Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-02-01 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 30 January 2004 Eric Hawthorne wrote: QUOTE I really think that to get a good grasp on this kind of issue, one has to get over ones-self. Step outside for a moment and consider whether you feeling conscious is as amazing or inexplicable as you think. Consciousness may very well just be an

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-30 Thread Eric Hawthorne
Stathis Papaioannou wrote: fact vs. value; formal vs. informal; precise vs. vague; objective vs. subjective; third person vs. first person; computation vs. thought; brain vs. mind; David Chalmer's easy problem vs. hard problem of consciousness: To me, this dichotomy remains the biggest mystery

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-30 Thread Bruno Marchal
At 13:53 30/01/04 +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: fact vs. value; formal vs. informal; precise vs. vague; objective vs. subjective; third person vs. first person; computation vs. thought; brain vs. mind; David Chalmer's easy problem vs. hard problem of consciousness: To me, this dichotomy

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-30 Thread CMR
Greetings, Some previous posts in the current thread have attacked this idea by, for example, explaining ethics in terms of evolutionary theory or game theory, but this is like explaining a statement about the properties of sodium chloride in terms of the evolutionary or game theoretic

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-29 Thread Eric Hawthorne
Stathis Papaioannou wrote: Take these two statements: (a) Dulce et decorum est/ Pro patria mori (Wilfred Owen) (b) He died in the trenches during WW I from chlorine gas poisoning The former conveys feelings, values, wishes, while the latter conveys facts. The former is not true or false in the

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-29 Thread Bruno Marchal
At 14:54 29/01/04 +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: (a) Dulce et decorum est/ Pro patria mori (Wilfred Owen) (b) He died in the trenches during WW I from chlorine gas poisoning The former conveys feelings, values, wishes, while the latter conveys facts. The former is not true or false in the same

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-29 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
fact vs. value; formal vs. informal; precise vs. vague; objective vs. subjective; third person vs. first person; computation vs. thought; brain vs. mind; David Chalmer's easy problem vs. hard problem of consciousness: To me, this dichotomy remains the biggest mystery in science and philosophy. I

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-28 Thread Bruno Marchal
At 11:58 28/01/04 +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: The big difference between ethical and aesthetic axioms and the axioms of empirical science is that the latter are so widely accepted that they are not even recognised as axioms, for the most part. If I say water boils at 100 degrees celcius,

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-28 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
On 28 Jan 2004 Bruno Marchal wrote: QUOTE- It is perhaps not as easy to get the H2O boiling point right, but you did not convince me of any fundamental impossibility of scientific ethic. Now, I believe that if there is any scientific ethic then it cannot be normative and cannot give moral

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-27 Thread Bruno Marchal
At 22:17 26/01/04 +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: Yes, this is exactly what I mean. I could be the most rational of people and still consistently hold the evil views I have described (for the sake of argument, of course!), because good and evil. You cannot prove that a moral axiom is correct

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-27 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
The big difference between ethical and aesthetic axioms and the axioms of empirical science is that the latter are so widely accepted that they are not even recognised as axioms, for the most part. If I say water boils at 100 degrees celcius, this can be proved or disproved to the satisfaction

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-26 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Yes, this is exactly what I mean. I could be the most rational of people and still consistently hold the evil views I have described (for the sake of argument, of course!), because good and evil. You cannot prove that a moral axiom is correct or incorrect, nor can you assume that it will be

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-25 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Let me give a clearer example. Suppose I say that I believe it is a good and noble thing for the strong to oppress the weak, even to the point of killing them; and that if I were in charge I would promote this moral position in schools, through the media, and with changes to the criminal law,

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-25 Thread Benjamin Udell
Stathis is right. The moral axiomatic system will have to show that in moral/ethical issues we must allow ourselves to be guided by facts logic. **But even if it succeeds in showing that, one already has to have agreed to be guided by facts logic in order to be guided by the moral axiomatic

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-25 Thread Brent Meeker
On 25-Jan-04, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: Let me give a clearer example. Suppose I say that I believe it is a good and noble thing for the strong to oppress the weak, even to the point of killing them; and that if I were in charge I would promote this moral position in schools, through the

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-24 Thread Wei Dai
I have to say that I sympathize with Caesar, but my position is slightly different. I think there is a possibility that that objective morality does exist, but we're simply too stupid to realize what it is. Therefore we should try to improve our intelligence, through intelligence amplication, or

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-24 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
There are statements of fact, statements of logic (also called analytic or a priori), and statements of value. Statements of fact are verified or falsified empirically. Statements of logic include mathematical theorems and are verified or falsified by following the rules of logic or

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-24 Thread Wei Dai
On Sun, Jan 25, 2004 at 01:01:42AM +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: If I stop with (a) above, I am simply saying that this is how I feel about suffering, and this feeling is not contingent on the state of affairs in any actual or possible world [there, I got it in!]. (a) as stated is ill

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-24 Thread Benjamin Udell
Morality, ethics, virtue, etc. imply a struggle for control -- at least within oneself, but often more widely. If morality had a set of obvious axioms, such as to lead to firm reliable answers to all moral questions in practice, it would be know-how, not morality. For everything there is a

RE: Extended Response on Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-22 Thread Giu1i0 Pri5c0
Interesting, and I agree with the last paragraph: making good choice increases the measure of the region of the multiverse where good choices have been made and everyone is better off. An alternative view of which I am thinking a lot is that our conscious thought processes actually take place in

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-22 Thread Eric Hawthorne
Stathis Papaioannou wrote: This sort of argument has been raised many times over the centuries, both by rationalists and by their opponents, but it is based the fundamental error of conflating science with ethics. Science deals with matters of fact; it does not comment on whether these facts

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-22 Thread Eugen Leitl
The previous message was actually off-list, but since you replied to the list as well: On Thu, Jan 22, 2004 at 05:07:29PM +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote: The study of why societies have certain ethical beliefs is a subject for evolutionary psychology, or anthropology/sociology (moving down

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-22 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
Eric Hawthorne wrote: QUOTE- It may not be an error to equate science and ethics. Science continually moves into new domains. I'm of the opinion that there is a valid utilitarian theory of co-operating intelligent agent ethics. Utilitarian because the purpose of the ethical principles can be

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-21 Thread Benjamin Udell
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

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-21 Thread marulli
The last world is right. I think that if there were infinites universes like our own and if all possible thinks that could append realy append, talking about existential and ethical nihilism or moralism make no sense. Certainly there will be infinites observers who believe in existential and

RE: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-21 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
This sort of argument has been raised many times over the centuries, both by rationalists and by their opponents, but it is based the fundamental error of conflating science with ethics. Science deals with matters of fact; it does not comment on whether these facts are good or bad, beautiful or

Extended Response on Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-21 Thread [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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

Re: Extended Response on Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-21 Thread Hal Finney
Here is an excerpt from a message I sent to the list last week, which argues that nihilism is not an appropriate response to multiverse physics. As far as the issue of human action and free will, here is how I look at it. There are really two issues. The first is that in some sense the

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-21 Thread Stathis Papaioannou
The study of why societies have certain ethical beliefs is a subject for evolutionary psychology, or anthropology/sociology (moving down the reductionist hierarchy), and the study of what brain processes underlie ethical beliefs and behaviour is a subject for

Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-20 Thread [EMAIL PROTECTED]
I am writing my high school senior project term paper on defending ethical and existential nihilism based on quantum and multiverse theory. I was looking for any comments on the subject. Here I place my outline for said paper: --- A

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-20 Thread Eric Hawthorne
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.

Re: Modern Physical theory as a basis for Ethical and Existential Nihilism

2004-01-20 Thread Norman Samish
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