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Are moral values objectively real?

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Are moral values objectively real?
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psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Sparhafoc wrote:
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.


Awesome, thank you.
Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:57 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Sparhafoc,

you can psychologize anything any way you want, hence why it isn't fruitful to do so. It is impossible to have a conversation that constantly looks at motive, and goes off subject. I told you, I have meant no disrespect, but have tried to avoid going down this road, and I won't be dragged down it. If you don't feel that I am sincere despite me trying to tell you I did not mean disrespect, I can't do anything more. And I'm not going to worry about it. That's not 'winning' that's just not bothering myself with you, as it would be disrespectful to myself to knowingly do so. I've offered to have a second go, you don't want to, so that's your choice. I can live with it.
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:28 am
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

psikhrangkur wrote:
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.


It is a new particular organism that is not its predicessor, nor the other bacteria that was copied. Is it not a new particular bacteria?

psikhrangkur wrote:
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.


Ok, so I am honestly not able to provide a source this 'second' but I'm 'fairly' sure, if I remember my bio, that there are structures that grow, each of which do serve a function, and when the bacteria reaches a certain stage (and assuming certain conditions are met) it splits. So I think this is indeed a question we will need to look deeper to settle.

But is your issue here the one about the bacteria being 'fully formed' after division?

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


How is that? I'm talking about a single bacteria, the same one which split off from its twin, out of the parent bacteria which became them both. That single bacteria grows is the claim I'm making, and in so doing grows certain cellular machinery.

Are you talking about the process of division, or after? I'm talking about the growth phase as being 'after' that point.

That growth phase would be a potential, assuming it does in fact grow. Prior to that, there is still a potential, which is the part of the division process where it is going from being one particular bacteria to become two new particulars.



psikhrangkur wrote:
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?


I haven't. The single bacteria just prior to dividing is a single particular organism. Then it starts the process of division. During that process, the 'one' particular is now becoming 'many' particulars. So there is a transition from one particular to many. And that is a potential as it is a capacity of some particular thing to fulfill that potential. The same could be said of the acorn when it splits off from the tree. Prior to being still connected to the tree, is it not an acorn and does it lack potential?

psikhrangkur wrote:
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.


Every organism has to develop because we live in a world of process. I mean, organisms can't just pop into existence, fully formed without some process. And if they come into existence via some process, then there is some capacity that they have for development. At some point, they reach maturity.

psikhrangkur wrote:
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.


I think it does. Organisms don't just pop into existence fully formed, There is a process by which they come into existence, and this process has to involve them being 'formed.' So that means there is a point when they don't exist, and then a point where they do, and a transition between those points. And along the way, as they come into being, they need to have a 'capacity' for development If they don't, then it would be impossible for them to develop because that is what a capacity/potentiality is.



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


But that's not what I'm doing here. There are lots of stuff we can look at with regards to biology. Teleological ethics doesn't require a 'complete' understanding of biology, but it can't contradict that complete understanding. Saying that there is telos in nature doesn't mean that there is 'only' telos in nature, or even that telos is the only principle of nature. Telos, is probably an emergent phenomenon like many other phenomena.

psikhrangkur wrote:
Not incompatible necessarily, just mistakenly glossed over.


What, I don't follow?

psikhrangkur wrote:
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.



Between what and what? Distinctions between a particular ant and a particular ant colony?
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:50 am
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:Sparhafoc,

you can psychologize anything any way you want, hence why it isn't fruitful to do so.


In reality, this is another contrivance on your part. No 'psychologizing' has actually occurred.

Perhaps we should talk about appendage gesticulation as a means of plucking doves from hats, or rabbits from pockets?


Exogen wrote:It is impossible to have a conversation that constantly looks at motive, and goes off subject.


Of course it's not.


Exogen wrote: I told you, I have meant no disrespect, but have tried to avoid going down this road, and I won't be dragged down it.


It's all about you, except when there's blame to apportion, or concessions to be made.


Exogen wrote: If you don't feel that I am sincere despite me trying to tell you I did not mean disrespect, I can't do anything more.


Right, it's not like you could just retract your accusations about fallacies, stop acting like a condescending twat, and start engaging substantively in counterpoints to your claims.

No, it's all out of your hands.


Exogen wrote: And I'm not going to worry about it.


You seem to be spending an awful lot of time on it. More time than you spent on establishing that any fallacies actually occurred.


Exogen wrote: That's not 'winning' that's just not bothering myself with you, as it would be disrespectful to myself to knowingly do so. I've offered to have a second go, you don't want to, so that's your choice. I can live with it.


Virtue-signal away. I'm a substance over style kinda guy, so this is like remonstrating with a duck by pouring water on its back.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:13 am
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?


Some examples.

The notion of form following form is probably best analogized via Dawkins' Climbing Mount Improbable. Once a species has started adapting towards a life-style, it has metaphorically begun to climb a ridge that separates it in an increasingly wide gulf from other forms, where some degree of anatomy has been selected for with regards to the environment it has begun to exploit. You could take many examples here, whether it be the origins of flight, of terrestrial locomotion, or something specific like the evolution of whales. A very minor physical adaptation to one environment may open up new possibilities for the species in other environments, for example the first function of wings may well have had nothing whatsoever to do with flight, but may have been for selected for insulation, or for intra-specific competition such as displays of aggression, territoriality or impressing prospective mates. However, once the (looking backwards) proto-wing exists, then further mutations can occur tweaking that towards particular survival strategies. As such, primary wing feathers are vital for many birds in terms of their flight function, but that function is evolutionarily contingent on many other structures having been present prior to that mutation occurring. Basically, any mammal might possess a mutation that slightly lengthens or widens a digit, but they're not going to evolve a tentacle instead. Form then follows prior forms; adaption and evolution of physical traits are constrained by what already exists, which is why essentially all mammals have 5 digits on each of their 4 major appendages.

Another way that form may follow form is, as you say, with vestigiality - but it could also be the other way, the process towards vestigiality. The Mexican tetra is a blind, cave-dwelling fish that has not just lost sight through living in the dark, but has also lost its eyes. But why would it lose its eyes, even if it doesn't need their function (an example of form following function) - surely it would still be better to possess the eyes just in case? Rather, those eyes are bloody expensive to run, and the resources employed to produce and maintain them may be better spent elsewhere offering preferential survival.

Yet another example, albeit a little more abstract, is convergent evolution whereby optimization of traits independently acquired by different species sharing similar environments will tend towards shapes that operate more efficiently under the physical forces constraining that type of living. Of course, the former still applies because bats once upon a time didn't have wings, and the earliest proto-bat appendages didn't possess any flight function any more than proto-birds.

As for function following function, I'll have to be brief here as I have a 5 year old climbing all over me... a good example here might be in the cultural evolution of humans. Anatomically speaking, H. sapiens has existed for 300,000 years, but there's a fairly large gulf between the behaviors of sapiens 80kya, and 120 kya. Proposed examples include structural ideas, like a reordering of the brain which wouldn't be detectable in fossils, but others include the idea of behaviors causing other behaviors, for example, language may have been a run-away event that, once started in even an elementary way, was then developed beyond its initial remit without any actual physical changes occurring.

