My Philosophy of Life

on fundamental matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and ethics.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#21  Postby Philosofer123 » Mar 15, 2014 5:30 pm

hackenslash wrote:Was there any particular reason you didn't respond to my post? Free will seems to be the root of a good deal of what you're relying on here, so it's an important point.


There is no indication that you have read the "free will impossibilism" section of my document. Please read it and respond to it directly, if you would like me to respond.
Philosofer123
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 15

United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#22  Postby hackenslash » Mar 15, 2014 5:34 pm

OK, bye then.
User avatar
hackenslash
 
Name: The Other Sweary One
Posts: 21366
Age: 49
Male

Country: Republic of Mancunia
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#23  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 15, 2014 5:37 pm

Stochasticity therefore no determinism Hack? I wasn't persuaded in the determinism thread, and quit arguing because you and susuexp were being so aggressive and unfriendly. I understand that determinism/no free will has frightening consequences, but unlike some, I am unable to hide from the truth with aggressive defence mechanisms.
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear" - George Orwell

It's not the money that's the problem - it's the occupational therapy.
Keep It Real
 
Posts: 6717
Age: 37
Male

England (eng)
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#24  Postby hackenslash » Mar 15, 2014 5:49 pm

Nothing to do with stochasticity. It's all in the above post. If the philosophy relies on the idea that the negation of free will entails determinism, which is what some of what has been said here implies, it's dead in the water on that basis alone, because the negation of free will simply doesn't entail determinism.

I have no intention of jumping through somebody else's hoops to discuss it, though. If he's not interested in getting me interested, I couldn't give a flying fuck either way. If he wants critique, he can't set the terms by which it's given.

Incidentally, I've never seen susu being aggressive or unfriendly. Clinical, yes, but never aggressive or unfriendly. Anyhoo, that's an issue of posting style, and I hope that everybody here has learned by now into which orifice they can insert any opinions in that regard.
User avatar
hackenslash
 
Name: The Other Sweary One
Posts: 21366
Age: 49
Male

Country: Republic of Mancunia
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#25  Postby hackenslash » Mar 15, 2014 6:04 pm

Just had a read of that thread, and neither I nor susu was being aggressive or unfriendly. Of course, some see it that way when they have their position demolished.
User avatar
hackenslash
 
Name: The Other Sweary One
Posts: 21366
Age: 49
Male

Country: Republic of Mancunia
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#26  Postby hackenslash » Mar 17, 2014 11:51 am

OK, got bored, so had a look at the relevant section:

I define “free will” as that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one’s intentional actions.


This is horribly woolly. It boils down to intent being responsible for intent. Why even bother redefining free will if you're going to do such a shoddy job? Why not simply define it as the potential to choose between alternatives without constraint?

I find the following regress argument against the existence of free will to be compelling:

For any agent S and intentional action A, S does A because of the way S is in certain mental respects. Therefore, to be ultimately responsible for A-ing, S must be responsible for being that way in the relevant respects. But to be responsible for being that way, S must have chosen to become (or intentionally brought it about that he would become) that way in the past. But if S chose to become that way, then his choice was a product of the way he was in certain mental respects. Therefore, to be responsible for that choice, he would need to be responsible for being that way. But this process results in a vicious regress. Therefore, S cannot be ultimately responsible for his A-ing, and thus cannot have free will.


Why not? What's the problem with regress? Ultimately, the problems here arise from the woolly definition. I don't think this is sufficiently coherent to form a basis for what follows.

More concisely, free will requires ultimate self-origination, which is impossible


Why does it require self-origination? Because of the way you've defined free will.

I also think KIR's assessment of the irrationality of all emotions under your schema is entirely valid, and that you've simply hand-waved away the objection because you want to cling to what you see as positive emotions. Moreover, that you've classified as negative a list including 'distress, fear, frustration, anger, sadness, boredom and regret' without remotely attempting to justify that classification indicates that you haven't given a great deal of thought to the role of emotions in motivation. All of those are powerful motivators and can be extremely positive. Fear, for example, can have immense survival value. Boredom can be a catalyst to change.

All in all, some good points raised, but ultimately useless as a complete philosophy of life. It excludes the vast range of human experience.
User avatar
hackenslash
 
Name: The Other Sweary One
Posts: 21366
Age: 49
Male

Country: Republic of Mancunia
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#27  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 17, 2014 12:55 pm

Philosofer123 wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:My current attempt to think my way out of the "no personal responsibility" situation is that people aren't responsible for who they are to a large extent, but that they are responsible for their actions.


I'm afraid that won't work. The regress argument (see page 3) shows that to be responsible for one's actions, one must be responsible for the way one is, at least in certain mental respects.

Keep It Real wrote:One good decision (eg. deciding to read Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow") can result in one being a better person - and that decision was based on one's very own brain, in which one should take pride.


I'm afraid that won't work either. One may feel fortunate for being the type of person who makes such a decision, but the regress argument shows that one cannot be truly responsible for any of one's decisions. As a result, pride is rendered irrational.

