There is no such thing as evil
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18-06-2014, 12:41 AM (This post was last modified: 18-06-2014 12:51 AM by Luminon.)
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 06:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I wouldn't classify my reasons as being good, why do you attach that label? What value (additional information) is provided by including that label? What assumptions have you made with regards to my position?
I made an assumption that you are a human and use common human language, with words like good or bad. You must know what these words colloquially mean to most people.

If I took your talk seriously, you would be a stoic. Are you a stoic? Stoics were a philosophical sect that claimed we can not judge if things are or aren't good, so we can't label them and choose among them. I think the founder of the order claimed that he can not prefer any direction over another, so he had a group of friends to steer him away from chasms and chariots and wild dogs.

But in that case you couldn't justify choosing stoicism! You could not justify choosing anything, such as talking to me. Later you write that you "want" some things. OK. Let's say the things you "want" are "good" and vice versa. That is a valid argument, unless you are a masochist.

(17-06-2014 06:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  These are awkward statements. It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, because your goal is to prove that a square peg is actually round.
I am not interested in giving myself the most freedom, I am willing to compromise sometimes, depending on what my goal is.
People can enslave me. It is disingenuous to state that I recognise that they cannot.
There is nothing (with regards universal and consistent) to precluding the concept that Might rules, that the most powerful can rule the roost and force others to comply to their will.
I refrain, not due to universal consistency, but due to the compromise of wanting to live within a safe and stable society. I could choose to live outside that society, I could choose to raid that society that I don't belong to, taking what I want. It is my choice, I accept the risks and compromises of either decision thus there is nothing universal.
I have to use awkward statements, so that they are vague enough to be true both for your language and the language of general society, since you refuse to use common words like "good". Compromise is not contradictory with freedom. Freedom can only exist within a structure.
Your compromise is compatible with universal morality. It creates a social order and freedom can only exist within an order. I don't care what you could choose or other people could choose, only what you actually do. Choices, even bad choices or choices never taken create a space for moral choice.

Safe and stable society is universally preferable, it can be labelled as "good". Even thieves and murderers want to live in a safe and stable society, they just arbitrarily choose to make society not so stable and safe for others. They actually do that, regardless of the risk of being caught. But contrary to their actions, thieves believe in property rights, because they want to keep the loot. Murderers believe in the right to life, because they don't want to be murdered.

(17-06-2014 06:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I have already shown that you have summed up my position incorrectly.
But one thing to point out here. Just because a bunch of people can get together and come up with a set of rules for the group (society) this does not mean that the rules represent universal moral truths. A rule could just as easily be an agreement to drive on the left side of the road. There is nothing evil about driving on the right side of the road, it just suits people's goal of survival if there is an agreement as to which side of the road to drive on.
Same thing for murder, there is nothing evil about murder, it just suits people's goal of survival if there is an agreement not to murder each other.
Yes, many rules are just for convenience and many groups have arbitrary rules. But as I said, we know that murder is evil, because the murderer doesn't want to be murdered - and it's logically impossible as a universal rule. All we need for the test is two people in a room. Can two of them be simultaneously murdered? Nope. Only one can. If the other guy dies, it is either suicide or self-defense. And is there a way to objectively choose which one should be murdered? Nope. So we know that murder is impossible to justify objectively. If you are objective, you can not be a murderer.

(17-06-2014 06:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  These are arbitrary rules. They are not to be discovered via an objective universal method. You are assuming that all people are vulnerable and thus not in a position of power and thus need reciprocal laws offering protection to all. You are assuming all people want to live in a society and are happy to be ruled rather than being ruler. You are assuming what is common human behavoural traits are a universal rather than being specific to humanity. You are assuming that all people are born essentially equal.
Nope. I am an anarchist, which means I see no objective logical justification for existence of positions of power. Otherwise I'd have a burden of proof to objectively prove why some particular power system is better than others. Nope, anarchy is simply a civil society with rules but without rulers. I can justify that objectively (I just did, with murder etc), so it's obligatory for all rational people.

I don't assume anything! People are not equal, but except in the stance on aggression. Nobody wants aggression initiated against them. If they wanted that, they'd just pay a dominatrix to whip them, which would not be an aggression, but business.

Even a ruler wants to be free, because he doesn't want any other ruler above him. There was no über-führer above führer Hitler and no bolshoi-batyushka above batyushka Stalin. Even they wanted to be free. If rulership itself was good, then they'd have someone to rule them and so on o the infinity, which is impossible. Evil is not in the desire to be free, but in the infinite douchebaggery of not granting the same rights to others that we grant ourselves. There is nothing arbitrary about universality.

