doesn't it have to at least generally be in the ballpark of what I'm saying right? Otherwise, it doesn't relate to what I'm saying, right? There isn't 'any' sense, even analogously speaking, that there is some sort of homunculus in the state which is a potential. That's simply a wrong way to think of it. That tells me you, at least by your words, that you have a different idea in mind than the one I'm talking about. Now I never said you did so 'intentionally' hence why I said before things like "I think you misunderstand" and such. And I also said, at least the way you've written it, it is a misrepresentation, which it is. You claim in response that I've 'misunderstood your point.' Ok, fine, we can figure out where the breakdown in communication is. But you making this personal doesn't advance that goal. I really don't see the big deal here. More often than not concepts need to be hashed out, and it can even be drudgery to do so on both sides. That's normal, especially when people are coming from different perspectives.

2. I also did imply that there were more issues as well, and, when I asked, I did say that you were the one who brought into the irrelevant stuff about utility. Which you did. So this was never meant to be some complete list of all the mistakes I saw. It was more or less off the cusp.



3. You claim I'm trying to take the focus off of the Aristotelian stuff, YET, I keep asking you to show me where what I've given is empirically false or logically incoherent. That is anything but taking the focus off, that's trying to redirect it back onto it. If what I have said is in contradiction to the facts, then show me, don't just claim that I'm scientifically illiterate, and dismiss what I've said without citing facts or reason.

4. All the stuff you said about me being patronizing or condescending is you reading into my words. It's psychologizing the conversation, as I said, instead of just sticking to the arguments. I did not mean any of my words in that regard as to insult people or what have you. My responses where I said things like "you guys don't understand" was meant with sincerity and not offense. And you have insulted me ("twat" for starters), don't be ridiculous. Just an example of the psychologizing. "the fallacies game?" What does that even mean? If I see mistakes, how is it wrong for me to point them out? I don't know what this 'game' is or how its played. I'm simply listing mistakes as I see them in an effort to try to clarify what I mean from what I don't mean, with respect to what I'm seeing being said about what I'm saying. And that is given the fact that I'm debating like three of you, so a little simplification is not out of order.

If you prefer, instead of saying "I think you don't understand" I can just say "this isn't the idea" and be completely impersonal for such cases. I'm fine with that. If you want to have a second go, and not refer to the other person's thought process, or to the other person in ANY way, and just talk about the argument, I'm fine with that style. That's more or less what I thought we were doing. I did not mean disrespect, which is why I said things like "no offense" because I didn't want to accidentally seem to be disregarding people or what have you. So when I say I am asking for some charity, I am also very much trying to give you that as well by the fact that I would make attempts to differentiate my idea from the one you were presenting (as I understood it which is all I can really do). So if you want to have a second go, let's do it, for me it can be water under the bridge. I'm not attached. If not, thanks for the convo.

Btw, Aristotle is not part of the medieval period FYI.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:33 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Sparhafoc,

I see you just posted some responses to the actual issues. I'll see if you have anything to say in regards to the 'second go' and anything else to that post, then I'll respond.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:35 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:Good question. 'What' did it actually duplicate? That's the million dollar question. My understanding is that the bacteria which gets duplicated is not as complete as it is once it reaches the stage which triggers is division i.e. all the cellular machinery still needs to be built, which implies growth.


It is complete, though. It functions properly before this growth occurs, and the purpose of this growth isn't to modify how the organism works or ensure that the organism continues to work, it's to create the structures necessary for a second bacteria to function.

Exogen wrote:I don't know what you're asking. There is no 'as intended' as I understand it The bacteria, as far as wel know, is mindless.


Perhaps 'as intended' wasn't the best choice of words. That said, I'm not suggesting that the bacteria is conscious and is willfully doing anything. When I ask if something is working 'as intended' I'm asking if something is working properly in the capacity required to ensure the survival of the organism.

Exogen wrote:If you're talking about things like the cytoplasm, ribosomes, etc, then no, those are not non-functional. They are functional. Ribosomes, for example, make proteins.


The copied ribosomes? Of course the original ribosomes are functioning to make proteins, what about the ribosomes copied during the reproductive cycle before division occurs?

Exogen wrote:I agree with the distinction between material and machinery. But the bacteria need machinery, and that is composed of matter. To get to a point where it can divide, it needs to grow, or in other words, reach a certain point of development in terms of that machinery. Once it reaches that stage, it can divide. See, potential to actual. It has the potential to develop, it develops, then it splits.


The problem with this is that the machinery already exists in our mother bacteria, and the machinery being created is being made for a separate bacteria.

