I don't know why I bother…

Oh Gawd! It is like Objectivism takes otherwise decent blokes and slowly distorts them into horrible discussion monsters. This is like, the second blog I’ve now been banned from. Amazing! I’ve never been banned from anywhere in my life before and within 3 short months I’ve been banned from two Objectivist lairs, and with the same argument no less: I’m bringing the quality of the blog down. (Just try and say that with a straight face and imagine talking to another person.)

This is me being speechless.

Seriously though, what’s up with that. Is this cult that is called Objectivism, so mind distorting that once you are sucked into it you stop debating like any other person? Does an Objectivist’s body eventually get as corrupted as their mind, so that in the end they end up slithering in the night, like a Lovecraftian nightmate, whispering “Man qua man qua man qua man qua man…”? Scary…

In any case, it’s honestly a shame to see Evanescent end up like this. I honestly thought that he would be better than that but it seems that he has become pretty much like his mentor (Hell, he even copied the same WordPress theme for fuck’s sake…) His previous comments gave me hope that, even with this horrible ideology, he would still remain conversational but I was wrong.

I read somewhere that Objectivism is like a way to have the same certainty as a religion but without the God aspect and this strikes me as true every time I talk to them. They have their prophet, Ayn Rand, and all her words are gold. They have the infallible philosophy and perfect moral system. They have their cult like group and bask in the groupthink (Why do you see so few Objectivists in the Atheosphere? It’s because they don’t really hang out outside of their kind). And so it goes

Oh well, what can you do. In any case it’s for the best as this kind of conversation is starting to get on my nerves. I can handle only so much condescension in one place and the Objectivists seem to have that in spades. it practically oozes from every sentence they make that is directed at any non-Objectivist. Of course I’m certain it all stems from them having discovered the ultimate Objective truth and everyone being too stupid not to see it. Pretty much like a theist really…

Man qua man qua man qua man qua man Cthulu ftagn!

21 thoughts on “I don't know why I bother…

  1. Don’t be suprised. It is nothing unusual – and as I came to know it does not matter whether people point their belief onto objectivity, a god, science or superstition. The fact that they believe is what is an immense source of power and ressources – be them wrong or right. Its like energy. Its not good or bad – in the first place – it IS. And about objectivity – they had a clear moment’s memory burning everything away in their mind so they cannot think of being other than this. They never understood objectivity as a guide to justice and higher perception, but for a way to live mankind is not made for. Sad souls. Weakening their link to what ever they have been before without knowing what awaits them when they lost everything. And – of curse – as always some enlightment is promised at the end. I wonder that you did not get bored before they kicked you out. 😉

  2. heh, sorry to do that to you 😉 Currently they’re just badmouthing me as always (calling me a lunatic and whatnot)

  3. I wonder if any of the commentees here actually bothered to visit the blogs db0 was banned from and seen the discussion? I suggest you do. You will see a ridiculous series of comments from db0 that demonstrate his complete ignorance and self-contradictions. Since he consistently would not listen to reason and kept repeated his nonsensical subjective opinions over and over, without noticing that every time he spoke he contradicted himself, I blocked him in the best interest of my blog.

    So, badmouth Objectivists all you like – if you really feel like you have anything really intellectual to say, why not visit these blogs and point out why we’re wrong – the ball is in your court. Note: if you don’t know what you’re talking about like db0, I wouldn’t bother.

    I see that Martino has commented on one of my articles – unfortunately he didn’t really address the real content of it. His objection amounted to “but we’re not all like that!”

    Anyway, I won’t be checking back here for replies so feel free to comment on my blog if you have anything worthwhile to say.

    All the best.

  4. Damn it – I went back on my word and replied here. Doh.

    I’m not a coward db0 – unfortunately I have no optimism about having a proper debate with you, as everything you’ve said on mine or Ergo’s blog has been a mass of contradictions.

    I’ll make you a deal: I’ll debate anything with you here or anywhere if you revoke your notions of subjectivism. Without doing that, everything you say reduces to meaningless contradiction. And if you STILL don’t understand why that is then there is no hope!

