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Re: Objectivity [was Re: [hackers-il] Re: [Israel.pm] Is University Really Necessary?]

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  • Nadav Har'El
    ... There are several problems with this definition, and I ll mention one below, but I have to admit it s not very fair that I disprove a definition based on
    Message 1 of 28 , Apr 19 1:43 AM
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      On Thu, Apr 19, 2007, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: Objectivity [was Re: [hackers-il] Re: [Israel.pm] Is University Really Necessary?]":
      > On Friday 30 March 2007, Arik Baratz wrote:
      > > On 30 Mar 2007 00:39:48 -0700, Shlomi Fish <shlomif@...> wrote:
      > > > The meaning of moral in Neo-Tech is simple and direct: Whatever is
      > > > consciously done to help fill human biological needs is good and moral
      > > > (e.g., the productive actions of honest people). Whatever is consciously
      > > > done to harm or prevent the filling of human biological needs is bad and
      > > > immoral (e.g., the destructive actions of mystics and neocheaters).
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > As you can see it's even a scientific definition. In this context "evil"
      > > > == "bad".
      > >
      > > Bah. This definition sucks. Neo-Tech might think it's okay and you
      > > might agree. I don't. It's using subjective terms in a "scientific"
      > > definition. Nope, I don't buy it.
      > >
      >
      > Why?
      >
      > Show me the Proof!!!
      >
      > The burden of proof is on you.

      There are several problems with this definition, and I'll mention one below,
      but I have to admit it's not very fair that I "disprove" a definition based
      on your very short and probably not entirely accurate explanation of it - I
      didn't like it when you did that to Kant and Kirkegaard after my explanations,
      and I probably shouldn't be doing this to Neo-Tech. I have to admit that I
      never read anything about "Neo-Tech" except what you said on this list.

      I think Arik's point was, though, that there's nothing "scientific" about
      this definition. What makes this definition more "scientific" than a dozen
      other definitions of ethics? For example, how is this definition of ethics
      based on intention, better than a definition based on actual consequences
      (aka "utilitarian" ethics)?

      Anyway, the biggest flaw I see with this definition is that it relies on
      a person's intentions, which are very subjective, rather than the actual
      consequences of his actions, which is more objective (because everyone
      sees the consequences of an action, but only the person knows his intentions).
      The problem is that except in the extreme case of psychopaths (who are unable
      to understand the concept of other human beings having their own lives and
      wishes), most "bad" actions are somehow justified in the eyes of its doer.

      If you asked a white slave-owner whether he's conciously harming his negro
      slave's biological needs, he would say no: he would say that he took care of
      their basic needs (minimal amount of food, clothing, shelter, etc.) and would
      claim (wrongly of course, but he thought this was true) that negros are so
      privitive that left to their own devices they would be far worse off. He
      would add that furthermore, without the slaves the slave-owners would go
      bankrupt and starve, so that it is *freeing* the slaves which is immoral
      because it would bring "biological" harm to the slave-owners.

      A second problem, possibly in your short explanation and not in neo-tech
      itself, is the definition of "biological needs". What are these, and why
      discuss them and not the "wishes" or "will" of the person instead? A few
      obvious examples: a person has the biological need to have sex. Does this make
      resisting being raped an immoral act? Is stealing food moral because a
      person needs to eat? Is selling real-estate for money an immoral act,
      because people need to sleep somewhere and you're prevented them a place
      to sleep by charging money? And what about people's non-biological needs,
      like the need to be free, the need to be happy, the need not to be bored,
      etc. - is it moral to violate these needs? For example, is it moral according
      to your definition to keep a human in a large cage while catering for his
      biological needs (giving him food, water, air, sex, etc.)? Can this defintion
      explain why (or whether) it is moral to do this to a convict, but not to
      "ordinary" people?


