I mean not so sound supercilious, but I must admit that all counterarguments thus far 
received are points I have foreseen and chosen to omit in the paper for the sake of 
length and inherent stupidity of my evaluators. This is why I have come here for 
intelligent recluse, as it is, so far, the only place found to be conducive to 
intelligent, insightful thought. 

[Listed below are three defenses in ascending order of length]

In address to certain qualms, I must start by saying that when I say that 'there is no 
scientific justification for morals of any sort, only that in the Darwinistic sense,' 
I mean that morals hold a people together and make for an organized society conducive 
to 'prosperity'. Hence, such use of moral ethical standards is to not be 
"self-destructed;" morals are independent independent of science, but the 
justification for morals is what is being evaluated. Also, I don't understand how WMD 
can be evil. If logical evaluation is evil, then so is affirmation of any moral 
discipline thereto destructive.

--
>Saying that life is worth living, or that you believe it is bad to kill, are simply 
>statements of your values and feelings, and as such are valid independently of any 
>scientific theory.
--
>Your conclusion that "there is no scientific justification for morals of any sort, 
>only that in the Darwinistic sense" depends on the definition of "scientific." 
>Without "morals" an argument could be made that mankind would not exist - it would 
>have self-destructed. Perhaps that is "scientific justification" for morals, at least 
>as far as mankind is concerned. And perhaps our lack of morals will yet wipe us out 
>through WMD, or other evil.
--

In address to the proposition that, without any moral imperative or motivation or 
justification, I should not even bother to write this paper, I felt that way much of 
last year, at the end of the eleventh grade, which is why I did not write this sooner. 
Obviously, what would be the purpose of defending one's argument agains morals if 
there would be no moral purpose for doing so? In all actuality, there is none; 
however, what is to say that there is any reason not to write it? Ethical nihilism is 
simply the rejection of the possibility of absolute morals, not to say that one shan't 
have a version of his/her own. What I am saying is that there would be no logical 
basis for having any sort of moral, except for extrinsic gain, and that things will 
unfold as they do, no matter what. In that regard, why should one write it, or why 
should one not write it? I write it because I feel like it, not because there is any 
moral basis; I need to relieve my mental tension, which arises from m!
y psychological history. There is no ramification either way. The preference for one 
action or the other in regards to the physical is simply determined by the ontological 
probability either way. In short, I aim not to eliminate morals, only the logical 
misconceptions thereby seemingly justifying.

--
> Sorry. Can't help myself : Is there any point in completing that term paper really?

>Actually, between the above remark made in fun, & the subsequent discussion, there 
>are things in common. Above, the joke is that, if one adopts nihilism & the view that 
>nothing is worth caring about, then what value would one place in knowing this or in 
>knowing anything? Ethics pertains to feelings & values regarding power, submission, 
>governing oneself, governing & being governed, decision-making. Then there are also 
>feelings & values regarding other things, including knowledge, what's worth knowing, 
>exploring, etc., standards of evidence, etc. We have no word like "ethics" for it 
>although one might argue that the word "philosophy" was originally meant to mean it. 
>These values with regard to cognition & knowledge are values which in a refined & 
>deepened form motivate science, & they dissolve under nihilism, along, therefore, 
>with science itself. But this in turn leads to the dissolution of nihilism, which 
>used scientific ideas. Vicious circle there.
--

Finally the last point--last because of its superior difficulty, at least for me:

>But why not have as good a 
game as possible before it ends in a billion
or trillions of years.

Although this is explained above, I feel as though you may not realize the 
psyhological extent of your situation. We must all take into account the fact that we 
are humans governed by our minds; as Chrisopher Plummer's character in 'A Beautiful 
Mind' insightfully puts it, "you can't reason your way out of this, because your 
mind's where the problem is in the first place." I mean not to vilify your mind nor 
its reasoning, but I must advise to account for our mind's needs for safety and 
belonging in evaluating our motivation driving the seeking of morals.

>For some strange reason, I value the most complex yet elegant and robust emergent 
>order (for itself). This is why for example, I'm an environmental activist in my 
>spare (hah!) time.
[Me too. I do actually care about many things, amazingly.]

We all seek psychological complacency as a means of stabilizing the ego, as a way to 
maintain order in our minds. We have been predisposed, both genetically and by our 
nurturing and environmental influences, to certain trains of thought. Your quest to 
find the most elegantly robust system (which I really respect, as I have once taken 
such course of action and found it emotionally fulfilling) is merely your mind's 
attempt to fulfill some end, perhaps to realize your potential. There is a certain 
psychological theory of which I will surely be tested friday in my psych class, but I 
am amiss as to its name. Anyhow, what I am saying is that, with relation to all of the 
scientific reasoning behind your standpoint, which is [I think] extremely valid (I 
agree with trying to solve the mysteries, as I am poised to pursue a career studying 
and researching theoretical physics), you must consider your motivation in relation to 
your Freudian and genetic past.

--
Eric Hawthorne wrote:

>Sorry. Can't help myself : Is there any point in completing that term 
paper really?

>On a few points.

>I don't believe in the point of view of "nihilism because everything will happen in 
>the multiverse, anyway, regardless of what I do". My reasons are a little vague, but 
>here's a stab at it:

>1. I look at us group of human observer SAS's as results of and guardians of emerged 
>complex order in our universe.
In fact I believe our universe (its temporal arrow etc) is only observable because it 
is the set of paths through the multiverse
that has all this emerged complex order in it.I believe these potentially observable 
sets of paths through the multiverse's general disorder are rare (of small measure.)