  5. I wouldn’t go to that country and that country also does not exist (and probably cannot exist). Make a realistic example.

  6. Many Muslim countries that implement Sharia law
    A) blame the victim for rape and sometimes punish her for it – there have been a few news stories to that effect ,sadly, recently
    B) A Muslim woman has half the legal voice of a Muslim man
    C) A non-Muslim has no legal voice
    D) For a rape to be recognized there has to be one observing non-participant Muslim male to witness and report on it.

    There may be other non-Muslim countries also with dubious rape laws, I don’t know, the above is just what springs to mind in answer to your challenge db0. Evanescent’s question was a quite realistic challenge. Such a country can and does exist.

  7. No. Even in a fundamentalist muslim country, if a woman is raped due to no fault of her own and it can be proven as such, then the rapist is punished.
    The difference is how they define “no fault of her own”
    What evanescent is bringing as an example is that if any muslim woman (girl, wife, mother) can be raped at any point, in front of anyone and the rapist will not be punished.

    Such a country does not exist. In the examples you brought almost always the idiots who run the country found some reason to blame the victim and even then, the rapist was also punished (AFAIK).

  8. No, another way of putting it is to restate Evanescent’s claim as would you go to a country where you consider the rape laws unacceptable. Most people I know do indeed consider various Sharia Law based Muslim countries rape laws unacceptable as I listed in my previous post (that was specifically based on a province in Malaysia that I am familiar with. Tourists are advised not to travel to that province as women can be raped without any legal repercussions because essentially such rape is acceptable there!)

    Now are you saying that all countries rape laws are acceptable or not?

  9. No, all countries rape laws are not acceptable. And as I said before, I wouldn’t go to a country wish such unacceptable laws.

    Now, if you’re going to ask me where I base my judgement of their laws, I will respond that I base it on my personal morality which is subjective.

  10. So if the country you lived in and wanted to stay living in had unacceptable rape laws, unacceptable according to your subjective personal morality what, if anything, would you do about it?

  11. First you have to explain how I came to be in that country in the first place, why I would keep wanting to live there and why is my morality not similar already (if I was raised there that is).

    Generally, if I am somewhere (Work, country, whatever) where I find something unacceptable, I leave.

  12. So you are saying that if you grew up in a country that, you as we converse now, would consider to have unacceptable rape laws, that you would have instead considered them acceptable?

    This is why your personal subjective morality is arbitrary and not morality at all. You are saying there is no basis to find these lws acceptable or unacceptable, your consideration just being based on the happenstance of where you were born and grew up. Presumably you therefore accept all the laws of your country and have no wish to change them. Moral progress is impossible?

    Your second paragraph contradicts your first. NOw I would ask how does your view on your country become unacceptable if your morals are the product of that country?

  13. So you are saying that if you grew up in a country that, you as we converse now, would consider to have unacceptable rape laws, that you would have instead considered them acceptable?

    No, what I am saying that If I grew up in a country that is considered to have unacceptable rape laws (for us), I would not be the same person. As a different person with a different morality, it is possible that I would have considered them acceptable.

    This is why your personal subjective morality is arbitrary and not morality at all. You are saying there is no basis to find these lws acceptable or unacceptable, your consideration just being based on the happenstance of where you were born and grew up. Presumably you therefore accept all the laws of your country and have no wish to change them. Moral progress is impossible?

    Not at all. I have my personal opinion on morality which is, most of the time, different than other people. I follow this morality to the best of my abilities and I condemn or praise actions that match my moral thinking. If asked why I believe why I do, I can base my reasoning on facts, ideology and personal experience (the mix of these makes my morality necessarily subjective). Given enough people with the same moral principles as me, the moral paradigm will shift to a position more comfortable to me. On the other hand, given a compelling reasoning for a different moral value, I will change my personal values to match. This does not mean that the new moral value is objective, only that it is better than what I had until now. Objective would mean that it would be the best that we could ever achieve.