Exogen wrote:I'm saying that when it divides, the bacteria is roundish in shape, then as it grows, it becomes oblong. The shape isn't because it is like stretching or something, it is because it is bigger than it was prior to growth.


I find this claim dubious. If it were simply a matter of growing, that wouldn't necessarily dictate a change from 'round' to 'oblong'.

Exogen wrote:Yes, but don't confuse the hypothetical example with the bacteria. Suppose the bacteria 'evenly split.' With respect to the new 'two' organisms that are actualized, there is a process by which THEY come into existence and 'develop.' In other words, there is a point where they don't exist, then, through a gradual process, they come into existence and 'form.' See, they 'actualize.' It's quite accurate, even for the even split of the bacteria, or the 'budding' off, like virons with respect to viruses. It's still a potential state of the organism to the fully developed state, the actuality.


Except that this process is the result of a different bacteria.

Exogen wrote:Because as you shall soon see, I will be arguing that ethics is an 'emergent' phenomenon, and therefore isn't present at every level of organization with respect to natural phenomenon.


I'm not suggesting that ethics is currently present, I'm pointing out that this is the basis by which you intend to make an argument concerning ethics and, as such, is obviously tied to ethics in some way. I understand that we haven't actually started talking about how this plays into ethics yet.

Exogen wrote:I think you are getting ahead of yourself, as they say putting the cart before the horse. There need not be some sort of personification of nature for what I'm saying to be true.


I'm not saying that nature has either a personality or consciousness which we must be aware of, I'm saying that this argument seems to have implicit expectations of how nature functions that it might not live up to simply because it doesn't necessarily have to do so.

Exogen wrote:We do have a reason. The ant going from a potential to an actual is a 'true' statement about nature.


As true as saying that flowers are pretty, but I suppose if I had to take a guess, I'd say that this is where Sparhafoc's "just so story" comment comes into play. Just because you can describe it this way, doesn't mean that it's worthwhile for us to do so, or even that it isn't misleading to do so.

Exogen wrote:Just because there are more true statements, say that the ant is a 'part' of a superorganism doesn't invalidate the fact that the ant goes from potential to actual, that is has a certain form once developed which has certain functional capacities.


No, it's just that recognizing the superorganism's worth in this situation is much more helpful when describing ants. It helps explain role diversification, as an example. Something which your system clearly does not do.

Exogen wrote:I don't see what we are actually ignoring though? The statement about 'the ant' in particular is a statement about IT. So if the ant plays a larger functional role in a larger whole that doesn't invalidate its own functions, right?


The ant's functions are in part defined by that superorganism, it simply doesn't exist separate from that superorganism. Again, there is no ant without a colony. Going back to the possibility of all this being misleading, your statements should in theory apply to humans just as easily as ants, and to suggest that ants have the same individual autonomy as humans is just asinine. This isn't something that you're outright stating, but to say that they're the same in this regard could certainly lead someone to believe that this is in fact the case when, in reality, it isn't.

Exogen wrote:It wouldn't be, if that was ALL I am going to provide here. I can't just move from function STRAIGHT to ethics for that would not be an INFERENCE. I need to give more information in order to do that. I simply haven't done that yet.


I feel like doing so might be extremely helpful.

Exogen wrote:No, the actuality IS the form, the particular organism itself to be exact. And that organism has a certain form, and this allows for certain functions. So the function is ironically a function of the form, you could say, in that form allows for certain capacities to act. The functional capacity is inseparable from the form. They are distinction, but the two are linked.

There is some particular organism let's say. The organism is matter in a certain form, some arrangement in particular. That arrangement, that form, has certain functional capacities consequently.

Does that clear things up?


For now, I suppose.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:38 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

The primary error you're committing with your acorn/tree analogy (to supposedly provide explanation of a prior point) is that you're treating it discontinuously.

I'll employ a metaphor too.

You're treating it like a foot race. There's a start line, a journey, and a finish line. Once the thing's at the finish line, it's reached it's 'purpose' or whatever other woolly terms you want to employ here.

Whereas, when talking about biological organisms, evolution, and life cycles, thinking of it in these terms does not correspond to reality.

The standard metaphor is actually taken from Lewis Carroll's 'Through the Looking Glass', known as the Red Queen Hypothesis.

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place


It's a caucus race. A race that has no start line, no finish line, and requires all aspects of the enterprise to be pointed towards just running. From an evolutionary perspective, it really is just taking part that counts.