Have to cut this short, but if more are needed, I will be back later.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:41 am
psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:"It is a new particular organism that is not its predicessor, nor the other bacteria that was copied. Is it not a new particular bacteria?"

"Ok, so I am honestly not able to provide a source this 'second' but I'm 'fairly' sure, if I remember my bio, that there are structures that grow, each of which do serve a function, and when the bacteria reaches a certain stage (and assuming certain conditions are met) it splits. So I think this is indeed a question we will need to look deeper to settle.

But is your issue here the one about the bacteria being 'fully formed' after division?"

"How is that? I'm talking about a single bacteria, the same one which split off from its twin, out of the parent bacteria which became them both. That single bacteria grows is the claim I'm making, and in so doing grows certain cellular machinery.

Are you talking about the process of division, or after? I'm talking about the growth phase as being 'after' that point.

That growth phase would be a potential, assuming it does in fact grow. Prior to that, there is still a potential, which is the part of the division process where it is going from being one particular bacteria to become two new particulars."


Structures such as ribosomes and mitochondria are replicated during the mother bacteria's reproductive processes. They exist in a proper, fully functioning state before division occurs. These structures aren't built on or created during the life cycle of the daughter bacteria.

If you're going to claim that an increase in size is sufficient to be considered a change in form, I frankly see no reason whatsoever to grant that claim.

Exogen wrote:I haven't. The single bacteria just prior to dividing is a single particular organism. Then it starts the process of division. During that process, the 'one' particular is now becoming 'many' particulars. So there is a transition from one particular to many. And that is a potential as it is a capacity of some particular thing to fulfill that potential. The same could be said of the acorn when it splits off from the tree. Prior to being still connected to the tree, is it not an acorn and does it lack potential?


Then why have you argued against this idea with Rumraket, Sparhafoc, and Dragan Glas by claiming that we were dealing specifically with a single organism and that single organism's life cycle?

Exogen wrote:Every organism has to develop because we live in a world of process. I mean, organisms can't just pop into existence, fully formed without some process. And if they come into existence via some process, then there is some capacity that they have for development. At some point, they reach maturity.


I still see bacteria as a clear demonstration that this simply isn't the case, and to be honest this seems to me like you've found a few examples where you could claim that the above is the case and then decided that it must hold true for every organism ever. Again, I see no reason to think that nature would hold to this idea if life can devise some other means by which to proliferate.

Even assuming that the bacteria example is a clear-cut case of you being right, how do we then come to the conclusion that this trend holds true for every organism alive, let alone every organism ever?

Exogen wrote:I think it does. Organisms don't just pop into existence fully formed, There is a process by which they come into existence, and this process has to involve them being 'formed.' So that means there is a point when they don't exist, and then a point where they do, and a transition between those points. And along the way, as they come into being, they need to have a 'capacity' for development If they don't, then it would be impossible for them to develop because that is what a capacity/potentiality is.


It seems like you've started arguing potentiality/actuality as an explanation of gestation now. This isn't what you were arguing before.
Even then, again, this isn't a concrete understanding of nature. Actually, it doesn't really tell us anything at all about nature.

Exogen wrote:But that's not what I'm doing here.


Then I'm not sure why you think that this objective morality of yours is based on any sort of 'natural teleology'. At this point, it seems like we're not concerned at all with what's actually true about nature, so I'm not sure why we're arguing that it serves as a foundation for our morality.

Exogen wrote:There are lots of stuff we can look at with regards to biology. Teleological ethics doesn't require a 'complete' understanding of biology, but it can't contradict that complete understanding. Saying that there is telos in nature doesn't mean that there is 'only' telos in nature, or even that telos is the only principle of nature. Telos, is probably an emergent phenomenon like many other phenomena.


So our morality is based on something incidental?

Exogen wrote:Between what and what? Distinctions between a particular ant and a particular ant colony?


Between ants and humans.

Sure, you can claim that ants are individuals with a potential which becomes actualized, and this wouldn't necessarily contradict the idea of a superorganism, but I think it just goes back to what you said earlier:

Exogen wrote:As for reductionism, my point is that if you break down things into 'parts' and conclude there are only 'parts understood as parts' without seeing the whole, you have committed a fallacy of composition.
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:27 am
psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Sparhafoc wrote:
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?


Some examples.

The notion of form following form is probably best analogized via Dawkins' Climbing Mount Improbable. Once a species has started adapting towards a life-style, it has metaphorically begun to climb a ridge that separates it in an increasingly wide gulf from other forms, where some degree of anatomy has been selected for with regards to the environment it has begun to exploit. You could take many examples here, whether it be the origins of flight, of terrestrial locomotion, or something specific like the evolution of whales. A very minor physical adaptation to one environment may open up new possibilities for the species in other environments, for example the first function of wings may well have had nothing whatsoever to do with flight, but may have been for selected for insulation, or for intra-specific competition such as displays of aggression, territoriality or impressing prospective mates. However, once the (looking backwards) proto-wing exists, then further mutations can occur tweaking that towards particular survival strategies. As such, primary wing feathers are vital for many birds in terms of their flight function, but that function is evolutionarily contingent on many other structures having been present prior to that mutation occurring. Basically, any mammal might possess a mutation that slightly lengthens or widens a digit, but they're not going to evolve a tentacle instead. Form then follows prior forms; adaption and evolution of physical traits are constrained by what already exists, which is why essentially all mammals have 5 digits on each of their 4 major appendages.

Another way that form may follow form is, as you say, with vestigiality - but it could also be the other way, the process towards vestigiality. The Mexican tetra is a blind, cave-dwelling fish that has not just lost sight through living in the dark, but has also lost its eyes. But why would it lose its eyes, even if it doesn't need their function (an example of form following function) - surely it would still be better to possess the eyes just in case? Rather, those eyes are bloody expensive to run, and the resources employed to produce and maintain them may be better spent elsewhere offering preferential survival.

Yet another example, albeit a little more abstract, is convergent evolution whereby optimization of traits independently acquired by different species sharing similar environments will tend towards shapes that operate more efficiently under the physical forces constraining that type of living. Of course, the former still applies because bats once upon a time didn't have wings, and the earliest proto-bat appendages didn't possess any flight function any more than proto-birds.

As for function following function, I'll have to be brief here as I have a 5 year old climbing all over me... a good example here might be in the cultural evolution of humans. Anatomically speaking, H. sapiens has existed for 300,000 years, but there's a fairly large gulf between the behaviors of sapiens 80kya, and 120 kya. Proposed examples include structural ideas, like a reordering of the brain which wouldn't be detectable in fossils, but others include the idea of behaviors causing other behaviors, for example, language may have been a run-away event that, once started in even an elementary way, was then developed beyond its initial remit without any actual physical changes occurring.

Have to cut this short, but if more are needed, I will be back later.