    Your second paragraph contradicts your first. NOw I would ask how does your view on your country become unacceptable if your morals are the product of that country?

    My initial morality is shaped by growing up but is sufficiently modifed by my unique character and circumstances. As a result it might come out sufficiently different than the generally approved one. In that case I will either try to shift the paradigm (see above) or leave.

  14. No, what I am saying that If I grew up in a country that is considered to have unacceptable rape laws (for us), I would not be the same person. As a different person with a different morality, it is possible that I would have considered them acceptable.

    You are stating a trivial truth that many have different conceptions of morality but so what? Many have confused conceptions on evolution – does this make evolution dependent on the differential societal conceptions. No, some are simply mistaken due to false believes, false evaluations or false motivations. Why should there be any difference in morality. The idea of a culturally dependent morality is not morality at all. Morality, by definition, is universal otherwise there is not basis to expect others to conform to it. Anything else is not morality but a flad conception of one.

    Not at all. I have my personal opinion on morality which is, most of the time, different than other people

    Every is entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts. Opinions having nothing to do wiht what we are talking about.

    I follow this morality to the best of my abilities and I condemn or praise actions that match my moral thinking.

    Why? Given what you have claimed why should anyone listen to you? Just because it is good-for-you does not mean it is good-for-them.

    If asked why I believe why I do, I can base my reasoning on facts, ideology and personal experience (the mix of these makes my morality necessarily subjective).

    To achieve epistemic objectivity one needs to transcend one’s personal experience. If you chose not too then necessarily you argument is subjective but then if you chose not to why should anyone listen? It is just one opinion amongst many. If you want to convince others then you need to create an argument that is good-for-us, one that necessarily transcends your personal experience and ideology, then you have a chance of convincing others. Without it, you could be ignored and you have no basis to argue against being ignored.

    Given enough people with the same moral principles as me, the moral paradigm will shift to a position more comfortable to me. On the other hand, given a compelling reasoning for a different moral value, I will change my personal values to match. What is a “compelling reason”? A gun or hell? These are not justifications valid to use in moral arguments, they are immoral. So what is a “compelling reason”?

    This does not mean that the new moral value is objective, only that it is better than what I had until now.

    How does “better than” work without being epistemically objective?

    Objective would mean that it would be the best that we could ever achieve.

    False.This does not apply in science which is provisional and self-correcting why do you impose it as a requirement here. What is your argument to claim this?

    My initial morality is shaped by growing up but is sufficiently modifed by my unique character and circumstances. As a result it might come out sufficiently different than the generally approved one. In that case I will either try to shift the paradigm (see above) or leave.

    Your opinions might change and you might call that your personal morality but what has that to do with universal codes of conduct? Nothing.

  15. You are stating a trivial truth that many have different conceptions of morality but so what? Many have confused conceptions on evolution – does this make evolution dependent on the differential societal conceptions. No, some are simply mistaken due to false believes, false evaluations or false motivations. Why should there be any difference in morality. The idea of a culturally dependent morality is not morality at all. Morality, by definition, is universal otherwise there is not basis to expect others to conform to it. Anything else is not morality but a flad conception of one.

    This is not the same. The implications of a moral decision are as difficult to imagine as environmental changes. And while some moral decisions are easy to see where they might go bad, some others are not.
    Morality has always been subjective and culturally dependant. This “universal morality” has never existed before. This of course does not prevent from ethicists at various time and places to announce that they have discovered the ultimate morality and if only everyone would follow it…
    Morality is more based on evolution that it is like evolution.

    Every is entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts. Opinions having nothing to do wiht what we are talking about.

    And this is where I disagree. There is no factual base for morality for it is just an evolutionary trait.

    Why? Given what you have claimed why should anyone listen to you? Just because it is good-for-you does not mean it is good-for-them.