As such, the tree's form is not there as a final line, a realization of all it can be, or a fulfillment of its potential. If we had 2 trees, the first was luxuriously leafy, taller than all other trees, free of pests and rot but for whatever circumstances (external or internal to it) failed to produce a single acorn, and we had a scrubby rotten pestilential little tree barely clinging to barren ground that somehow managed to produce dozens of acorns which themselves became saplings which grew into trees which then produced yet more acorns, then the latter is the one achieving its 'potential' (for whatever use that term really has) not the glorious first tree.

It's an evolutionary truism that while it's bad for you for your head to explode, evolution couldn't care less so long as you'd just popped a baby out prior to the cephical combustion.


But yeah, this was all an analogy you employed to explain something else. That is, after all, an analogy's purpose, right? To use a comparison as an explanatory platform.

Even if you're absolutely certain that you are absolutely right about absolutely everything in absolutely every way, the analogy has still failed because it cannot hope to shed light on your previous arguments about moral objectivity when it is incoherent in and of itself.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:39 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:Sparhafoc,

I see you just posted some responses to the actual issues. I'll see if you have anything to say in regards to the 'second go' and anything else to that post, then I'll respond.



Nah, don't bother troubling yourself to descend from your lofty perch. I can sling your shit back up as high as needed.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:40 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Sparhafoc,

Well, I have some responses to your above criticisms, and I'd love to get into that stuff because you bring in some interesting points, but if you have no interest in being respectful ("slinging shit"), I'm not interested in engaging with you.

I'll continue to talk with psikhrangkur.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:47 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Sparhafoc wrote:Genes produce form (phenotype). You say the function follows after. So a form is produced which has no function at all? Why, then, was it produced? And if a form is produced that has no function, then it can't be the 'actuality' or any of the other things you've said: it's an empty suit.


In reality from an evolutionary perspective, function follows form only insomuch as form follows function (the same discontinuity problem you had with the acorn and tree), and form also follows form, and function also follows function. Each is intertwined, but you keep arbitrarily assigning causal chains starting in places which really are just the limit of your comprehension but aren't real quantities in the real world, only artifacts of the way you're thinking about it.

And isn't that the point of philosophy? To order one's thinking towards a valid and true correspondence with whatever one is considering? Even if it's more than that, it assuredly doesn't stretch to projecting woolly notions of purpose onto Biology.


I can sort of understand the idea that a particular vestigial limb might serve some function by accident and develop to better perform said function which I assume is an explanation of form following function, but to be honest I'm at a loss as to your statement that form can follow form and function can follow function. Would you mind going into greater depth there?
Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:52 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

psikhrangkur wrote:

It is complete, though. It functions properly before this growth occurs, and the purpose of this growth isn't to modify how the organism works or ensure that the organism continues to work, it's to create the structures necessary for a second bacteria to function.


I'm confused. If it still needs to erect such structures as necessary conditions for duplication, how is it complete?

psikhrangkur wrote:

Perhaps 'as intended' wasn't the best choice of words. That said, I'm not suggesting that the bacteria is conscious and is willfully doing anything. When I ask if something is working 'as intended' I'm asking if something is working properly in the capacity required to ensure the survival of the organism.



Fair. Yes, in the capacity. The functional capacity is a consequence of the form. Certain structures have certain capacities for action. That's what I'm saying. As for survival, that will be related to function, but also the environment.

psikhrangkur wrote:

The copied ribosomes? Of course the original ribosomes are functioning to make proteins, what about the ribosomes copied during the reproductive cycle before division occurs?


I'm saying after the division is complete, the growth phase involves the production of cellular machinery, like ribosomes. So these would be new ribosomes, regardless of whether the ones which exist at the time the cell has finished splitting are new or old. To be honest I don't know if the ribosomes right after the split, the copies, are in fact old or new. I'm just saying that the cell needs to grow, and that requires cellular machinery that needs to be grown.

psikhrangkur wrote:

The problem with this is that the machinery already exists in our mother bacteria, and the machinery being created is being made for a separate bacteria.


Ok. but once one of these bacteria that is created during the division, the 'new' bacteria needs to grow, which requires the growth of said machinery. Hence, it develops.


psikhrangkur wrote:

I find this claim dubious. If it were simply a matter of growing, that wouldn't necessarily dictate a change from 'round' to 'oblong'.



True, I'm saying that the bacteria need to develop further on its own after it it is produced, which requires said machinery. Now sometimes it develops into an oblong, it depends on which bacteria. I'm not an expert in bacteria, so I don't know all of the various forms bacterias take.

psikhrangkur wrote:

Except that this process is the result of a different bacteria.



