Critique My Philosophy of Life?
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25-11-2013, 12:34 AM
RE: Critique My Philosophy of Life?
(24-11-2013 12:30 PM)Philosofer123 Wrote:  Once again, you are quibbling with my definition of free will, and you have failed to refute the regress argument. The regress argument establishes that ultimate responsibility does not exist, and I have already explained the relevance of that conclusion to my philosophy.

Your concept of responsibility is connected with your conception of free will.

The regress argument is irrelevant, it is a straw man. You haven't demonstrated that responsibility depends on contra-causal free will.

The contrary of what you are claiming is true. The concept of responsibility depends on determinism being true.

Contra-causal free will--which is what the regress argument aims to disprove--destroys the notion of responsibility. Responsibility means that we are able to express statements of the form A did X because Y. If contra-causal free will were possible then Y would be unspecifiable. You are trying to argue the absurd case that if I can say something like:

Andrew donated to the charity because _______

then Andrew is not responsible for his act of generosity. On your account we can't appeal to Andrew's personality, his upbringing, his experience of the charity, NOTHING because that somehow eliminates his responsibility. So by implication we can only make Andrew responsible for his act of generosity if and only if we can say:

Andrew donated to the charity because of no reason

If no reason can be provided for Andrew's donation then his behaviour is essentially random. In which case how can he be responsible--and hence praiseworthy--for a random and necessarily unmotivated act?
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25-11-2013, 12:50 AM
RE: Critique My Philosophy of Life?
(24-11-2013 12:02 PM)Philosofer123 Wrote:  In order to refute my "free will impossibilism", you must refute the regress argument that is presented in the document. You have failed to do so.

I agree that humans don't have contra-causal free will so there is no need for me to refute the regress argument. Contra-causal free will is incoherent so your argument is pointless. The regress argument has no relevance to free will or responsibility--it is an irrelevant contrivance that addresses a straw man, viz. contra-causal free will.

Quote:Simply disagreeing with my definition of "free will" is not a refutation.

Yes it is. Your definition of free will is incoherent and unwarranted. What you have done is analagous to the following:

(i) define human communication as telepathy;
(ii) demonstrate that humans don't have telepathic ability; and
(iii) conclude that humans don't in actuality communicate.

What is your justification for defining free will contra-causally? Where have you seen contra-causal free will operate? Why is it to be equated with human freedom?
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25-11-2013, 01:00 AM
RE: Critique My Philosophy of Life?
(24-11-2013 12:19 PM)Philosofer123 Wrote:  I present several arguments and considerations designed to show that peace of mind is the most effective way to achieve and maintain happiness (see bottom of page 5 and top of page 6).

The issue of the most effective way to achieve and maintain happiness is an entirely empirical matter, like the most effective way to avoid scurvy. It isn't a matter for speculation or of philosophy.

Quote:If you think you can refute these arguments, then please try to do so.

I don't need to refute speculations about an empirical matter. It was determined--contrary to Galen's speculations--that men and women have the same amount of ribs by anatomical dissection. There is no merit in speculating about how many ribs men have. You've presented no empirical evidence from neuroscience or psychology that "peace of mind is the most effective way to achieve and maintain happiness" so there is no case to answer. Your speculations have no authority or persuasive power.

Quote:And if you think you have a better way to achieve and maintain happiness (the way I define it), then I would like to hear it.

The onus is on you to present evidence for your claim that "peace of mind is the most effective way to achieve and maintain happiness". You bear the evidentiary burden and you have failed to satisfy it.
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25-11-2013, 01:13 AM
RE: Critique My Philosophy of Life?
(24-11-2013 12:28 PM)Philosofer123 Wrote:  You are correct that according to free will impossibilism, my traits are due entirely to luck. That said, I would recognize that I have those traits and I would feel fortunate to have them--which, in my view, is adequate for self-esteem. Regarding the notion of "competence", I can still recognize that I am competent in many ways, even if the fact that I am competent is ultimately a matter of luck.

That is inconsistent. If you can derive self-esteem from luck then you can also derive self-loathing from misfortune. Either happenstance is a legitimate basis for emoting or it isn't. You are special pleading. You want to divorce yourself from all negative emotions because--you claim--you are not "ultimately responsible" but you still want to accept the positive emotions even though you are also not "ultimately responsible" for those either.

This sort of internal inconsistency is crass.
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25-11-2013, 01:05 PM (This post was last modified: 25-11-2013 06:44 PM by Philosofer123.)
RE: Critique My Philosophy of Life?
(25-11-2013 12:34 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(24-11-2013 12:30 PM)Philosofer123 Wrote:  Once again, you are quibbling with my definition of free will, and you have failed to refute the regress argument. The regress argument establishes that ultimate responsibility does not exist, and I have already explained the relevance of that conclusion to my philosophy.

Your concept of responsibility is connected with your conception of free will.

The regress argument is irrelevant, it is a straw man. You haven't demonstrated that responsibility depends on contra-causal free will.

The contrary of what you are claiming is true. The concept of responsibility depends on determinism being true.

Contra-causal free will--which is what the regress argument aims to disprove--destroys the notion of responsibility. Responsibility means that we are able to express statements of the form A did X because Y. If contra-causal free will were possible then Y would be unspecifiable. You are trying to argue the absurd case that if I can say something like:

Andrew donated to the charity because _______

then Andrew is not responsible for his act of generosity. On your account we can't appeal to Andrew's personality, his upbringing, his experience of the charity, NOTHING because that somehow eliminates his responsibility. So by implication we can only make Andrew responsible for his act of generosity if and only if we can say:

Andrew donated to the charity because of no reason

If no reason can be provided for Andrew's donation then his behaviour is essentially random. In which case how can he be responsible--and hence praiseworthy--for a random and necessarily unmotivated act?