    I do not care about converting people actively. I lead my life and I give the example that I give. If people think that my life is better than theirs they might be curious why. This will lead them to discover the kind of morality I possess and perhaps copy it.
    I do believe that some ways of life are better than others and I do believe that my current philosophy for life is superior to all others (or else I would not use it) but that does not mean that this is objective. I could never assert such certainty.

    To achieve epistemic objectivity one needs to transcend one’s personal experience. If you chose not too then necessarily you argument is subjective but then if you chose not to why should anyone listen? It is just one opinion amongst many. If you want to convince others then you need to create an argument that is good-for-us, one that necessarily transcends your personal experience and ideology, then you have a chance of convincing others. Without it, you could be ignored and you have no basis to argue against being ignored.

    Same answer as above

    What is a “compelling reason”? A gun or hell? These are not justifications valid to use in moral arguments, they are immoral. So what is a “compelling reason”?

    I would call a line of reasoning similar to what Alonzo does as pretty compelling 🙂
    Specifically, I would expect someone to explain to me why a current moral value is wrong for me to hold and what I would gain by discarding it (and vice-versa with a positive value). I am generally more inclined to investigate the morality of people who’s life I admire but my current philosophy has kept me happy for all my life 🙂

    How does “better than” work without being epistemically objective?

    It makes sense when you hear it, and works when you use it.

    False.This does not apply in science which is provisional and self-correcting why do you impose it as a requirement here. What is your argument to claim this?

    Because the only thing that limits science is missing knowledge. In science there is something unexplainable and then we theorize a solution and see if it works.
    In morality there is no missing knowledge to discover. There is no unexplainable behaviour in that sense. I do now know how else to explain it.

    Your opinions might change and you might call that your personal morality but what has that to do with universal codes of conduct? Nothing.

    Isn’t a universal code of conduct just somethnig that a larger circle of people have accepted? In the past, the “universal code of conduct” affected one tribe. Then one city-nation. Then kingdom. Then one nation and now, “some” codes of conduct have been accepted by everyone. Given an alien race with different society structure and circumstances, it would not be universal anymore.
    I would even argue, that universal would become whichever morality meme has the largest competitive advantage

  16. This is not the same. The implications of a moral decision are as difficult to imagine as environmental changes. And while some moral decisions are easy to see where they might go bad, some others are not.

    Just because some situations are difficult does not mean they are impossible. This looks like a technical argument from ignorance, an informal fallacy, You have not yet established a qualitative difference.

    Morality has always been subjective and culturally dependant.

    You are equivocating. As I have repeatedly said opinions are opinions but it is the facts we are concerned about in real morality. Your morality then is of no concern to the problem I am interested in, which everyone including you claims they are interested in and in which you are asserting does not exist but have given no argument to that effect. Your opinion is not an argument.

    And this is where I disagree. There is no factual base for morality for it is just an evolutionary trait.

    This is false ethics is concerned with facts of the matter. You can ignore them or rename them but they do not go away. Even your subjective morality has an objective structure hence people can be influenced and manipulated in a reasonably predictable fashion such as in “marketing”. To deny any such facts is to deny any morality even a subjective one. You have to accept the facts of the English language and the internet even to have this conversation with me. The fact that we have an evolutionary derived capacity to discuss morality is not sufficient for ethics. What is your argument rather than an assertion that makes your “morality” a different category to everything else?

    I do believe that some ways of life are better than others and I do believe that my current philosophy for life is superior to all others (or else I would not use it) but that does not mean that this is objective. I could never assert such certainty.

    There you go again, what has “certainty” got to do with it? It does not matter what “you believe” we all have beliefs and some are true and some are false. It is how we know which are true and false, via epistemic objectivity, that is important.

    I would call a line of reasoning similar to what Alonzo does as pretty compelling

    Good but that is an objective argument so how can you now accept this having repeatedly rejected it in everything else you say?

    It makes sense when you hear it, and works when you use it (re “better than”).