I'm not sure if I'm reading into something that isn't here, but while reading this I got the impression that these explanations - form follows function, function follows form, form follows form, function follows function - are what you might call "Just so" stories? Not really something you can demonstrate, but rather potential explanations for how certain traits evolved?
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:42 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Greetings,

There still seems to be some confusion regarding the capabilities of a new bacterium.

It has the same capabilities as the parent bacterium - it's just that it can't divide whilst "new born" because it doesn't have the resources to do so yet. It needs to "bulk up", as it were, first.

Another example is the green fly. They reproduce through parthenogenesis - new green fly bud directly off the parent, fully formed: a smaller copy of the parent.

Again, it has the capability to bud another off of itself but it simply lacks the resources to do so - again, it has to "bulk up", to grow to full-size before doing so.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:50 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

psikhrangkur wrote:I'm not sure if I'm reading into something that isn't here, but while reading this I got the impression that these explanations - form follows function, function follows form, form follows form, function follows function - are what you might call "Just so" stories? Not really something you can demonstrate, but rather potential explanations for how certain traits evolved?



That's certainly true in some cases - agreed, but adaptationist accounts aren't necessarily wrong or suspect by default. Evidence can clearly support particular causal claims strengthening confidence in a hypothesis. When you look at the evolution of whales, for example, you can see a clear anatomical transition between terrestrial and marine living as the populations evolved to exploit their new aquatic niche. It's fair to say that selection cultivated traits that suited the environment and strategy of the proto-whales, so that would be demonstrable. I think one has to be very wary of offering adaptationist accounts in the absence of evidence just because it seems to make sense, though.

Of course you are also hitting another point there, and it is one I agree with wholeheartedly and spoke of it earlier, but have to engage in it to some degree to show the flaws in it: discontinuity which is an artifact of our thought, not of the thing in itself we are observing.

Exogen's notions are wholly artifacts of his thinking and do not actually exist in any quantity in the real world - there is no actual 'potential', only a mental category of referential information Exogen hopes to appeal to in order to convey some quality of his other argument about morality. To talk about a 'potential' for a tree is wholly a concept drawn from personal familiarity with the typically observed development process of trees but it is construed through the human psychologically-satisfying narrative formation; a finite, causal series of events transpiring in an idealized manner.

To wit:

Trees are readily apparent - kind of hard to miss, under closer inspection there are saplings which can easily be seen growing larger and the conclusion can be drawn that they'd become trees after some time, after much observation, one finds acorns and deduces they grow ultimately into trees via saplings. So where does it start, we might then wonder? Well, there's a point when there's not a tree, and that's when it's an acorn, so the tree follows after the acorn therefore it arrives at an ultimate conspired destination, the tree. This is one of those 'common sense' approaches which both feels so obvious and satisfying, yet entirely misses what's actually occurring through getting lost in its own semantic navel.

For me, semantics is really vital when it comes to philosophy. One needs to be very clear about what one is saying if one hopes to philosophize. I don't claim to be a philosopher, but I do claim to know when philosophy is being done in such a way that it ceases to be a tool, to offer utility, or provide explanatory clarification.

Imposing semantic categories onto nature is rife with pitfalls, regardless of how much sense it might make in terms of communicating an idea or thinking about day to day occurrences. As has been stated by others too, if the 'potential' of the acorn is to make a tree, then the 'potential' of the tree is to make acorns. To phrase it a new way; the 'potential' of the acorn is to make acorns. That latter is much closer to truth, but is far less satisfying, and can't be harnessed towards Exogen's moral argument. The tree cannot be treated as something distinct from the acorn, and category mistakes about acorns not being able to turn into clouds or what-have-you reinforces how this entire concept exists solely within the parameters of the mind; at best it's a foible, an idiosyncrasy, an eccentric way of approaching the life cycle of trees, but it has no actual merit with regards to how stuff really works.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:56 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

So let's try that reboot and see how it goes:

This is the point of departure.

Exogen wrote:In regards to nature being riddled with purpose, I 'do' mean teleology. But in order to answer that question, I must first answer your second, namely the distinction between function and purpose. So these two words can be synonymous, but there is a sense in which they are not, and it is that sense in which I mean. So a function would be merely an efficient causal description at a glance, like A causes B in simple terms. A more complex understanding might be how your hand closes around an object to grasp it. Purpose, on the other hand, is the actuality of a potential of something as in that for the sake of which some prior state exists. So for instance, my highest form of development of my body is that for which my less developed form exists insofar as the less developed version is the 'potential' to the 'actuality' which is my final developed form. That is what defines that relationship in time is one of potentiality to actuality, in that order. And Order is very much the issue here, not only at a glance but of nature as a whole. There is an order. For Aristotle, he sees a world of profound order, one which perpetuates itself. To answer your second question then, nature is riddled with relationships in time of potentials moving to actuals in terms of the changes in form. An organism is born, at which point its form develops towards its actuality. Once it reaches this apex, this zenith, it begins to degenerate and eventually disintegrate and is recycled along with the rest of the natural processes that facilitate the order. The order is harmoniously integrated, that is, it is 'whole.' Always a cycle of potential to actual, a fulfillment of purpose, hence purpose is riddled throughout nature. The function is a part of it, but failing to see the relationship by reducing time to single instances and not seeing the unified pattern and the relationships between instances lead will obfuscate the purpose. It is an over-reductionism.


Sparhafoc wrote:Turritopsis nutricula

And I am not really sure that degenerating back to chemicals and atoms is best described teleologically, rather that there are competing physical forces which cause that result regardless of the best efforts by life. Life's 'purpose' is to temporarily stave those forces off - fleeting pockets of entropic reduction - not to die.



Exogen wrote:That's not what I said, I think you misunderstand. So, try to think of it this way. When I say 'actuality' I'm talking about the 'form' which certain potentials result in. If I am a baby and proceed naturally, I will eventually develop into a man, which is the highest actualization of my prior potential as a baby boy. As a fully adult young man, developed to my highest degree in all facets, I reach my apex, my point to which I am in 'top form.' After that, I begin to slowly decline. in other words, I not only fall away from this actuality which is my form but also loses the potential to grain back that actuality. Aging, for instance, is a process of accumulated damage, which destroys the ability to maintain that actuality which is my form. And I begin to degenerate, and eventually die, and decay, at which point I am entirely recycled.

Aristotle gives an example of an acorn. He says the acorn tree is the actuality to which the acorn seed is a potential. The seed grows towards it's highest form, which is the tree. The tree reaches its apex, and then it begins the processes of aging and eventually death.

The 'purpose' is its form, that is, the highest development of its potential, the actuality in other words. Form and actuality within this relationship of cyclic potential, IS the purpose.

Now you mentioned staving off entropy. Sure, that is 'part' of it, but again, that is very 'reductionistic.' You are looking at a 'part' of the process, but not the 'whole.' as distributed through time. If you were an acorn seed, your purpose would be to become an acorn tree. Once that has been fulfilled, you have achieved your 'end.'Same for a human. Your purpose is to become an adult and achieve that end.

