Guest Post Week: Zdeno, Part 3

by Frost on November 17, 2011

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Turden November 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I’m a materialist. I’ll take a piece-of-shit car and I’ll lower the motherfucker; put some 18-inch rims on the motherfucker; take some neon, put it underneath the motherfucker so when I roll around this town it looks like a hover. I like to take a flat-panel display monitor, put one on the steering column, one inside of the glove box, one on top of the dashboard, two in back of the headrests, one mounted in the ceiling, two still in the motherfucking packaging, on the back seat so when my motherfucking friends go and sit on the shit and break it I can honestly say: I. Just. Don’t. Give. A. Fuck.

Bo Ergu November 18, 2011 at 12:28 am

Anyways, thanks for tuning in to Moral Philosophy Amateur Hour. I don’t think I’ve seen that line of reasoning anywhere else, but it seems like a fairly obvious one, so I doubt I’m the first to use it.

David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (published in 3 installments 1739-40)

Gary Niger November 17, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Determinism is all fine and dandy, that is for large objects.
As soon as we get to a sub-atom level, things become more complicated, in a sense that the observing of these parts actually changes their state.
Reality is much like this, in the sense that we have the same observer problem. Our perception is flawed, we hallucinate, see stuff that isn’t there, or miss stuff that is there, we can’t percieve every kind of photon, let alone every kind of matter. Thus, even if there was an universal truth, we could never prove that that truth is indeed reality. We can attach a probability to it, but we can never get a deterministic, absolute solution to this problem.

Neither can we find a solution to reasoning about any philosophical problem in natural language, or any language that is expressive enough for matter, because such a language is either inconsistent or incomplete (Godel’s theorem). (As an exercise, give the definition of definition.)

Thus, even if everything would be based on one absolute truth, we couldn’t ever know it, so it would not matter.

NomadicNeill November 17, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Is this seriously up for debate in the 21st century?

Where do you live Alabama?

Silas Reinagel November 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I find it telling that your practical method of living contradicts your alleged metaphysical stance.

It would be more consistent to be a 100% convinced Soulista, than to claim not to believe in a soul but act as if you did.

Ockham’s Razor would suggest that the simplest explanation for the apparent possession of free-will is that free-will actually exists. Apart from evidence to the contrary, it is foolish to concoct needlessly complicated philosophies that contradict the most basic human experience.

Adam Isom November 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Dude, Silas, you don’t understand Occam’s razor. Occam’s razor isn’t about the simplest hypothesis in terms of how many words it takes to write the hypothesis.
If that were true, every single hypothesis, for everything, would be one word: “God”.

That is the simplest explanation of everything, right? No, it’s not, because it isn’t an explanation. You can’t make predictions from saying “God”.

I’d argue that saying “free will is true” is the same kind of thing. The problem in this case is that whether or not you believe in an underlying free will, it still feels the same either way, so there’s no way you could just look at your experience of the world and have any evidence for or against it. To have any reason at all to believe in “free will”, whatever exactly you or I mean by that, you have to move beyond what it feels like.

As for consistency, that doesn’t factor into truth the way I see it. Yes, we believe truth is consistent, so yes, we believe consistency is a good sign. But when it comes to something as murky as free will, it’s probably not good to rely on a rule of thumb like that if there is some reasoning that can supersede it, namely Zdeno’s reasoning.

Davver November 17, 2011 at 11:55 am

I tried being a nihilist, but it didn’t feel right. Thus the proper nihilistic thing to do was to stop being nihilistic, since being a nihilist was no maximizing my happiness.

Koanic November 19, 2011 at 4:46 am
Rob November 17, 2011 at 10:15 am

I read A Separate Peace in 9th grade. What kind of crap school did you go to?

Have you read any Henri Bergson? You might find An Introduction to Metaphysics and Time and Free Will interesting.

Snipes November 17, 2011 at 8:46 am

I’ve reached the same nihilistic materialist conclusion before too. But then I posed to myself a question: Am I predetermined to wallow in despair of purposelessness and immorality, or to continue living my life and trying to make the best of it, to try and “enjoy it” (even though enjoyment itself is simply the result of neurochemical reactions)? If my life is predetermined, I think I’m much happier assuming that I am predetermined to live as good a life as possible instead of thinking about how terrible it is that it’s predetermined.

Ed November 17, 2011 at 7:40 am

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