    This is not an answer. I accept that many people cannot consciously explicate their underlying reasoning process but that does not mean we cannot objectively discover how such reasoning processes work. Indeed Mackie, Fyfe and other do provide an objective model of the products of such process and of “better than” and this is what I was asking. With your approach how do you defend yourself against making mistakes? And do you not think it immoral on your own terms to fail to detect mistakes in your moral reasoning you otherwise could?

    Because the only thing that limits science is missing knowledge. In science there is something unexplainable and then we theorize a solution and see if it works.
    In morality there is no missing knowledge to discover. There is no unexplainable behaviour in that sense. I do now know how else to explain it.

    This sounds absurd. You keep on asserting what is clearly claim yourself as unexplainable behavior – your subjective morality – and this is exactly the type of field that science can and has investigated. Again you are asserting. without evidence just opinion, that there is no “missing knowledge” – how to you show this?

    Isn’t a universal code of conduct just somethnig that a larger circle of people have accepted? In the past, the “universal code of conduct” affected one tribe. Then one city-nation. Then kingdom. Then one nation and now, “some” codes of conduct have been accepted by everyone. Given an alien race with different society structure and circumstances, it would not be universal anymore.
    I would even argue, that universal would become whichever morality meme has the largest competitive advantage

    You keep on refusing to even understand what objective means. Your examples above are all example of your moral subjectivity writ large whether it is dictated by a king, god or tyranny of the majority. These are all subjective moralities and not what I am talking about. i am talking about the scientific investigation of codes of conduct and identifying the underlying structures of value and obligation that exist in human brains and their interactions. just as our visual system is universal in human brains so is our valuing capacity.

  17. Damn your argumentation Martino. You make me waste too much time thinking about this stuff so that I am able to respond 🙂

    Just because some situations are difficult does not mean they are impossible. This looks like a technical argument from ignorance, an informal fallacy, You have not yet established a qualitative difference.

    I believe that the burden of proof falls on your to display where the similarities betweene evolutionary theory and ethics lie. I also expected that you would assume this is an argument from ignorance but I just have not seen how it can be accomplished. This I think goes back to my impression that you are not talking about morality per-se but rather meta-ethics. You’re talking about having a scientific method (Is this the role of DU?) for discovering the correct moral action in every situation. I am still not certain how feasible that is.

    You are equivocating. As I have repeatedly said opinions are opinions but it is the facts we are concerned about in real morality. Your morality then is of no concern to the problem I am interested in, which everyone including you claims they are interested in and in which you are asserting does not exist but have given no argument to that effect. Your opinion is not an argument.

    I don’t see where I am equivocating. What I said is the historical example. My argument is not my opinion but rather history itself.

    This is false ethics is concerned with facts of the matter. You can ignore them or rename them but they do not go away. Even your subjective morality has an objective structure hence people can be influenced and manipulated in a reasonably predictable fashion such as in “marketing”. To deny any such facts is to deny any morality even a subjective one. You have to accept the facts of the English language and the internet even to have this conversation with me. The fact that we have an evolutionary derived capacity to discuss morality is not sufficient for ethics. What is your argument rather than an assertion that makes your “morality” a different category to everything else?

    I do not understand what you are trying to say…You argued that I was using my own facts, which I took to mean that morality is based on facts. This is what I dissagree. Morality is not based on facts but rather evolutionary competitive advantage. Whichever morality gave the greatest competitive advantage to the society that utilized it, became the norm. This for me, means that the current norm is arbitrary and I just happen to have the western civilization’s norm (or something close to it) because I happened to be born in a Western society.

    There you go again, what has “certainty” got to do with it? It does not matter what “youuu believe” we all have beliefs and some are true and some are false. It is how we know which are true and false, via epistemic objectivity, that is important.

    What I argue is that you cannot label a moral belief as true or false but rather only as “good” or “bad”, and you can only label it that way because you already posses a morality yourself. For example, I cannot see how the moral value that “abortion is acceptable under some circumstances” is “true”. I can agree with it, or modify it to suit my own philosophy but I cannot see where truth comes into play.