Edit: As for the idea of opposing physical forces, again that is just 'part' of what defines the process, part of what contextualizes the potential towards which the actuality is the aim/end, prior to degradation towards a repeat of potential in the orderly cycle. So indeed there are opposing aspects to the process, but you must look at all of this 'as a whole in time.' What is the 'form' of the process, and there you find what the end which function aims at, which is the actuality of the potential? That is the form, which is the 'purpose' in terms of the relation between various aspects of the process in time which includes various opposing distinctions.



So, from my perspective, you replied to my rejection of your initial post with something that's basically wholly irrelevant.

You start by saying that I've missed your point, then go on to make the same point I had already offered a valid criticism of, then introduce a nonsensical notion from Aristotle which is not scientifically tenable and consequently fails to provide a solid analogy for your contentions.

Factually, every single word you wrote fails to address the empirical reality contained in the first 2 words of my post: Turritopsis nutricula

This species wasn't chosen because it has a pretty name, but because it's the most extreme example I could think of disproving your contention. A single organism, an individual, goes through an infant phase, becomes an adult/medusa (capable of sexual reproduction) then reverts back to its infant phase again.

This wholly countermands your invocation of the acorn tree at its most fundamental level, but in reality, when you look at what is really happening with the acorn-tree, it's actually exactly the same thing, albeit just with a new sampling of genes as an alternative survival strategy.

For clarity, I understand every single word of your post. I could easily recapitulate your entire argument, and even expand upon it. Bu that doesn't mean it's correct or adequate. It is deeply flawed in ways that are not actually excusable within the remit of philosophy, and certainly cannot overrule scientifically validated knowledge.

Thus there is no forward path here, which I was quite clear about.

So the summation is: you employed an analogy to aid in explaining a concept you wanted to make about another topic (namely Purpose and objective morality) but the analogy was inadequate and irretrievably flawed, and as such it really is down to you to either amend your analogy so it is valid, try a different analogy (probably best to avoid Biology, to be frank), or to just return to the point you wanted to make about morality.

What obviously is not going to work would be to continue arguing that you are right about the acorn and tree, the construe the fact that everyone disagrees as being something flawed in their thinking rather than examining your own and seeing whether your case really is as strong as you initially believed.

In reality, if I found that I'd employed such an erroneous analogy in the attempted explanation of another point, I might start wondering whether that point itself had value. It's hard to see how such confusion can produce something true.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:12 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

psikhrangkur wrote:
Structures such as ribosomes and mitochondria are replicated during the mother bacteria's reproductive processes. They exist in a proper, fully functioning state before division occurs. These structures aren't built on or created during the life cycle of the daughter bacteria.


Ok, my understanding is that there are 'more' of said structures built once the split has occurred. So I am not saying there are no ribosomes or mitochondria once the division is complete, but that as the cell grows from that point on, it does so by adding new machinery. If it didn't, how would it even grow?

Now maybe my understanding of bacterial growth is off, but let's say the daughter bacteria does not grow at all, meaning it does not develop that form at all. It is fully formed after division. There would still have been the process by which it came into being, even if this was only the split. Now, I suppose that wouldn't count as an 'infancy' stage, as it wasn't fully separated from the other daughter bacteria. But it would still be a causal potential because there is a causal capacity for said half of the emerging bacteria to develop.

psikhrangkur wrote:If you're going to claim that an increase in size is sufficient to be considered a change in form, I frankly see no reason whatsoever to grant that claim.


Ok, I think I know what you're saying, but here is my issue; let's think shapes for a second. If you had two ideal equilateral triangles, identical in every respect, except one larger than the other, we would correctly say they had the same form in terms of shape, even though the size was different. But now suppose we are talking about building two bridges. Let's say both bridges have a very similar shape, say both have two main arches, but one has more smaller arches and other more u-shaped structures than the other. And say the one which has more is due to it being bigger. Can we say they have the same form? In one sense we can, but in another, we can't. So, my understanding is that the bacteria, as it grows, doesn't just scale upwards, but it grows more machinery in order to get bigger. Now maybe my memory on bio is just wrong, but that's where my issue is.



psikhrangkur wrote:
Then why have you argued against this idea with Rumraket, Sparhafoc, and Dragan Glas by claiming that we were dealing specifically with a single organism and that single organism's life cycle?


Because that is part of a single organisms life cycle. The bacteria, being particular, comes into existence, and along the way, it develops to reach its complete form, the actuality. In the case of the acorn its the process of budding off of the oak which starts with the acorn growing on the tree, falling to the ground, growing to the sapling and into the oak. With the bacteria, it comes into being during the process of splitting. In either case, that's a causal potential, because it is a capacity to develop into something specific, a kind of structure (provided certain conditions are met). So there is a gradual process of it coming into being that is defined by, among other things, a causal potential of said emerging structure towards some other structure.

Now the process may have 'started' with something that wasn't the particular thing, but we could go all the way back to the initial conditions of the universe at that point. Remember, this is within the scope of certain kinds of possibilities, and the key is that this is in regard to particular things. The bacteria is a particular thing that comes into existence via a process. So there were conditions that caused the process beforehand, and even conditions exterior to the particular thing, say our bacteria or the acorn, that continue to influence that process i.e. the environment. There is still the developmental capacity of the particular thing, and even that developmental capacity itself is something which develops further i.e. it unfolds in stages.

Let me contrast that idea. So imagine there was some machine that could instantly assemble some organism. It could assemble all of its atoms instantaneously without any process required. Let's not worry what the process is for the machine itself. Let's just say it takes some time, but the actual assembly of the organism happens in the shortest time there is, say the Planck length (or w/e). So, in that case, it could not be said that the organism ever had any potential, because it just popped into existence fully actualized. Now I'm guessing if you asked Aristotle about this, he would probably have asked if the organism was capable of learning and in various ways enhancing its capabilities, meaning does it need to learn with respect to an environmental context, does it need to train in other words, or are its skills programmed in, and hardwired? If it has no 'potential' for further development of its capacities, then not only would it have no potential for its form, it would have no potential to develop the capacities of its form further. I'm guessing Aristotle would, therefore, say, this organism would have no potential, either for its form in general terms, or the capacities of its form. It would be a form that would have a capacity to act let's say, but not in the sense Aristotle is talking about. However, it would have a function(s). And this is the various kinds of things it can do (which depend on an environment).

Do you see the difference there? There is either a period whereby something comes into being and as 'the thing itself' comes into being, it has to be true that there is a causal process that brings it into being, otherwise, it would be impossible. And certain kinds of causal processes are things like organisms which develop, and even the bacteria counts as that during the process of division, just as the acorn, also as a particular thing counts, even when it is still connected to the tree. For that matter, a gestating organism. Hypothetically, if the xenomorphs from the Alien series were real, they would count too.


psikhrangkur wrote:
I still see bacteria as a clear demonstration that this simply isn't the case, and to be honest this seems to me like you've found a few examples where you could claim that the above is the case and then decided that it must hold true for every organism ever. Again, I see no reason to think that nature would hold to this idea if life can devise some other means by which to proliferate.