Indeed, I don't disagree. But notice that said process of said different particular bacteria involves another bacteria (or two depending on the specifics of that process) coming into existence. So there is a point when there is bacteria A, which splits, and then we get bacteria X and Y after said process is complete. Now maybe X is actually A, and y is the new bacteria, or maybe A is destroyed in the process and X and Y are new. I don't know enough about bacterial cell division to answer that, as it been some time since I had bio in college. But what I'm saying is general enough that it doesn't matter. The form of bacteria Y does come into being during the split, then once it is now on its own, it grows, it develops, then eventually it splits again. So there is a point where it doesn't exist and there are stages of its development. In other words, at some point, it has a potential form, and then an actual. That's all I'm saying. And that would be true even if it didn't need to grow because it was already somehow full size, complete with all requisite cellular machinery.

psikhrangkur wrote:

I'm not suggesting that ethics is currently present, I'm pointing out that this is the basis by which you intend to make an argument concerning ethics and, as such, is obviously tied to ethics in some way. I understand that we haven't actually started talking about how this plays into ethics yet.


Yes, it would be tied to it sure, insofar as it is a component of my argument. If that's what you mean, I agree. I just want to make clear that nothing I said is ethical as of yet in and of itself. Rather it is a component of the ethical argument.


psikhrangkur wrote:

I'm not saying that nature has either a personality or consciousness which we must be aware of, I'm saying that this argument seems to have implicit expectations of how nature functions that it might not live up to simply because it doesn't necessarily have to do so.


I don't see that any more than Sam Harris's argument about 'well being' has any implicit assumptions. After all, Harris, if you're familiar, basically says that IF we are concerned with human well being, THEN we should do all these things to achieve it, and we can see there are things we should not do, and a whole graduation. So he gives us a prescriptive framework, but only in the guidelines of assumptions. In ethical talk, he is basically employing what Kant called the "hypothetical imperative."

But I'm not saying anything like that as of yet. I'm just saying about natural processes that when certain conditions are met, can be said to be an organism coming into being and developing to its full potential, its actuality. And of course, recall, I never said this 'must happen.'

psikhrangkur wrote:

As true as saying that flowers are pretty, but I suppose if I had to take a guess, I'd say that this is where Sparhafoc's "just so story" comment comes into play. Just because you can describe it this way, doesn't mean that it's worthwhile for us to do so, or even that it isn't misleading to do so.


Misleading I don't see, as I have not meant for any of this to be some sort of complete theory of nature or even biology. As for the 'worthwhile' part, again, I ask 'to what end?' As I said, it is relevant to the ethical question, which I find to be highly worthwhile. but that is admittedly subjective, just as using it to some other end is subjective.

What I've been trying to get at with regards to that issue, is that this is either objectively true or not, regardless of how useful or it is or isn't, based on whatever subjective end you have in mind.

psikhrangkur wrote:

No, it's just that recognizing the superorganism's worth in this situation is much more helpful when describing ants. It helps explain role diversification, as an example. Something which your system clearly does not do.


Describing them to hat end? See what I mean? Like, maybe this stuff about teleology isn't relevant to say, in terms of 'predictive' utlity, is that what you mean?

If so, nothing about this is meant to be predictive as far as I can tell, only descriptive. We observe said causal pattern of development in nature. I've never said this is meant to even be a scientific theory with 'explanatory' power is in predicting data. I've only asked people to show me how it fails to fit the data.



psikhrangkur wrote:

The ant's functions are in part defined by that superorganism, it simply doesn't exist separate from that superorganism. Again, there is no ant without a colony. Going back to the possibility of all this being misleading, your statements should in theory apply to humans just as easily as ants, and to suggest that ants have the same individual autonomy as humans is just asinine. This isn't something that you're outright stating, but to say that they're the same in this regard could certainly lead someone to believe that this is in fact the case when, in reality, it isn't.


Ok, but I say again that the two are not incompatible. The ant functional capacity is a component of the functional capacity of the colony. The form which is the ant can't exist except as a causal consequence of the colony. Meaning, the ant is a particular thing, which has a particular function, and all that serves as a part of a larger whole that is the colony that has a particular function and particular form.

I know you didn't say that I said that the ant has autonomy like a human, but I am not saying it does even analogously. The ant having a functional capacity which comprises the functional capacity fo the colony, doesn't change the fact that the ant is a particular thing just because it is part of a whole. Something can be a whole in one sense, but also be a part of another whole in another sense.

psikhrangkur wrote:

I feel like doing so might be extremely helpful.