      --
      Nadav Har'El | Thursday, Apr 19 2007, 1 Iyyar 5767
      nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
      Phone +972-523-790466, ICQ 13349191 |A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is
      http://nadav.harel.org.il |a fine for doing well.
    • Arik Baratz
      ... No it is not. In my reality this definition sucks. You may buy into this definition, because you subscribe to some absolute truth. I don t. We don t have
      Message 2 of 28 , Apr 20 1:22 AM
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        On 19 Apr 2007 00:47:19 -0700, Shlomi Fish <shlomif@...> wrote:
        > On Friday 30 March 2007, Arik Baratz wrote:

        > > Bah. This definition sucks. Neo-Tech might think it's okay and you
        > > might agree. I don't. It's using subjective terms in a "scientific"
        > > definition. Nope, I don't buy it.
        >
        > Why?
        >
        > Show me the Proof!!!
        >
        > The burden of proof is on you.

        No it is not. In my reality this definition sucks. You may buy into
        this definition, because you subscribe to some absolute truth. I
        don't. We don't have to agree, and our world view is therefore
        different. No proof necessary or even possible.

        -- Arik
      • Shlomi Fish
        ... OK. ... Actually no. Most evil people are well-aware that their actions are destructive. They never admit it, but they know it. When Mao killed 60 million
        Message 3 of 28 , Apr 20 11:46 PM
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          On Thursday 19 April 2007, Nadav Har'El wrote:
          > On Thu, Apr 19, 2007, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: Objectivity [was Re:
          [hackers-il] Re: [Israel.pm] Is University Really Necessary?]":
          > > On Friday 30 March 2007, Arik Baratz wrote:
          > > > On 30 Mar 2007 00:39:48 -0700, Shlomi Fish <shlomif@...> wrote:
          > > > > The meaning of moral in Neo-Tech is simple and direct: Whatever is
          > > > > consciously done to help fill human biological needs is good and
          > > > > moral (e.g., the productive actions of honest people). Whatever is
          > > > > consciously done to harm or prevent the filling of human biological
          > > > > needs is bad and immoral (e.g., the destructive actions of mystics
          > > > > and neocheaters).
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > As you can see it's even a scientific definition. In this context
          > > > > "evil" == "bad".
          > > >
          > > > Bah. This definition sucks. Neo-Tech might think it's okay and you
          > > > might agree. I don't. It's using subjective terms in a "scientific"
          > > > definition. Nope, I don't buy it.
          > >
          > > Why?
          > >
          > > Show me the Proof!!!
          > >
          > > The burden of proof is on you.
          >
          > There are several problems with this definition, and I'll mention one
          > below, but I have to admit it's not very fair that I "disprove" a
          > definition based on your very short and probably not entirely accurate
          > explanation of it - I didn't like it when you did that to Kant and
          > Kirkegaard after my explanations, and I probably shouldn't be doing this to
          > Neo-Tech. I have to admit that I never read anything about "Neo-Tech"
          > except what you said on this list.
          >

          OK.

          > I think Arik's point was, though, that there's nothing "scientific" about
          > this definition. What makes this definition more "scientific" than a dozen
          > other definitions of ethics? For example, how is this definition of ethics
          > based on intention, better than a definition based on actual consequences
          > (aka "utilitarian" ethics)?
          >
          > Anyway, the biggest flaw I see with this definition is that it relies on
          > a person's intentions, which are very subjective, rather than the actual
          > consequences of his actions, which is more objective (because everyone
          > sees the consequences of an action, but only the person knows his
          > intentions). The problem is that except in the extreme case of psychopaths
          > (who are unable to understand the concept of other human beings having
          > their own lives and wishes), most "bad" actions are somehow justified in
          > the eyes of its doer.

          Actually no. Most evil people are well-aware that their actions are
          destructive. They never admit it, but they know it. When Mao killed 60
          million of his own people, it was not for survival.

          In any case, there are several ways to look at this definition. One way is to
          say that the intention is irrelevant, and that any action that ends up as
          fullfilling human biological needs is good and moral, while any action that
          ends up detracting from human biological needs is bad and immoral.