Even assuming that the bacteria example is a clear-cut case of you being right, how do we then come to the conclusion that this trend holds true for every organism alive, let alone every organism ever?



We can't I suppose, as I can't rule out that somehow organisms can't be instantaneously produced. But if they are developed through a process, then that means particular organisms come into existence via a process. And if that process one where they develop, like a zygote, or even the bacteria splitting, then that satisfies the definition of potential to actual.


psikhrangkur wrote:
It seems like you've started arguing potentiality/actuality as an explanation of gestation now. This isn't what you were arguing before.
Even then, again, this isn't a concrete understanding of nature. Actually, it doesn't really tell us anything at all about nature.


Well yes, I can see that calling the daughter bacteria as it is splitting off, or the acorn as it is beginning to grow, or the zygote as it is gestating an 'infant' isn't correct. When you said 'infant,' I hadn't really thought about the details you are bringing up but was aware there might be stuff like this, hence the disclaimer. Mind you an acorn isn't an 'infant' in the same sense a human is for obvious reasons. It isn't the same sort of life cycle, but I thought you were using these terms loosely, as the terms I've given are rather general, and for good reason. I added the disclaimer when you asked me about the three stages that it 'seems to be' spot on. I still think we have the gist of it more or less though, but I think we are getting bogged down in specifics that don't matter IMO. In the case of gestation, it is still a process of X, which is the soon-to-be organism fully grown 'being formed?' Meaning, is that not the beginning stages of its existence? If you agree, then does it not have the potential to develop into its adult form (whether or not it does in fact)? If yes, then the definitions I gave have been satisfied. My definitions remember -

Potentiality: having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.

Actuality: the fulfillment of a potentiality.


So you see, this is why I think it doesn't matter. We are still talking about some form that comes into existence via some process of itself (as compared to my example of the instantaneous organism generator hypothetical), which has a certain capacity, a certain potential for development.

Would this not be true of the daughter bacteria as it is coming into existence? The same would be true of the other daughter bacteria too. So even if the daughter bacteria does not develop further once the division is complete, it still comes into being, and this state in which it is formed is still a potential of itself towards its fully developed form i.e. the actuality Yes? If so, then the causal relationship in time is one of the potential states of the bacteria to the actual state, in terms of bacterial form.

Also, consider this. If I build a lego set, I am the thing that assembles the legos. They don't self-assemble. The bacteria is self-dividing, but the emerging daughter bacterias do have capacities towards their development actuality, unlike the lego. The possible legos are necessary conditions for all the possible lego shapes, but not sufficient conditions, as nothing drives them to self-assemble, not even in part. The legos could build any number of possible arrangements, and while that is also true of the matter which comprises the bacteria, it isn't true of the bacteria itself with respect to its complete form. Its causal pathway for development of the full developed organism is limited in scope, and it either reaches that potential or not.

psikhrangkur wrote:
Then I'm not sure why you think that this objective morality of yours is based on any sort of 'natural teleology'. At this point, it seems like we're not concerned at all with what's actually true about nature, so I'm not sure why we're arguing that it serves as a foundation for our morality.


I disagree there isn't this teleology in nature. The exception was the hypothetical example of the organism that instantaneously came into being without any causal capacity/potential of itself towards a development of its form.

psikhrangkur wrote:
So our morality is based on something incidental?



Well yes, I think so. At very least it doesn't hinge on a complete understanding of nature any more than me knowing the best way to play baseball doesn't hinge on that either. We don't need to know everything about nature to know something about nature. And we can base a complete ethics on a part of nature, whether or not our understanding of nature is complete.

psikhrangkur wrote:Between ants and humans.

Sure, you can claim that ants are individuals with a potential which becomes actualized, and this wouldn't necessarily contradict the idea of a superorganism, but I think it just goes back to what you said earlier:


You mean this bellow?


Exogen wrote:As for reductionism, my point is that if you break down things into 'parts' and conclude there are only 'parts understood as parts' without seeing the whole, you have committed a fallacy of composition.
[/quote]

Right, I'm glad you bring this up, as this also relates back to what Dragan Gias said about chemicals, so hopefully, I can kill two birds with one stone here. So it isn't an either or of 'whole or part.' That is the battle between folks who think that material structures are either 'non-reductive' or 'reductive.' It's both. A whole is just as real as the parts, and the same goes for the functions of the parts, and the functions of the whole. So it is absolutely correct to say that a particular ant has a form and a set of functions that unfold consequently relative to its environment. But the same is also true of the colony. There is no contradiction holding to both. we can talk about the potentiality and actuality of the ant, and also of the colony of the whole, and not be contradicting ourselves. But I'm saying it would be a fallacy then, to try to pick one over the other. So if you say 'there is only atoms that would be a fallacy, as there is the arrangement of the atoms. And the arrangement of the atoms has particular patterns, particular structures/forms of arrangement within the whole. And it would also be a fallacy to say there is only the pattern of the arrangement. There is both.
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:10 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

There still seems to be some confusion regarding the capabilities of a new bacterium.

It has the same capabilities as the parent bacterium - it's just that it can't divide whilst "new born" because it doesn't have the resources to do so yet. It needs to "bulk up", as it were, first.

Another example is the green fly. They reproduce through parthenogenesis - new green fly bud directly off the parent, fully formed: a smaller copy of the parent.

Again, it has the capability to bud another off of itself but it simply lacks the resources to do so - again, it has to "bulk up", to grow to full-size before doing so.

Kindest regards,

James


Ok, but that still doesn't tell me if more cellular machinery is needed during this growth phase. Are you saying that the fly or the bacteria merely increase some other material, analogous almost to fat here? Cause that isn't the same as assembling machinery.

But in any event, I think this is getting unnecessarily hair-splitting, As I was saying to Psikhrangkur the idea is 'the organism' comes into existence as a potential state from what it will eventually develop into. So maybe that is the fly beginning to bud off all the way up to the adult fly, or the acorn budding off of the tree all the way to the oak stage, or the bacteria as it is beginning to differentiate from one into two, or the zygote in a human all the way to the adult, etc. It is a potential of form to an actualization of that form. That's the causal pattern.
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:17 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Greetings,

Exogen wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

There still seems to be some confusion regarding the capabilities of a new bacterium.

It has the same capabilities as the parent bacterium - it's just that it can't divide whilst "new born" because it doesn't have the resources to do so yet. It needs to "bulk up", as it were, first.

Another example is the green fly. They reproduce through parthenogenesis - new green fly bud directly off the parent, fully formed: a smaller copy of the parent.

Again, it has the capability to bud another off of itself but it simply lacks the resources to do so - again, it has to "bulk up", to grow to full-size before doing so.

Kindest regards,

James


Ok, but that still doesn't tell me if more cellular machinery is needed during this growth phase. Are you saying that the fly or the bacteria merely increase some other material, analogous almost to fat here? Cause that isn't the same as assembling machinery.