If you take make the decision to take pride in your decisions, for whatever reason, your behaviour will be improved and self esteem is possible. How can one be a good person if all evil behaviour is excused because of the regress argument? It is essential people take pride/responsibility in their decisions or we're all completely fucked. You might not be able to take pride in the decision to take pride in future decisions, but that's no big deal - a one time hiccup. Sane people need to be held responsible for their actions and to take responsibility for their actions. In the former case we're not (responsible for our actions) - I agree, and it's a paradox, because the latter is possible however (taking responsibility for one's actions) and moreover necessary for decent behaviour. I'm working this out as I go along but I can't accept your elimination of all guilt/pride etc. through logical regress argument - it's so very bleak. It seems like more of a philosophy of death than a philosophy of life at the moment I'm sorry to say.
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear" - George Orwell

It's not the money that's the problem - it's the occupational therapy.
Keep It Real
 
Posts: 6717
Age: 37
Male

England (eng)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#28  Postby hackenslash » Mar 17, 2014 1:03 pm

Indeed. It isn't a million miles from nihilism.
User avatar
hackenslash
 
Name: The Other Sweary One
Posts: 21366
Age: 49
Male

Country: Republic of Mancunia
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#29  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 17, 2014 3:18 pm

The impending announcement from the Smithsonian Institute made me buy beer - at midday on a Monday. It's more exciting than watching the world cup final.

From tomorrow 6am though I've decided to take responsibility for my actions, shifting from an incompatabilist external locus of control to a compatibilist internal locus of control, so future spontaneous acts of unmitigated hedonistic unproductive naughtiness would be accompanied by feelings of failure and guilt - a strong deterrent; whereas time spent being productive would be accompanied by a self-esteem boost and some pride. Quit possibly a virtual panacea. I might have to write a 13 page document on my new philosophy of life, and submit it to the Smithsonian for publication.
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear" - George Orwell

It's not the money that's the problem - it's the occupational therapy.
Keep It Real
 
Posts: 6717
Age: 37
Male

England (eng)
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#30  Postby Philosofer123 » Mar 17, 2014 6:57 pm

hackenslash wrote:OK, got bored, so had a look at the relevant section:

I define “free will” as that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one’s intentional actions.


This is horribly woolly. It boils down to intent being responsible for intent. Why even bother redefining free will if you're going to do such a shoddy job? Why not simply define it as the potential to choose between alternatives without constraint?


I have already explained why I define free will in the way in which I do.

hackenslash wrote:
I find the following regress argument against the existence of free will to be compelling:

For any agent S and intentional action A, S does A because of the way S is in certain mental respects. Therefore, to be ultimately responsible for A-ing, S must be responsible for being that way in the relevant respects. But to be responsible for being that way, S must have chosen to become (or intentionally brought it about that he would become) that way in the past. But if S chose to become that way, then his choice was a product of the way he was in certain mental respects. Therefore, to be responsible for that choice, he would need to be responsible for being that way. But this process results in a vicious regress. Therefore, S cannot be ultimately responsible for his A-ing, and thus cannot have free will.


Why not? What's the problem with regress? Ultimately, the problems here arise from the woolly definition. I don't think this is sufficiently coherent to form a basis for what follows.


Again, I have already explained why I define free will in the way in which I do.

hackenslash wrote:
More concisely, free will requires ultimate self-origination, which is impossible


Why does it require self-origination? Because of the way you've defined free will.


Again, I have already explained why I define free will in the way in which I do.

hackenslash wrote:I also think KIR's assessment of the irrationality of all emotions under your schema is entirely valid, and that you've simply hand-waved away the objection because you want to cling to what you see as positive emotions.


Not at all. I am happy to admit that some of the techniques in my document eliminate certain positive emotions along with negative emotions. But many positive emotions remain (see page 13). And in the "negative hedonism" section of the document I provide support for the assertion that aiming for peace of mind is the most effective way of which I am aware to optimize one's state of mind over one's lifetime. If you are aware of a more effective way to optimize one's state of mind over one's lifetime, then please elaborate.

hackenslash wrote:Moreover, that you've classified as negative a list including 'distress, fear, frustration, anger, sadness, boredom and regret' without remotely attempting to justify that classification indicates that you haven't given a great deal of thought to the role of emotions in motivation. All of those are powerful motivators and can be extremely positive. Fear, for example, can have immense survival value. Boredom can be a catalyst to change.


I classify as "negative" any emotion that feels uncomfortable. Regarding fear, one does not need to feel uncomfortable to avoid something harmful. Prudence is all that is necessary. Regarding boredom, one does not need to feel uncomfortable in order to make a positive change. Recognizing the benefits of a positive change is all that is necessary.

hackenslash wrote:All in all, some good points raised, but ultimately useless as a complete philosophy of life. It excludes the vast range of human experience.


What "vast range of human experience" does my philosophy exclude?
Philosofer123
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 15

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#31  Postby Philosofer123 » Mar 17, 2014 7:05 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
Philosofer123 wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:My current attempt to think my way out of the "no personal responsibility" situation is that people aren't responsible for who they are to a large extent, but that they are responsible for their actions.