This will all become relevant once we get to talking about human beings that can reason, among other things. That's where the ethics come into play. It is in an emergent phenomenon once you have minds of a certain sort, situated in an objective context i.e. beings of a certain sort, in a world, confronting various possibilities, etc.

psikhrangkur wrote:

For now, I suppose.



Ok, that's all I'm getting at.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:31 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:Sparhafoc,

You claim I'm being evasive, yet my questions have been quite straightforward.


I didn't claim your questions were being evasive, though, did I? :lol:


Exogen wrote:1. You wanted me to cite at least one example from the list. I did, it was number 7.


Firstly, you claimed there was a series of fallacies, yet you're struggling to find even one.

Secondly, let's look at number 7:

7. Failing to use the definitions I've provided, and instead using other ideas I've shown by contrast to be different from what I've defined.


There's 2 parts to this.

The first part 'failing to use the definitions I've provided' is not a fallacy.

The second part 'using other ideas I've shown by contrast to be different from what I've defined' hasn't actually occurred and would need to be framed in a very specific way to be considered fallacious.

So the fallacy actually being committed here is the Fallacist's fallacy. Using the word 'fallacy' notionally to 'win' points in an argument by obfuscation. I have committed no fallacy that you've identified, yet I don't see you retracting your claim, I see you repeatedly doubling down, and doing it with the same condescending tone.



Exogen wrote: You just said that you didn't mean it to be a "recapitulation" of what I said.


No, it was obviously taking the piss out of what you said.



Exogen wrote: Fair, but I also said somewhere in here, that it doesn't need to be.


Doesn't need to be 'what'?



Exogen wrote: Was it not you that said that it doesn't need to be literal, but could be figurative or metaphorical earlier in the discussion?


I think if you're going to appeal to what I said and point my own words at me, it would probably behoove you to go and find those words to make sure you actually know what I wrote and the context in which those words were written.



Exogen wrote:But doesn't it have to at least generally be in the ballpark of what I'm saying right?


To take the piss? It has to be just close enough that the mockery sticks, or possibly stings. Apparently, it worked on at least one of those accounts.



Exogen wrote:Otherwise, it doesn't relate to what I'm saying, right? There isn't 'any' sense, even analogously speaking, that there is some sort of homunculus in the state which is a potential.


The potential itself is a homunculus. A notional quantity inhabiting the being in a manner undetectable by any empirical observation. It works perfectly well, I am glad I used it.



Exogen wrote: That's simply a wrong way to think of it.


Precisely the message I intended to portray. Your claims so far in this thread are all reducible to this phrase: simply a wrong way to think about it... just as the medieval concept of homonculi were simply a wrong way to think about it.


Exogen wrote: That tells me you, at least by your words, that you have a different idea in mind than the one I'm talking about.


That MIGHT possibly wash if I hadn't written hundreds of other words clearly showing I not only understand what you are talking about, but also showing why it's bunk from the very perspective you're appealing to: Biology.

Of course, anyone reading would also see that my 2 gags about homonculi were cut off from the rest of the text, residing in their own little parody sentences.


Exogen wrote:Now I never said you did so 'intentionally' hence why I said before things like "I think you misunderstand" and such.


Points of order:

a) you called this a fallacy, so stop bleating irrelevant obfuscation at me - either it's a fallacy, or it isn't. If you acknowledge it isn't a fallacy, then how can you write so many words without acknowledging your error, retracting, and showing that you're not a typical internet bullshit artist?

b) Whether you say I did X intentionally or not is completely fucking irrelevant when I am party to this conversation and I am perfectly capable of telling you what my intent is. It'd be nice if you understood that others don't rate your participation as highly as you do.


Exogen wrote: And I also said, at least the way you've written it, it is a misrepresentation, which it is.


It's not. It's parody. I understand you don't like it. But that's kind of the point of parody. Your idea is just as inane as the medieval concept of a homonculus. I am sure if I had a conversation with a medieval surgeon, he'd be just as miffed by me parodying his idea by likening it to yours, and he would be just as full of his own sense of self importance as you are.


Exogen wrote: You claim in response that I've 'misunderstood your point.' Ok, fine, we can figure out where the breakdown in communication is.


Easy: it's the bit where people say 'that's wrong because...' and then you repeat the very thing they disagreed with, using exactly the same arguments as before, only this time garnishing it with condescension.

When I send back a plate, I don't expect the chef to come back and tell me it's fine. I expect them to listen to my criticism and try their best to overcome it, not shovel the slop down my throat forcefully.