But in any event, I think this is getting unnecessarily hair-splitting, As I was saying to Psikhrangkur the idea is 'the organism' comes into existence as a potential state from what it will eventually develop into. So maybe that is the fly beginning to bud off all the way up to the adult fly, or the acorn budding off of the tree all the way to the oak stage, or the bacteria as it is beginning to differentiate from one into two, or the zygote in a human all the way to the adult, etc. It is a potential of form to an actualization of that form. That's the causal pattern.

No, I'm saying that it increases in size by growing more of the same material within itself. Only when there's enough material to divide will it actually do so - the time to do that is just under ten minutes(!)

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:57 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Hi Dragan,

Dragan Glas wrote:.
No, I'm saying that it increases in size by growing more of the same material within itself. Only when there's enough material to divide will it actually do so - the time to do that is just under ten minutes(!)

Kindest regards,

James


So then when it first begins to exist during the division, and then once complete, it is formed. And you are saying at that point once the division is complete the form at that point is identical to the form at a later point when it is larger, the only difference being size, which once it has duplicated the number of parts it needs to split into two, gets it ready for the division again in terms of the role a particular bacteria plays in the life cycle of the species.

I have a hangup about saying it is the same form with respect to the change in size. In one sense, I agree, as a triangle that is larger than another is still a triangle in shape. But if you have an arrangement of a 6 pack of soda, and you double the cans, you can't say you have the same arrangement? So if the form is the arrangement of matter, how can we say the bacteria is fully complete in terms of its form? That would be like saying that if a child were different from an adult only in terms of size, the form would be the same, but the parts which comprise an adult are more numerous than the parts that comprise a child.

So I think there is a bit of an ambiguity in regards to form here. I don't want to equivocate, though both are relevant. I mean the form as in whatever is the fully developed organism. So in the case of the bacteria, it would be the Form in the sense of the 'shape' let's call it (or general configuration if you prefer), and the form, in the sense of the final stage of its development.

And in regard to the whole lifetime of a given bacteria, how does that not equate to a state of potential moving to one of actuality with respect to its form from division to division? The bacteria is formed which means it is at various stages which are potentials of the fully formed bacteria.
Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:22 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Its almost as if grossly simplistic conceits can't accurately model the complexity of reality.

A bit like a spherical cow in a vacuum.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:02 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Sparhafoc wrote:So let's try that reboot and see how it goes:

...

So the summation is: you employed an analogy to aid in explaining a concept you wanted to make about another topic (namely Purpose and objective morality) but the analogy was inadequate and irretrievably flawed, and as such it really is down to you to either amend your analogy so it is valid, try a different analogy (probably best to avoid Biology, to be frank), or to just return to the point you wanted to make about morality.

What obviously is not going to work would be to continue arguing that you are right about the acorn and tree, the construe the fact that everyone disagrees as being something flawed in their thinking rather than examining your own and seeing whether your case really is as strong as you initially believed.



And look what follows:

The bacteria, being particular, comes into existence, and along the way, it develops to reach its complete form, the actuality. In the case of the acorn its the process of budding off of the oak which starts with the acorn growing on the tree, falling to the ground, growing to the sapling and into the oak.



You're not here to discuss, chap, you're here to preach vacuity.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:06 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Sparhafoc,

I read your post earlier in regards to your 'reboot.' I can see where you are coming from, and it appears I owe you an apology. I don't not understand what your reference was when you referenced the Latin name for the jellyfish. When I saw your reboot post, I looked it up and then realized what you were saying. I thought you were saying something else entirely, but I see as I understand you that you were objecting to the acorn analogy on the basis that not all life follows that pattern i.e. the jellyfish returns back to its infantile form. I take responsibility for that. I hope you can believe that it was unintentional on my part, but I can see how it would certainly make me appear very cognitively dissonant and disingenuous. I think part of the breakdown from that point on was some of your language which I took to be personal (and in fact still do) which was strikingly similar to the kinds of sophistic behaviors (be them on purpose or not) of people in political conversations, and also philosophy too. The tendency to shift the discussion away from the argument or issues and onto the person is something that when I see I tend to react to. We may disagree on how to handle perceived individuals and I strongly disagree with the way you chose to react and do not think it was right, and have a personal disdain for it, but nonetheless, I can see where you might get agitated or otherwise provoked and cannot thus judge you too harshly on that front. We are all only human. I, therefore, issue you a formal and personal apology, as the misunderstanding was in fact, all other issues aside, on my part in that regard.

I do still think that the concept of potentiality and actuality, though the acorn analogy has failed in the regard demonstrated, has yet to be refuted. However, one thing I have become aware of has given me second thoughts. That being that my dyslexia and even more importantly the format of this form may, I am wondering, be a bad fit for me. I am on a laptop which is small or my phone, and the letters are so tiny and the background so dark it is hard to read. I noticed this before when I realized that horrible grammar mistakes that I myself would have caught at a glance just slipped by me. And I tend to have a problem catching such things as it is on the computer (though there is a world of difference in format depending on what forum you're on). I can't help but surmise that this may affect reading comprehension.

I would like to continue, so long as everyone can acknowledge my handicap in that regard, and this instance has shown my multiple reasons why I need to be more strict in doing a better job of keeping my language completely impersonal, as I do not want to inadvertently commit the very same mistakes I myself think are wrong. Again, I did not mean any offense or disrespect when I was saying you didn't understand me. I would like to continue without any personal grudges, but understand if you are turned off. However, if you find my response here not genuine or you have a bitter taste in your mouth, so to speak, then I would prefer we 'not' continue. That goes for any of the other members here as well, as that would, in my mind, amount to resentment being in the background, and sooner or later, this will become a dick measuring contest, as we are all guys, and egos are always a potential with us. So, if you feel turned off in any way despite my apology, I understand, and its no hard feelings. I also understand that you might simply not trust me at this point, as what reason do any of us really have to trust strangers on the internet. When I said that I wanted to start over and it would be water under the bridge when I thought you were just being a dick for no reason, or out of some intellectual bigotry given your derogatory (as I took them to mean in context) comments about older ideas, I thought you were just trying to dismiss me without dealing with the concepts, but I was sincere in that wish. I hope you will be able to see that as evidence that I am not the type to hold a grudge. And if you are interested in mending the result of this squabble, and turning a fresh page, I would be game.
Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:22 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:Ok, my understanding is that there are 'more' of said structures built once the split has occurred. So I am not saying there are no ribosomes or mitochondria once the division is complete, but that as the cell grows from that point on, it does so by adding new machinery. If it didn't, how would it even grow?


By gaining mass, and that's about it.

Exogen wrote:Now maybe my understanding of bacterial growth is off, but let's say the daughter bacteria does not grow at all, meaning it does not develop that form at all. It is fully formed after division. There would still have been the process by which it came into being, even if this was only the split. Now, I suppose that wouldn't count as an 'infancy' stage, as it wasn't fully separated from the other daughter bacteria. But it would still be a causal potential because there is a causal capacity for said half of the emerging bacteria to develop.