    Good but that is an objective argument so how can you now accept this having repeatedly rejected it in everything else you say?

    It is compelling in the way that it makes sense to me when I listen to it and I cannot find any argument against it.

    This is not an answer. I accept that many people cannot consciously explicate their underlying reasoning process but that does not mean we cannot objectively discover how such reasoning processes work. Indeed Mackie, Fyfe and other do provide an objective model of the products of such process and of “better than” and this is what I was asking. With your approach how do you defend yourself against making mistakes? And do you not think it immoral on your own terms to fail to detect mistakes in your moral reasoning you otherwise could?

    This is what I said above. Perhaps this meta-ethics position is a superior method which is why I have added Alonzo’s feed to my priority feed as he seems to make sense. However I am still digesting this whole take on it. Still I believe that the answer I gave above is indeed an answer. I am not compelled by it because it is objective but rather because my subjective morality is closer to what he is stating. Since he is using the DU to reach his moral outcomes, perhaps that means that you are indeed correct and I have subconciously been using a form of DU and thus I have come to very similar position to him. I do not know and perhaps I will not in the foreseeable future. I believe that once ad DUist makes a moral statement to which I disagree we will find out how our argumentation fares against each other.

    This sounds absurd. You keep on asserting what is clearly claim yourself as unexplainable behavior – your subjective morality – and this is exactly the type of field that science can and has investigated. Again you are asserting. without evidence just opinion, that there is no ?missing knowledge? – how to you show this?

    I do not claim that my morality is unexplainable. I claim it is a result of an evolutionary process, rather explainable really.
    Once again, it falls to you to show what missing knowledge is missing from my explanation.

    You keep on refusing to even understand what objective means. Your examples above are all example of your moral subjectivity writ large whether it is dictated by a king, god or tyrranny of the majority. These are all subjective moralities and not what I am talking about. i am talking about the scientific investigation of codes of conduct and identifying the underlying structures of value and obligation that exist in human brains and their interactions. just as our visual system is universal in human brains so is our valuing capacity.

    Meta-Ethics, yes. Although I went through this before I will just state once again that I am not certain that this research can make a difference as it will have to compete with the other memes in an evolutionary way. Perhaps it will come on top, perhaps it will not. And in the later case it will not matter.

  18. Now goddamit agree with me!

    Well the basic issue I have is with all forms of subjectivism – ethical subjectivism, moral relativism, non-cognitivism and divine command theory. As far as I can see they are all arbitrary and no grounds to provide guidance as to how people can beneficially interact with each other. Apart from the world of fiction, I remain unconvinced of any subjective reality which they all seem to require. I was of the view that only some methodological naturalistic or scientific approach could solve this problem the alternative being nihilism which is what I think all subjective theories are – except they do not admit it. I have started to see that the blocks to an objective approach such as “is/ought”, “fact/value” and the “naturalistic fallacy” are no different to dilemmas in other fields such as cognitive science and “mind/brain duality”, there are solutions there and so there are solutions here.

    So I have investigated various objective models most of which are flawed, still less so than their subjective alternatives, to the extent that I have been choosing the best one found as any are better than subjective models. I have and will use DU here in our discussion but I still have issues (although only a few) with that.

    As for your view on morality there is nothing to agree or disagree with. What you say is pretty much correct as how morality has worked historically, even as there have been claims to objectivity – usually meaning absolute certainty – which we have learned from science and th enlightenment is the wrong path to knowledge. I am asking,to free your self of the schackles of religious thinking including avoiding any substitute “absolute certain” model – which subjectivists wrongly think are the only objective models out there- I reject these too! (Not because I don’t like them, which I don’t but because they are ultimately subjective models in disguise). Religious morality has absolutely 🙂 nothing to do with morality! Once you can free yourself of that, you will see there are no great dangers in looking for an objective model and finding something that largely works, like DU.

  19. what twadlle what crap are you people on this planet or is this sci fi you try to sound soooo deep sooo caring ahh is a rose but a rose . what drivel

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