(17-06-2014 06:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  No that's not what I do. There is nothing tough about my words. I do not follow the golden rule. I don't know if I follow UPB. I do what is in my personal best interest because I am me, and I feel my own hunger pains, my own physical pains, my own boredom, I have a vested interest in my own survival.
That is not mutually exclusive with what I say. It's just a very, very specific version of what I say.

We actually came up independently with a set of rules that boil down to the same behavior in practice. That is possible only if my rules are more vague versions of your rules. It's impossible if our rules were different.

(17-06-2014 06:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  No, it is not rational.
It is a belief and can be used to act irrationally.
Lets say you visit China, a society that is not your own. You walk past a hungry beggar and give him your own food. You go hungry this lunchtime but he is fed.
How does this benefit yourself? It doesn't influence your own society so there will be no reciprocal. You have suffered to someone else's gain. This appears to me to be irrational. Of course you could say that it alleviated your sympathy pains, your empathy and guilt, but those too are irrational. You are not the hungry begger, why would you be motivated to suffer in his place?
I could say evolution wired us for empathy. I could say this is a hypothetical example, not a real situation.
But I say the choice to give someone lunch is not a moral choice, it is a preference. We can not make a moral rule out of giving up our lunch, because then we'd have to give up our lunch all the time. So charity is not a moral obligation and not giving up our lunch is not immoral. It's just douchey, but it's not initiating aggression against the beggar, it's not taking the food from him.
In the same way, it is impossible to justify objectively forcing me, if I'm really douchey, to help a beggar.
I know it makes me sound like a douchebag, but even bigger douchebags are those who would shoot others for not helping a beggar, such as the IRS. And I'd probably help a beggar, if I wasn't one myself at the time.




We all know that being hungry is not universally preferable. The beggar knows that, that's why he begs. But if I don't give him food, that doesn't make him more hungry. That would be like if I choose not to buy from Microsoft, I'm not stealing from Microsoft. If I choose not to join a church, I'm not actively blaspheming against scripture (even though the scripture probably says that).

(17-06-2014 06:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  This sounds like Kant. Kant is an idiot whom doesn't understand diversity.
If 100% of people are gay then there will be no more babies and human society will die off.
but in reality we don't have 100% of people being gay.
There is nothing immoral with being gay or choosing not to procreate. Kant may rant but he is still an idiot.
I don't think Kant or me claim that. Being gay or choosing not to procreate have no moral dimension. We own ourselves, we can do with ourselves what we want.

It would only be immoral if someone made a rule that not procreating is good and then he made an exception for himself. In the same way, it is immoral when a politician makes laws against forceful taking of other people's property and then he commands the IRS to take other people's property forcefully if they resist.

(17-06-2014 06:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  They are not wrong. They are just doing what they believe to be the right thing. From my perspective it endangers me, so I see them as a threat. We all have different perspectives, there is no universal right and wrong.
These are self-detonating arguments.
What if they believe endangering you is the right thing?
What if my perspective is that not everyone has different perspectives?

These are basic logical mistakes, if you make them, we can't debate further.

(17-06-2014 06:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I don't moralise at all. I have no beliefs in good, evil, right, wrong, moral obligation, normatives...
You claim so, but your claims of actions say something different. I'm not asking about what you'd do alone, but what you'd do in a social action. Saying you don't have any social actions is not an answer and it's also most probably not true. If you lived alone on an island, you'd have no interests debating me. And no opportunity, anyway.

(17-06-2014 06:50 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Distinction is a belief if you are distinguishing between good and evil as there is no objective way to discover what is good and what is evil, thus you must rely upon personal belief. I don't have this belief and I don't make this distinction.
If you keep insisting this of me then our conversation will be over. There is no point talking to a prick with his fingers in his ears.
You're avoiding the answer. Relying on personal belief says nothing about the method of how did you arrive at this personal belief, which is the main thing. If your method is not objective, then you have no reason to resent if someone else with different subjective beliefs does something that you don't like. If you resent that, you are making a case for objectivity. Basic logic. I'm afraid we can't continue without basic logic.
You talk as if you were living alone on an island and then when I include other people, you use the objective morality or social conventions which you claim not to have.
But I thank you for the opportunity to present my arguments, maybe some of the readers will catch on.
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18-06-2014, 12:43 AM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(16-06-2014 07:07 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  I think the concepts of good and evil are subjective. I don't believe in any universal good or evil.