And again, you would be blurring the line between mother bacteria and daughter bacteria, which ignores previous iterations of your argument wherein you define this matter of potentiality/actuality as an observable in the life cycle of a single organism.

Exogen wrote:Ok, I think I know what you're saying, but here is my issue; let's think shapes for a second. If you had two ideal equilateral triangles, identical in every respect, except one larger than the other, we would correctly say they had the same form in terms of shape, even though the size was different. But now suppose we are talking about building two bridges. Let's say both bridges have a very similar shape, say both have two main arches, but one has more smaller arches and other more u-shaped structures than the other. And say the one which has more is due to it being bigger. Can we say they have the same form? In one sense we can, but in another, we can't. So, my understanding is that the bacteria, as it grows, doesn't just scale upwards, but it grows more machinery in order to get bigger. Now maybe my memory on bio is just wrong, but that's where my issue is.


The bacteria only grows in size. The only reason it begins to create machinery is to duplicate that which already exists during its reproductive cycle.

Exogen wrote:Because that is part of a single organisms life cycle. The bacteria, being particular, comes into existence, and along the way, it develops to reach its complete form, the actuality. In the case of the acorn its the process of budding off of the oak which starts with the acorn growing on the tree, falling to the ground, growing to the sapling and into the oak. With the bacteria, it comes into being during the process of splitting. In either case, that's a causal potential, because it is a capacity to develop into something specific, a kind of structure (provided certain conditions are met). So there is a gradual process of it coming into being that is defined by, among other things, a causal potential of said emerging structure towards some other structure.


And you're including the last stages of the reproductive cycle of the mother bacteria in the life cycle of the daughter bacteria, and explaining it as though the last stages of the reproductive cycle of the mother bacteria is the potentiality that leads to the daughter bacteria's actuality despite these phases describing two different organisms.

Exogen wrote:Now the process may have 'started' with something that wasn't the particular thing,


Then you're already wrong about this, and I would ask again why you spent so much time arguing the point with Rumraket, Sparhafoc, and Dragan Glas when you were going to make this concession now.

As soon as I grant you that the reproductive cycle of the mother bacteria is the potentiality and the daughter bacteria is the actuality, you lose any ground on which you previously asserted that the acorn is the potentiality and the tree is the actuality as opposed to Sparhafoc's claim of the tree being the potentiality and the acorn it produces being the actuality.

Exogen wrote:but we could go all the way back to the initial conditions of the universe at that point.


At this point, my only curiosity concerning this conversation is what you think your own position is.
I'll read the rest of what you have to say just to see what you wrote, but at this point, I don't see any point continuing this conversation anymore.
Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:32 pm
ExogenPosts: 109Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 5:23 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

psikhrangkur,

maybe this will help explain where I'm coming from,

here is how I see the potentiality-actuality issue. For Aristotle' he sees a world of profound order, an ordered universe. Now mind you, that means no more than what it is. Not that the order is indicative of something else, but that the universe is ordered. The context for that goes back to a debate about the order at the time between many intellectuals of that era, but particularly between Aristotle and his teacher Plato. Aristotle disagrees with Plato that order is ideal in some sense. He thinks the order is in the empirically observable world. He realizes that form, which in the modern sense would be something like an arrangement of particles, or something like that, is inseparable from the matter, at least as it pertains to the orderly structures we see. The matter is in 'some' kind of arrangement. But that will mean that there is also process, as he is trying to solve the problem of how change is even possible. So the notion of possibility leads him to an idea for a species of that which is potential. The notion of form can be seen as something like any old arrangement which is general, or something particular.

Aristotle's view, I would argue, is very nominalistic, given that though he thinks there are generalities, he thinks that only particular things are all that ever exists. So some particular bacteria, some human, or w/e.

And particular things, come to be via some process. Some of these processes involve the potential for the thing at various stages towards later stages.

With that in mind, I can see where you guys are coming from in regards to the bacteria not fitting into the acorn analogy. It isn't that I'm 'changing' my idea, but that I do see the flaw in the acorn analogy at this point. But that doesn't mean the potentiality issue fails.

So you said I appear to be blurring the lines between the mother and daughter bacteria. I would say that is because the line is blurred. It is a process of the one cell differentiating into two is a process of two particular things coming into being out of one, which means the division process does involve the capacity of each daughter bacteria to develop. Just because that process is connected to the other daughter, formerly the mother, doesn't change that.

So yes, I am modifying my view, though not the core of the idea. What Aristotle is trying to get at as I best understand him, is that living things (most that we know of anyhow) come to be, and this process involves some sort of potential which would have to start with the formation of that organism. So the acorn budding growing off the tree is still 'the acorn' though it may be connected to the tree, so it matters with respect to the development of that specific organism because that is the beginning of it.

Now, recall my example of the hypothetical spontaneous organism generator. This would violate that, as well as assembling an organism like legos, as those examples would involve no potential whatsoever on the particular thing with respect to it coming into existence. The question would remain, would it then have the potential to develop in some way further from that point on? Guess it depends on how we stipulate it.


What I'm saying in response to that, is that even if we found organisms without potential and they just actualized via some other means, they would still have some sort of functional capability (1) and it wouldn't change the fact that many naturally occurring organisms do develop like that. (2). So I'm saying this need not be some universal law, to still be true, that nature is riggled with telos. It would be a tendency of some sort.

Edit: I missed the last portion of your response. What do you mean what my position is, as in regards to the teleology issue, or something related to that quote about the initial conditions? As for continuing the conversation, if that be your choice, I respect that at any time and for whatever reason, but did you read My last post to Sparhafoc?
Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:00 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Are moral values objectively real?

Exogen wrote:Sparhafoc,

I read your post earlier in regards to your 'reboot.' I can see where you are coming from, and it appears I owe you an apology. I don't not understand what your reference was when you referenced the Latin name for the jellyfish. When I saw your reboot post, I looked it up and then realized what you were saying. I thought you were saying something else entirely, but I see as I understand you that you were objecting to the acorn analogy on the basis that not all life follows that pattern i.e. the jellyfish returns back to its infantile form. I take responsibility for that. I hope you can believe that it was unintentional on my part, but I can see how it would certainly make me appear very cognitively dissonant and disingenuous. I think part of the breakdown from that point on was some of your language which I took to be personal (and in fact still do) which was strikingly similar to the kinds of sophistic behaviors (be them on purpose or not) of people in political conversations, and also philosophy too. The tendency to shift the discussion away from the argument or issues and onto the person is something that when I see I tend to react to. We may disagree on how to handle perceived individuals and I strongly disagree with the way you chose to react and do not think it was right, and have a personal disdain for it, but nonetheless, I can see where you might get agitated or otherwise provoked and cannot thus judge you too harshly on that front. We are all only human. I, therefore, issue you a formal and personal apology, as the misunderstanding was in fact, all other issues aside, on my part in that regard.


Ok, sure.