That'd be a good start in getting past the breakdown in communication.


Exogen wrote: But you making this personal doesn't advance that goal.


Whereas making it impersonal by treating everyone as a collective does?

You pulled a bullshit argumentative tactic and you've been called on it. I am still waiting for you to hold your hands up and say 'fair cop, guv' - until I see some at least acknowledgement on your part - and dare I say, contrition wouldn't go a miss - you're getting only a fraction of what you've earned.


Exogen wrote: I really don't see the big deal here. More often than not concepts need to be hashed out, and it can even be drudgery to do so on both sides. That's normal, especially when people are coming from different perspectives.


Hashing something out requires the potential for it to be amended, not treated as an article of faith.



Exogen wrote:2. I also did imply that there were more issues as well, and, when I asked, I did say that you were the one who brought into the irrelevant stuff about utility.


1) Not a fallacy, so you're still digging the same hole.

2) Get the fuck over yourself already. If utility is important to me, then it remains so regardless of whether you want to wiggle your nose and make it disappear. Treating my concerns as pathetic little nonsense is not exactly endearing you to me. I could be a lot clearer about what it makes me think about you personally from an intellectual and emotional capacity, but in reality, I've not been personal at all regardless of the endless litany of obfuscatory whining.


Exogen wrote: Which you did.


Indeed I did, and there it remains. I'd argue it's a more coherent point than any you've made in this thread, and you've got nothing better than to dismiss it out of hand, just because you say so. I don't care. I told you why utility is vital to me, and it comes from a lifetime experience of working with ideas.



Exogen wrote: So this was never meant to be some complete list of all the mistakes I saw. It was more or less off the cusp.


Ex recto, more like.

A list of obfuscation. You've now written another thousand words and STILL failed to point to a single fallacy on my part, yet still you insist on talking around it more.

From my perspective, I am not obliged to be charitable with this anymore. You had plenty of opportunities to evidence your accusation, but you've completely failed. But it's not the failure even that's the problem, it's the way you're still trying to argue the point as if it's valid even though you've been forced to show it was all mouth and no trousers.



Exogen wrote: 3. You claim I'm trying to take the focus off of the Aristotelian stuff, YET, I keep asking you to show me where what I've given is empirically false or logically incoherent.


:lol:

Every single post in response to you after that shows your statement to be empirically false and logically incoherent, but you keep telling everyone else 'nuh uh'. So now we're supposedly in a situation where you get to be the judge and jury about whether your argument is sound.

You should've stuck with Monistic Idealism - you could've played Philosophical Peas in a Pod.



Exogen wrote: That is anything but taking the focus off, that's trying to redirect it back onto it.


Bollocks. You're pretending that a dozen posts didn't occur simply because you repeated your same argument over and over in response. Other people have clearly given up. Rumraket, for example, would have been an interesting discussion partner if you'd shown even elementary capability of engaging in substantive discourse. I expect he saw your response and thought 'fuck this, not another one!'. You're not engaging, you're doing the equivalent of dry-humping our legs. Engaging would require you to actually reflect on criticism of your ideas, not just dismiss and rehearse the same script again.


Exogen wrote: If what I have said is in contradiction to the facts, then show me, don't just claim that I'm scientifically illiterate, and dismiss what I've said without citing facts or reason.


Which again makes me conceive of you as being a bullshit artist. You and I both know that I explained why your claim was scientifically illiterate in the very post where I used the term 'scientifically illiterate', and rather that it was a conclusion based on assessing your claims against reality. Further, everyone can still see that I gave you ample facts and reasons countering your point, and in reality, you simply dismissed them all, repeated yourself, then tried the old fallacy game when you weren't making headway.



Exogen wrote:4. All the stuff you said about me being patronizing or condescending is you reading into my words.


WOW! Reading into people's words!

It's almost as if that's exactly what words are for! :lol:


Exogen wrote: It's psychologizing the conversation, as I said, instead of just sticking to the arguments.


I don't care. Whine as much as you like. I will do what I want. I will continue pointing out where you're being a condescending prick. If you don't like that, then another route you might elect to take is to stop doing it.



Exogen wrote: I did not mean any of my words in that regard as to insult people or what have you. My responses where I said things like "you guys don't understand" was meant with sincerity and not offense.


So you were sincerely being patronizing? :lol:

It's not 'you guys don't understand', it's the collectivization of alleged 'errors' everyone else is making, it's all the 'you're getting ahead of yourself', it's the acting like other people have to meet your standards when it comes to critiquing your argument. The latter is useful for you, no doubt, but I am not a leg for you to dry-hump.