This,

I agree.

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." Orson Welles
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18-06-2014, 01:04 AM (This post was last modified: 18-06-2014 01:10 AM by Luminon.)
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 06:58 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(17-06-2014 03:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  For example, enslaving your neighbors forcefully or getting them addicted to meth that you'd sell would bring you a real tangible benefit through evil. Now, that would amount to you making a rule that it is beneficial that people be addicted to meth and then you excepting yourself from that rule and placing yourself in control of them.

You can't possibly be serious. What benefit exactly would that bring ? In fact if that were possible, and that were the course taken by humans, we would all be losers. No one would benefit for that pathetic childish example. We have evolved to perceive "good " as that which promotes GROUP survival, in the long run, and within that paradigm, also maximizes, as far as possible individual freedom, and personal fulfillment, (which assumes a well adjusted healthy personality).
It would bring an answer to Stevil, who insist that he's alone on an island. Hypothetical questions deserve hypothetical answers Wink
Anyway, which example do you mean? The slavery of 100 % population (which is logically impossible) or the slavery of some portion of population, in which case it is logically impossible to objectively decide who gets to be a slave?

It may be a surprise to you, but we don't have to wait for millions of years of evolution to find out which behavior maximizes personal freedom and personal fulfillment. We can propose rational hypotheses and test them much faster than evolution can. In fact, evolution seems to favor historically hell a lot of monarchies, empires and slavery regimes. Mainstream democracies are a 20th century invention. So there's that. How comes you aren't a monarchist?

(17-06-2014 10:13 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Don't bother Bucky, he thinks that anything that limits personal freedom whatsoever, even if done for the benefit of the group as a whole, is akin to slavery and is evil.
Depends if that person is subject to that limitation as well. Consistency, consistency, consistency. Freedom for you is freedom for me. If that person can make rules, I can make rules.

(18-06-2014 12:43 AM)Dee Wrote:  
(16-06-2014 07:07 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  I think the concepts of good and evil are subjective. I don't believe in any universal good or evil.

This,

I agree.
Fair enough, in that case you can't complain if someone else's good or evil infringes upon you. See you on the empty island. (oxymoron intended)
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18-06-2014, 01:31 AM (This post was last modified: 18-06-2014 01:34 AM by Mathilda.)
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(17-06-2014 04:51 AM)Luminon Wrote:  This is a valid topic, one of the most important questions in the world.

I have an objective definition of good and evil.
Of course, the proof is kind of long and requires logical skills, which few people have.


I find it hilarious that one of Jeremy's threads has been derailed by someone else delusional and egotistical.


(17-06-2014 04:51 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Just to give you the end conclusion, good is maximal freedom. Freedom means potential variability of a system. Variability is maximal in a certain kind of order, which is a cybernetic hierarchical arrangement, the arrangement from the greatest complexity to the lowest. Systems with greater complexity can express more abstract ideas than less complex systems, which can only express more concrete ideas. Abstract ideas can express the concrete, but it does not work vice versa. This is the principle of hierarchy of abstraction / variability / freedom.
Good is all that strives to evaluate all things and values and institutions, cultural or otherwise in terms of variability and put them into a correct order, that allows for maximal variability. It's kind of difficult to imagine, unless you know something from cybernetics... CPU has more transistors than all the perifery devices, to arrange them differently would be to limit the variability of CPU and the whole computer.
Evil is of course that which perverts the logical hierarchy of abstract values and places more concrete things in control of the more abstract things.

By your definition emotions and instincts are evil because that they limit the range of options available to us when performing action selection.
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18-06-2014, 01:59 AM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(18-06-2014 12:41 AM)Luminon Wrote:  You talk as if you were living alone on an island and then when I include other people, you use the objective morality or social conventions which you claim not to have.
It is incredibly frustrating that you don't listen.
I do not talk as if I am alone on an island. I have many times referenced interactions in social circumstances. I don't know where you get that from. Its as if you are not talking to me but instead are addressing a strawman you have constructed.

I do not use objective morality in my explanations, again I don't know where you get that from.

Very frustrating.
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18-06-2014, 02:21 AM (This post was last modified: 18-06-2014 02:39 AM by Luminon.)
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(18-06-2014 01:31 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I find it hilarious that one of Jeremy's threads has been derailed by someone else delusional and egotistical.


(18-06-2014 01:31 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  By your definition emotions and instincts are evil because that they limit the range of options available to us when performing action selection.
We own ourselves, we can do anything we want with our emotions and instincts. Morality deals with social relationships, not what we do with our property.