2. Somehow, all of us human observers are clearly "in" or "observing" the SAME set of 
paths through the multiverse. Now that is significant. It tells us that in the 
emergent-order paths of multiverse info-state evolution, that those paths are 
observable consistently to ANY observer that emerges as part of the emerged complex 
order present in those paths.

3. I see humans (or other intelligent lifeforms) as in some strange ways the 
smart-lookahead "guardians" of the particular piece of emergent-order their most a 
part of (their planet, their ecosystems, their societies, themselves).The reason we 
emerged (or are still here) is because we have helped make our emergent complex system 
"successful" (robust).

4. For some strange reason, I value the most complex yet elegant and robust emergent 
order (for itself). This is why for example, I'm an environmental activist in my spare 
(hah!) time.

5. I think if one values elegant, robust complex order, and if one is an active part 
of the elegant, robust, complex order, who emerged precisely so that a SAS of the 
emerged system could sense and make sense of the surroundings, and could model and 
influence the future, and guard the SAS's own existence and that of the whole emerged 
system of which it is a part, then "guard away" I say, actively, not nihilistically. 
Model your world. Predict its different possible futures, and use your emerged (and 
cultivated, same thing) wisdom to steer yourself, and your society, and your 
ecosystem, and your planet, away from harm and too-soon reduction to entropy. In the 
very, very end, it is said, entropy wins (like the house wins in Vegas.) But why not 
have as good a game as possible before it ends in a billion or trillions of years.

6. Of course, it doesn't make sense to try to protect (and advance in elegance) an 
emergent order that is indeed truly robust, does it? But my point back there was that 
we are supposed to be part of the emergent system's self-defense mechanism, because we 
can think and plan, and change things in our universe.

7. So can we change the multiverse as a whole? Probably not. But all that observers 
can ever co-observe is a single self-consistent universe in the multiverse. Look at 
earth and earthlife like a surfboard and surfer surfing this big coherent wave of 
informationally self-consistent order that is our universe. What we as the surfer can 
do is look ahead, and steer the board, and prolong the ride, and make it as amazing as 
possible before it tumbles into the vortex. That's enough control to say let's delay 
nihilism til the very last possible moment at least, shall we. Let's see where we 
might wash up if we keep riding well. Enough. Enough. This tortured analogy is killing 
me.

8. You may say that there's all these other virtual doppelganger surfers and 
surfboards (even on our same order-wave universe) so why bother steering anyway? One 
of us will make it. Yeah well I don't think so. I think all the emergent systems
kind of compete with each other to organize things, and there's winners and losers, 
and the losers are all just info-noise.

8. I guess the above is premised on the supposition that we CAN steer. That we have 
any say over when and how
our part of our universe degrades into entrop (info-noise.) This is really vague but I 
have some strange sense that what observing AGENT (actor) systems such as ourselves 
are doing is choosing (or having a part in choosing) the way in which their quantum 
world becomes their classical world. I think there's the possibility of free will 
there. It's like their steering the NOW wavefront itself (in their shared universe). 
If the possibly ordered paths through multiverse infospace near these observers are 
more than one possible path, maybe its the observers, by the sum total of their 
collective actions, that micro-manage the choice of future info-paths that will still 
be consistent with the path(s) their all on. Maybe the set of possible 
consistent and ordered paths is narrower and narrower as time goes on for them, but I 
think there are still choices to be made. It's possible that that's an illusion, but 
choice being an illusion is a concept for the theoretical meta-level, for OUTSIDE our 
universe path. Inside our path(s), our paths and the real or illusory choices we make 
within them, are all we'll EVER be able to see. So why not play along with the rules 
of the game your in, be a guardian angel of elegant complex order near you. Why not 
model and see the probabilities ahead with all your learning power and determination, 
and why not then choose 
with all your might? Whether it all amounts to a hill of beans in this crazy world or 
not is one of the last mysteries. But mysteries help make it all so fricking amazing. 
Try solving them. What can you lose?

9. But go ahead and explore your point of view in your essay, and maybe post it when 
you're done. I could be entirely wrong the way I see things, and your outline looks 
great. Maybe simplify, cover a little less, but a little deeper, because simplicity 
with complexity underneath it is what it's all about.
--

If you've made it thus far in the email, I would like to thank all who have responded 
for at least partially stimulating my brain. jk But please feel free to defend 
yourself against my further arguments in this respect. I have written one page 
(single-spaced) so far, and aim to post my entire essay/paper when it is completed. 

Thanks, everyone, especially for the flattery:
--
>/me thought he was the only Existential Nihilist! =P

Are you sure you aren't writing this as your doctoral thesis? I've read papers by 
professors that are far less scholarly than your outline, as presented...
--
>Pretty amazing for a high-school senior term paper, by the way.
--

--Cesar E. Caro

P.S. I actually have a website, which is soon to post my paper and reasonings on 
existential and ethical nihilism. It already contains poetry, if it may be called that 
(it does pertain somewhat to this topic), as well as artistic photography.
The page link is <http://www.geocities.com/cesarcaro314/>;
Note: the 314 in the address is not in relation to pi, but to my birthday; amazingly, 
I was not aware of this relation when I made the name.


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