For clarity, from my perspective I took no offense or anything at all from the 'you misunderstand' or anything like that. At no point was I provoked, or insulted, or agitated or any other emotional reaction.

What I took exception to was imposing, without real justification, the rules and tactics of a debate format such as appealing to fallacies, or using language that apparently strategically demotes other peoples' responses to being a misunderstanding on their part.

Debates work very differently to discussions.

Discussions are about consensus, finding pathways towards a shared outcome of understanding.

Debates are about beating people in a match.

The language you took to be personal (even though it wasn't actually very personal at all) was my response to your apparent attempt to employ the rules and remit of a debate style exchange, and part of that is putting your interlocutor off their game.

If it was a debate, then me forcing you to repeatedly defend yourself or talk about what you like or don't like means I am scoring points. From the perspective of a debate, you started losing ground at that point, and it wasn't by accident. I even alluded to this via Goldenmane's 3rd Rule, and there are endless numbers of treatises on tactical responses in debate scenarios in terms of counter-punching, and defeating certain styles or tones through employing other strategies. I opted for these.

However, I had previously said that I don't need to go into debate mode, and I was asking you to acknowledge that we were at an impasse, where the proposition you'd offered was genuinely untenable for me for the reasons I'd given. There we could have gone more towards discussion, but as you opted for your litany of fallacies approach, which I saw as a debate strategy (because it is), a rhetorical tactic employed to start scoring points, and particularly when you then failed to produce any example of alleged fallacies on my part, so I joined in 'the game'.

If it's just a discussion, then I am happy to be there looking to see what comes out. If you identify a flaw in reasoning, it's not a label of a fallacy that matters, it's exposition about what the problem such reasoning induces.

Finally, I do also always take umbrage to being collectivized with other people who may just happen to share a single opinion with me; I take pains to ensure I expound my ideas clearly and think it only elementary civility to have my ideas addressed directly, not by proxy. I can accept if this was done in an innocent manner on your part, but I always take steps to nip off such notions before they can bloom, again because it's useful to a debating interlocutor to repaint scenarios to suit their own argument, thus I wouldn't allow that to occur uncontested.

So in summary, while I may have made you feel uncomfortable, it wasn't done in a gratifying or excessive way, it was done very carefully for a very particular reason. Don't mistake me - I am a bit of a cunt when it comes to arguing the toss, but I am perfectly capable of civilized discussion assuming that's matched by the other side. Although I will note that even in a professional, academic setting, nothing I said was anywhere near as robust an exchange as you might become used to.

I won't accept your apology because there's nothing you need to apologize for. All fair do's to me! :)


I will acknowledge a mea culpa though. I have a tendency towards reductio ad absurdum - it just always hits the right spot for me. A 2 word rebuttal often provides a note of humour too, at least for my sense of humour anyway, and I could easily have expanded more on why this example jellyfish caused problems with that analogy to Biology, and I admit I do like making people work a little too sometimes! :lol:



Exogen wrote:I do still think that the concept of potentiality and actuality, though the acorn analogy has failed in the regard demonstrated, has yet to be refuted.


I genuinely think one needs to consider what it is one is quantifying. Are we quantifying something that exists, or are we expressing a quantity of the way we think about how something exists? For me, this is much of philosophy. Are we discussing the thing itself, or are we discussing the cognitive model of the thing. Thus my repeated references to spherical cows in vacuums.


Exogen wrote: However, one thing I have become aware of has given me second thoughts. That being that my dyslexia and even more importantly the format of this form may, I am wondering, be a bad fit for me. I am on a laptop which is small or my phone, and the letters are so tiny and the background so dark it is hard to read. I noticed this before when I realized that horrible grammar mistakes that I myself would have caught at a glance just slipped by me. And I tend to have a problem catching such things as it is on the computer (though there is a world of difference in format depending on what forum you're on). I can't help but surmise that this may affect reading comprehension.


I expect my style of discourse doesn't play well into that either. It will be hard for me to change because, I have to be honest, a large part of the reason I am on a discussion forum in the first place is that I live in a country where I rarely get to use my native language, and I positively revel in expressing myself in ways I find amusing. I would suggest that when you find something I say confusing, just ask for clarification because it appears that some of my abstract interjections are somewhat opaque when it comes to interpreting their intent. I can't say I won't write in a confusing way (when it's fun to write like that) but I promise I'll always unpack and expand if requested.


Exogen wrote:I would like to continue, so long as everyone can acknowledge my handicap in that regard, and this instance has shown my multiple reasons why I need to be more strict in doing a better job of keeping my language completely impersonal, as I do not want to inadvertently commit the very same mistakes I myself think are wrong.


Honestly, at least when it comes to me, I don't care if you are personal - it's water off a duck's back for me. I've been grilled, roasted, hung-out-to-dry, belittled, scorned, and generally abused so many times that I barely even read such language (unless it's nicely written) to never worry about it. I'd rather you succinctly called me a bloody idiot when it's justified than spend eighteen hundred words carefully stepping round that brutal honesty.



Exogen wrote: Again, I did not mean any offense or disrespect when I was saying you didn't understand me.


It's ok, I possess sufficient hubris to assume that when I don't understand you, it's because you're not being comprehensible rather than me being dopey! :D

Not always true, I know when I am being dopey, but I think you can see what I mean about enjoying writing things for fun! ;)



Exogen wrote: I would like to continue without any personal grudges, but understand if you are turned off. However, if you find my response here not genuine or you have a bitter taste in your mouth, so to speak, then I would prefer we 'not' continue.


All I can say Exogen is that you'd have to work bloody hard to cause me offense - I'm a robust enough chap to take a bit of back and forth. The only time I'd abandon a discussion is when the interlocutor proves so intractable, obnoxious, and self-pleasuring that partaking further seems to be an exercise only in feeding their ego.



Exogen wrote: That goes for any of the other members here as well, as that would, in my mind, amount to resentment being in the background, and sooner or later, this will become a dick measuring contest, as we are all guys, and egos are always a potential with us.


Pfff you guys measure away; I'm quietly comfortable and assured with my e-penile length! :)


Exogen wrote: So, if you feel turned off in any way despite my apology, I understand, and its no hard feelings. I also understand that you might simply not trust me at this point, as what reason do any of us really have to trust strangers on the internet. When I said that I wanted to start over and it would be water under the bridge when I thought you were just being a dick for no reason, or out of some intellectual bigotry given your derogatory (as I took them to mean in context) comments about older ideas, I thought you were just trying to dismiss me without dealing with the concepts, but I was sincere in that wish. I hope you will be able to see that as evidence that I am not the type to hold a grudge. And if you are interested in mending the result of this squabble, and turning a fresh page, I would be game.


Of course I am. Branch accepted and hands vigorously shaken. As much as I take no offense, I don't really mean it either. For me, the tussle can be fun too - not in a trolling way; I'm not looking to upset people - but a frank, robust exchange of ideas is better, in my opinion, than a pleasurable circle-jerk of compliments.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:23 am
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