It only says nobody can make arbitrary rules about our property. People may choose to work with their emotions and instincts in various ways, that is their right, their property.
I am worried you don't understand such a basic thing and yet you call me delusional and egotistical. And yet I'm sure you don't want others to manipulate or force your emotions.

(18-06-2014 01:59 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(18-06-2014 12:41 AM)Luminon Wrote:  You talk as if you were living alone on an island and then when I include other people, you use the objective morality or social conventions which you claim not to have.
It is incredibly frustrating that you don't listen.
I do not talk as if I am alone on an island. I have many times referenced interactions in social circumstances. I don't know where you get that from. Its as if you are not talking to me but instead are addressing a strawman you have constructed.

I do not use objective morality in my explanations, again I don't know where you get that from.

Very frustrating.
That's because you don't use common language. I have to translate. For some mysterious reason you don't use the word "good", yet you are not a stoic, you make choices. And as you say, you make choices socially and consistently.
If I define morality as a consistent method of making social (universal) choices, you have morality. Or at the very least, you have ethics. It is my claim that your ethics are compatible with universal morality. What worries me, is that your language seems arbitrary. I can't talk to people with arbitrary language. That reminds me of Humpty Dumpty.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/430352

Which brings me to the question, how were you raised as a child? What kind of arguments did your parents use to control your behavior?
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18-06-2014, 02:27 AM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(18-06-2014 02:21 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(18-06-2014 01:31 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I find it hilarious that one of Jeremy's threads has been derailed by someone else delusional and egotistical.


(18-06-2014 01:31 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  By your definition emotions and instincts are evil because that they limit the range of options available to us when performing action selection.
We own ourselves, we can do anything we want with our emotions and instincts. Morality deals with social relationships, not what we do with our property.

It only says nobody can make arbitrary rules about our property. People may choose to work with their emotions and instincts in various ways, that is their right, their property.
I am worried you don't understand such a basic thing and yet you call me delusional and egotistical. Projection much?

Your property 'rules' are just as arbitrary dumbass... Facepalm

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18-06-2014, 02:44 AM (This post was last modified: 18-06-2014 02:56 AM by Luminon.)
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(18-06-2014 02:27 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Your property 'rules' are just as arbitrary dumbass... Facepalm
No, dumbass. Property rights are the negative, zero basic state of things that needs no justification or clarification and needs no effort to uphold. In fact, effort is needed to violate property rights and this can only occur arbitrarily, never universally.

Even the civil code defines property rights as the passive obligation on everyone on Earth not to violate your relationship to some thing. It is not a relationship between you and a piece of property, it is between you and the whole universe by default, that's what negative obligation means. Also known as first principles or "natural law" in legal studies. Property rights are a special case of the principle of integrity, they are essential to maintain our integrity. Voluntary trade is the way to thrive economically while maintaining everyone's integrity.
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18-06-2014, 02:56 AM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
Personally, I loath variability.

Asking the shop-dude what's the difference between the Hitachi HX-538 and the HX-538s and why therefore there is a $100 difference. He doesn't fucking know!

I choose to walk out of the shop. That's my variable... on/off ... ones and zeros.

I know hundreds of people who would go back to the pre-Thatcher era in a heart-beat... steady and secure job, dependable income, less freedom, less choice. Are these people on some lower plain of consciousness?

Consider

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18-06-2014, 03:01 AM
RE: There is no such thing as evil
(18-06-2014 02:56 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Personally, I loath variability.

Asking the shop-dude what's the difference between the Hitachi HX-538 and the HX-538s and why therefore there is a $100 difference. He doesn't fucking know!

I choose to walk out of the shop. That's my variable... on/off ... ones and zeros.

I know hundreds of people who would go back to the pre-Thatcher era in a heart-beat... steady and secure job, dependable income, less freedom, less choice. Are these people on some lower plain of consciousness?

Consider
Variability does not mean complexity. It means a potential complexity, should you choose that you want it. However, variability is necessary so that people get the one choice they actually want. There is no way a non-free world can satisfy everyone, but free people can all do the one thing they really want, even if it's different for everyone.
So my argument still stands Wink

And yeah, I know a tall Chinese guy! And I know a Woman Who Is Not Like That!
Specific instances and exceptions don't always overrule a general principle. So saying them does not contribute to the debate.
(These are references to classy Stef's radio phrases to some bad arguments he gets a lot, I couldn't resist)
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