Again, my point is that ultimate responsibility is impossible. And that is all that is required to render irrational a number of negative emotions--they are based on a concept that you and I agree is incoherent.

If you believe that negative emotions such as regret and anger are rational in the absence of ultimate responsibility, then please explain how and why.

See also post #30.
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25-11-2013, 01:06 PM
RE: Critique My Philosophy of Life?
(25-11-2013 12:50 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(24-11-2013 12:02 PM)Philosofer123 Wrote:  In order to refute my "free will impossibilism", you must refute the regress argument that is presented in the document. You have failed to do so.

I agree that humans don't have contra-causal free will so there is no need for me to refute the regress argument. Contra-causal free will is incoherent so your argument is pointless. The regress argument has no relevance to free will or responsibility--it is an irrelevant contrivance that addresses a straw man, viz. contra-causal free will.

Quote:Simply disagreeing with my definition of "free will" is not a refutation.

Yes it is. Your definition of free will is incoherent and unwarranted. What you have done is analagous to the following:

(i) define human communication as telepathy;
(ii) demonstrate that humans don't have telepathic ability; and
(iii) conclude that humans don't in actuality communicate.

What is your justification for defining free will contra-causally? Where have you seen contra-causal free will operate? Why is it to be equated with human freedom?

Please see post #25.
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25-11-2013, 01:18 PM (This post was last modified: 25-11-2013 03:47 PM by Philosofer123.)
RE: Critique My Philosophy of Life?
(25-11-2013 01:00 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(24-11-2013 12:19 PM)Philosofer123 Wrote:  I present several arguments and considerations designed to show that peace of mind is the most effective way to achieve and maintain happiness (see bottom of page 5 and top of page 6).

The issue of the most effective way to achieve and maintain happiness is an entirely empirical matter, like the most effective way to avoid scurvy. It isn't a matter for speculation or of philosophy.

Quote:If you think you can refute these arguments, then please try to do so.

I don't need to refute speculations about an empirical matter. It was determined--contrary to Galen's speculations--that men and women have the same amount of ribs by anatomical dissection. There is no merit in speculating about how many ribs men have. You've presented no empirical evidence from neuroscience or psychology that "peace of mind is the most effective way to achieve and maintain happiness" so there is no case to answer. Your speculations have no authority or persuasive power.

Quote:And if you think you have a better way to achieve and maintain happiness (the way I define it), then I would like to hear it.

The onus is on you to present evidence for your claim that "peace of mind is the most effective way to achieve and maintain happiness". You bear the evidentiary burden and you have failed to satisfy it.

Good points, Chippy. You have persuaded me that I have not made the case that aiming for the achievement and maintenance of peace of mind is the most effective way to achieve and maintain happiness. It is just the most effective way of which I am aware. I have updated the document to reflect this change.

Thank you for your continued critique. This is exactly why I posted my philosophy.
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25-11-2013, 01:46 PM
RE: Critique My Philosophy of Life?
(23-11-2013 05:45 PM)Philosofer123 Wrote:  Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at the following link:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Byh6JnTg...sp=sharing

In the first half of the document, I present and defend the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism and negative hedonism. The second half of the document is devoted to ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind.

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit feedback so that it may be improved. I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!

To me "Philosophy" is outdated.

We now have the science of psychology and psychiatry on top of evolutionary biology. Human behavior is NOT complicated. Outside our artificial labels we have always had the capacity to be cruel to each other or be kind to each other. And we all would prefer someone be kind to us than cruel to us.

Where we go wrong is when we get physical in the face of being offended.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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25-11-2013, 01:50 PM
RE: Critique My Philosophy of Life?
(25-11-2013 01:13 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(24-11-2013 12:28 PM)Philosofer123 Wrote:  You are correct that according to free will impossibilism, my traits are due entirely to luck. That said, I would recognize that I have those traits and I would feel fortunate to have them--which, in my view, is adequate for self-esteem. Regarding the notion of "competence", I can still recognize that I am competent in many ways, even if the fact that I am competent is ultimately a matter of luck.

That is inconsistent. If you can derive self-esteem from luck then you can also derive self-loathing from misfortune. Either happenstance is a legitimate basis for emoting or it isn't. You are special pleading. You want to divorce yourself from all negative emotions because--you claim--you are not "ultimately responsible" but you still want to accept the positive emotions even though you are also not "ultimately responsible" for those either.

This sort of internal inconsistency is crass.

In building self-esteem, I celebrate my positive traits and abilities, while recognizing that they are ultimately a matter of luck. Regarding weaknesses, I simply work on eliminating them without dwelling on them.

I see no inconsistency in this approach. It is simply a matter of focusing on the positive.
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25-11-2013, 06:43 PM (This post was last modified: 25-11-2013 06:55 PM by Philosofer123.)
RE: Critique My Philosophy of Life?
(25-11-2013 12:34 AM)Chippy Wrote:  You are trying to argue the absurd case that if I can say something like:

Andrew donated to the charity because _______

then Andrew is not responsible for his act of generosity.

At first blush, it would appear that if Andrew donated to the charity because he is a generous person, then Andrew is indeed responsible for his act of generosity. The regress argument demonstrates that this prephilosophical intuition is flawed, because it shows that Andrew cannot be responsible for the fact that he is a generous person. That is, it shows that the fact that he is a generous person is due entirely to luck, and so his act of generosity is due entirely to luck. In this way, the regress argument shows that true (ultimate) responsibility is impossible, thereby rendering irrational a number of negative emotions that would have appeared to be rational on prephilosophical intuitions. And this is what makes the argument both relevant and therapeutically beneficial.
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