If this is all a call for respect, then chap, the onus is squarely on you to exhibit it for others before expecting it in return. You had it, you lost it. You can blame me if it makes you feel superior, but the reality is that you produced this outcome.



Exogen wrote: And you have insulted me ("twat" for starters),...


I said you should stop acting like a twat. If you're going to quote my words at me, do me the basic decency of stating accurately what I said.



Exogen wrote: don't be ridiculous. Just an example of the psychologizing. "the fallacies game?" What does that even mean? If I see mistakes, how is it wrong for me to point them out? I don't know what this 'game' is or how its played. I'm simply listing mistakes as I see them in an effort to try to clarify what I mean from what I don't mean, with respect to what I'm seeing being said about what I'm saying. And that is given the fact that I'm debating like three of you, so a little simplification is not out of order.


Ye gods, this entire post is about how butter doesn't fucking melt in your mouth. You're perfect, your argument's perfect, and everyone else is wrong.



Exogen wrote:If you prefer, instead of saying "I think you don't understand" I can just say "this isn't the idea" and be completely impersonal for such cases.


I don't give a fuck about 'I think you don't understand', never said I did, never implied I did, just another figment of your imagination you've placed in my mouth. Half a dozen times now, at least. But you want respect? :lol:



Exogen wrote: I'm fine with that. If you want to have a second go, and not refer to the other person's thought process, or to the other person in ANY way, and just talk about the argument, I'm fine with that style.


I believe I was quite clear: I will do what I want to do, and I won't check first with you whether it's ok. In much the same way as you're doing what you want and not giving a fuck about what I'm saying.

From my perspective, if you keep acting like a condescending prick, I will continue to treat you like one. Others here may well be more polite, but they'll eventually get bored of that behavior too.

Whereas, if you want robust discourse, then you've got to engage in it too - that's how it works. You are not the judge, jury and executioner, so if someone raises an issue they have with your argument then you can't overrule them just because you can trot out 500 words repeating yourself.

This is a variant of Goldenmane's 3rd rule of public discourse. The more you whine about this criticism, the more it says it's doing exactly what it's intended to do. The game's rules are what we make them, and you want all the balls? Fine. But then I'll just play to put you off your game.

Or, you know, you could actually engage in other people's ideas as presented and then we could have real discourse.


Exogen wrote: That's more or less what I thought we were doing. I did not mean disrespect, which is why I said things like "no offense" because I didn't want to accidentally seem to be disregarding people or what have you.


I can cite at least a dozen examples of you saying things that clearly are meant to indicate some form of condescension. Shoving 'no offense' in front doesn't really change anything. It's like the British expression "love him' tacked onto the end of some scathing epithet.



Exogen wrote: So when I say I am asking for some charity, I am also very much trying to give you that as well by the fact that I would make attempts to differentiate my idea from the one you were presenting (as I understood it which is all I can really do). So if you want to have a second go, let's do it, for me it can be water under the bridge. I'm not attached. If not, thanks for the convo.


See? You're fine, everyone else must change to accommodate. No chap, you start engaging with some discursive honesty, stop playing silly fucking games tossing out fallacies that you've imagined, and stop acting like a condescending prick and I may possibly give you a second chance.

Either which way. I am happy to contend with any idea, but I'll snipe from the sidelines if you no longer deign to notice me. No skin off my teleologically bespectacled nose.


Exogen wrote:Btw, Aristotle is not part of the medieval period FYI.


See? You're acting like a condescending prick again.

At no point did I say Aristotle is part of the medieval period. At no point did I even remotely imply it. So having just talked about the principle of charity, you once again exhibit the exact antithesis to it.

You make something up out of thin air, then use that formulation to patronize people. Is the exercise just to claim superiority?

Ok then: I studied pre-Hellenistic Greece at undergraduate level, so I've probably forgotten more about Aristotle than you'll ever know. Is that how we proceed?

What a waste of space this entire post was. When you find yourself in a hole, reevaluate your penchant for digging.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:39 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:Sparhafoc,

Well, I have some responses to your above criticisms, and I'd love to get into that stuff because you bring in some interesting points, but if you have no interest in being respectful ("slinging shit"), I'm not interested in engaging with you.


Awww did I use bad words and give you a funny turn?

It's always important when seeking to win an argument to make sure that your interlocutors are kept under control and know their place, amirite?


https://www.hackenslash.co.uk/2017/03/g ... third.html

There are some fundamental underpinnings to the way a sceptic approaches ideas, voiced by many over the years, not least the inestimable Calilasseia, who we met in Radionuclide Dating is Rigorous. It has evolved, but began with the simplest of principles: Ideas are disposable entities. This carries a corollary principle, namely that bad ideas exist only to be disposed of.