          >
          > If you asked a white slave-owner whether he's conciously harming his negro
          > slave's biological needs, he would say no: he would say that he took care
          > of their basic needs (minimal amount of food, clothing, shelter, etc.) and
          > would claim (wrongly of course, but he thought this was true) that negros
          > are so privitive that left to their own devices they would be far worse
          > off. He would add that furthermore, without the slaves the slave-owners
          > would go bankrupt and starve, so that it is *freeing* the slaves which is
          > immoral because it would bring "biological" harm to the slave-owners.
          >
          > A second problem, possibly in your short explanation and not in neo-tech
          > itself, is the definition of "biological needs". What are these, and why
          > discuss them and not the "wishes" or "will" of the person instead? A few
          > obvious examples: a person has the biological need to have sex.

          I don't think so. A person has a biological desire to have sex, but it's not a
          need. A person can go on not having sex for decades on end.

          > Does this
          > make resisting being raped an immoral act?

          No, because a person has a need for the completeness of his body. As such, he
          or she has a right to resist being raped.

          > Is stealing food moral because a
          > person needs to eat?

          It depends. By stealing you detract from the food owned by the other. However,
          you might need to do that if you are being exploited (e.g: Robin Hood who
          stole from the exploiters and gave to the exploited.).

          > Is selling real-estate for money an immoral act,
          > because people need to sleep somewhere and you're prevented them a place to
          > sleep by charging money?



          > And what about people's non-biological needs, like
          > the need to be free, the need to be happy, the need not to be bored, etc. -
          > is it moral to violate these needs?

          These all descend from the biological needs or otherwise are ammoral action.
          If I insulted a person by accident, and made him unhappy, then I may have
          caused him to be able to less focus on work, and thus detract from his
          biological needs. However, this action is not unethical, and as such should
          be legal:

          http://www.neo-tech.com/neotech/advantages/advantage83.html

          > For example, is it moral according to
          > your definition to keep a human in a large cage while catering for his
          > biological needs (giving him food, water, air, sex, etc.)?

          Well, that in turn will cause other people to have to support this (benevolent
          I assume) person, instead of this person being able to support himself. So
          it's immoral.

          > Can this
          > defintion explain why (or whether) it is moral to do this to a convict, but
          > not to "ordinary" people?

          Actually, according to Neo-Tech, prisons are not a good way of punishment, as
          it is a huge strain on society to maintain all the prisoners.

          Regards,

          Shlomi Fish

          ---------------------------------------------------------------------
          Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
          Homepage: http://www.shlomifish.org/

          If it's not in my E-mail it doesn't happen. And if my E-mail is saying
          one thing, and everything else says something else - E-mail will conquer.
          -- An Israeli Linuxer
        • Shlomi Fish
          Hi Arik! ... If no proof is possible, then I cannot accept your claim, because it lacks any reasoning. So you might have well not said it. Thanks for playing!
          Message 4 of 28 , Apr 20 11:48 PM
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            Hi Arik!

            On Friday 20 April 2007, Arik Baratz wrote:
            > On 19 Apr 2007 00:47:19 -0700, Shlomi Fish <shlomif@...> wrote:
            > > On Friday 30 March 2007, Arik Baratz wrote:
            > > > Bah. This definition sucks. Neo-Tech might think it's okay and you
            > > > might agree. I don't. It's using subjective terms in a "scientific"
            > > > definition. Nope, I don't buy it.
            > >
            > > Why?
            > >
            > > Show me the Proof!!!
            > >
            > > The burden of proof is on you.
            >
            > No it is not. In my reality this definition sucks. You may buy into
            > this definition, because you subscribe to some absolute truth. I
            > don't. We don't have to agree, and our world view is therefore
            > different. No proof necessary or even possible.

            If no proof is possible, then I cannot accept your claim, because it lacks any
            reasoning. So you might have well not said it.

            Thanks for playing!

            Regards,

            Shlomi Fish

            ---------------------------------------------------------------------
            Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
            Homepage: http://www.shlomifish.org/

            If it's not in my E-mail it doesn't happen. And if my E-mail is saying
            one thing, and everything else says something else - E-mail will conquer.
            -- An Israeli Linuxer
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