What follows began as a joke of sorts, but quickly took on a life of its own, and has been cited in blogs and rationalist forums the world over in the intervening time. It deals with a particularly bad idea but, in the interest of not waffling on and giving away the plot, I'll shut up now and cede the floor to my inestimable colleague.

...

See, some people get upset when you say words like cunt, fuck, piss and shit, and Rule Fucking 3 (as it has become known) serves as a way of distinguishing between those capable of addressing arguments rationally and those mired in intellectual vacuity. It serves as a remarkably accurate litmus test, because the very notion of swearing is rooted in magical thinking. See? Ideas about ideas. Let's elucidate.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:42 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

psikhrangkur wrote:I can sort of understand the idea that a particular vestigial limb might serve some function by accident and develop to better perform said function which I assume is an explanation of form following function, but to be honest I'm at a loss as to your statement that form can follow form and function can follow function. Would you mind going into greater depth there?


I can and will indeed do so, but it will be tomorrow as I need to bed. ;)

I just replied to make sure I didn't lose this post and to acknowledge your request.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:44 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:I'm confused. If it still needs to erect such structures as necessary conditions for duplication, how is it complete?


Because it isn't its offspring. From where I'm standing, saying that this is necessary for completion is kind of like saying that humans should have children to lead a fulfilling life.

Exogen wrote:I'm saying after the division is complete, the growth phase involves the production of cellular machinery, like ribosomes. So these would be new ribosomes, regardless of whether the ones which exist at the time the cell has finished splitting are new or old. To be honest I don't know if the ribosomes right after the split, the copies, are in fact old or new. I'm just saying that the cell needs to grow, and that requires cellular machinery that needs to be grown.


Okay. What I'm suggesting is that these new structures aren't necessary for the bacteria proper and don't serve any purpose regarding our initial bacteria.

Exogen wrote:Ok. but once one of these bacteria that is created during the division, the 'new' bacteria needs to grow, which requires the growth of said machinery. Hence, it develops.


Except now you're describing the biological functions of the mother bacteria as though they were the biological functions of the daughter bacteria.

Exogen wrote:Indeed, I don't disagree. But notice that said process of said different particular bacteria involves another bacteria (or two depending on the specifics of that process) coming into existence. So there is a point when there is bacteria A, which splits, and then we get bacteria X and Y after said process is complete. Now maybe X is actually A, and y is the new bacteria, or maybe A is destroyed in the process and X and Y are new. I don't know enough about bacterial cell division to answer that, as it been some time since I had bio in college. But what I'm saying is general enough that it doesn't matter.


I disagree. You've made it a point thus far to focus specifically on a single organism at a time. Why would we now attribute the biological functions of a mother bacteria to its daughter bacteria?

Exogen wrote:I don't see that any more than Sam Harris's argument about 'well being' has any implicit assumptions.


I'm not sure why you think there is no implicit understanding of how nature functions here when you're describing the life cycles of every organism as having the same general life cycle.

Exogen wrote:Misleading I don't see, as I have not meant for any of this to be some sort of complete theory of nature or even biology. As for the 'worthwhile' part, again, I ask 'to what end?' As I said, it is relevant to the ethical question, which I find to be highly worthwhile. but that is admittedly subjective, just as using it to some other end is subjective.

What I've been trying to get at with regards to that issue, is that this is either objectively true or not, regardless of how useful or it is or isn't, based on whatever subjective end you have in mind.


Then how does it serve as a useful jumping off point in regards to ethics? From what I can tell, we're trying to base an ethical framework at least in part on some concrete understanding of nature, and yet this doesn't actually function as a concrete understanding of nature.

Exogen wrote:Describing them to what end?


I'd assume that the end here would be a greater or possibly complete understanding of a given species' biology.

Exogen wrote:Ok, but I say again that the two are not incompatible.


Not incompatible necessarily, just mistakenly glossed over.

Exogen wrote:I know you didn't say that I said that the ant has autonomy like a human, but I am not saying it does even analogously. The ant having a functional capacity which comprises the functional capacity fo the colony, doesn't change the fact that the ant is a particular thing just because it is part of a whole. Something can be a whole in one sense, but also be a part of another whole in another sense.


The reason I say that it's potentially misleading is that you're not discussing the important distinctions between the species, instead speculating on a general idea they could be said to have in common.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:45 pm
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