I'm afraid that won't work. The regress argument (see page 3) shows that to be responsible for one's actions, one must be responsible for the way one is, at least in certain mental respects.

Keep It Real wrote:One good decision (eg. deciding to read Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow") can result in one being a better person - and that decision was based on one's very own brain, in which one should take pride.


I'm afraid that won't work either. One may feel fortunate for being the type of person who makes such a decision, but the regress argument shows that one cannot be truly responsible for any of one's decisions. As a result, pride is rendered irrational.

If you take make the decision to take pride in your decisions, for whatever reason, your behaviour will be improved and self esteem is possible. How can one be a good person if all evil behaviour is excused because of the regress argument?


For exactly the reasons outlined on pages 11-12 of the document.

Keep It Real wrote:It is essential people take pride/responsibility in their decisions or we're all completely fucked. You might not be able to take pride in the decision to take pride in future decisions, but that's no big deal - a one time hiccup. Sane people need to be held responsible for their actions and to take responsibility for their actions. In the former case we're not (responsible for our actions) - I agree, and it's a paradox, because the latter is possible however (taking responsibility for one's actions) and moreover necessary for decent behaviour.


Again, please see pages 11-12 of the document.

Keep It Real wrote:I'm working this out as I go along but I can't accept your elimination of all guilt/pride etc. through logical regress argument - it's so very bleak. It seems like more of a philosophy of death than a philosophy of life at the moment I'm sorry to say.


The fact that you cannot accept my arguments does not mean that they are unsound.

And why is the elimination of negative emotions--while retaining a number of positive emotions--bleak?
Philosofer123
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 15

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#32  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 17, 2014 7:16 pm

Because it eliminates a high number (if not all) positive/useful emotions. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater - a short cut to psychopathy. Hideous.

One of the attributes defined for psychopathy is "failure to accept responsibility for own actions".[31]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_responsibility
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear" - George Orwell

It's not the money that's the problem - it's the occupational therapy.
Keep It Real
 
Posts: 6717
Age: 37
Male

England (eng)
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#33  Postby hackenslash » Mar 17, 2014 7:34 pm

Philosofer123 wrote:I have already explained why I define free will in the way in which I do.


The explanation doesn't stop the definition being bollocks, does it?

Not at all. I am happy to admit that some of the techniques in my document eliminate certain positive emotions along with negative emotions. But many positive emotions remain (see page 13). And in the "negative hedonism" section of the document I provide support for the assertion that aiming for peace of mind is the most effective way of which I am aware to optimize one's state of mind over one's lifetime. If you are aware of a more effective way to optimize one's state of mind over one's lifetime, then please elaborate.


I saw page 13. It doesn't help. All you're left with is a cherry-picking of what you like. If that's what you're going to do, why not just do it without all the Emperor's New Clothes?

I classify as "negative" any emotion that feels uncomfortable.


Yes, you said, and repetition doesn't help it any.

Regarding fear, one does not need to feel uncomfortable to avoid something harmful. Prudence is all that is necessary. Regarding boredom, one does not need to feel uncomfortable in order to make a positive change. Recognizing the benefits of a positive change is all that is necessary.


Well, none of it is actually necessary, even in the vernacular sense of necessary, let alone the technical.

What "vast range of human experience" does my philosophy exclude?


Most of it. Frankly, it looks like a lot of effort for a framework that's ultimately thought-free and laden with wibble. The Emperor's nakedness is still visible even to children.
User avatar
hackenslash
 
Name: The Other Sweary One
Posts: 21366
Age: 49
Male

Country: Republic of Mancunia
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#34  Postby hackenslash » Mar 17, 2014 7:37 pm

Philosofer123 wrote:For exactly the reasons outlined on pages 11-12 of the document.


So, what you're actually saying here is 'Critique my philosophy as long as you don't fucking critique my philosophy'. Is that it? Referring people back to the document they're critiquing is hardly accepting critique. If you didn't want critique, why did you bother seeking it? Did you just want affirmation? You've come to the wrong place.

What a fucking waste of time.
User avatar
hackenslash
 
Name: The Other Sweary One
Posts: 21366
Age: 49
Male

Country: Republic of Mancunia
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#35  Postby surreptitious57 » Mar 17, 2014 7:53 pm

Philosofer123 wrote:
And why is the elimination of negative emotions - while retaining a number of positive emotions - bleak

One does not eliminate emotion now. Human beings are emotional animals so the notion of denying them their essential character is complete nonsense. What you can do is minimise negative emotion and maximise positive emotion. But all
emotions are capable of being accessed at any time. Your scenario is therefore not so much bleak as simply impractical
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
surreptitious57
 
Posts: 9538

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#36  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 17, 2014 8:44 pm

hackenslash wrote:What a fucking waste of time.

I wouldn't say that - Philosopher123's exposition of the "no personal responsibility" argument has informed me as to just what a horrible outlook that entails. Very enlightening. I'd rather choose to take proper responsibility for my actions than be lost to a world of indifferent apathy where there's no such thing as self-esteem. Fucking good thread I reckon.
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear" - George Orwell

It's not the money that's the problem - it's the occupational therapy.
Keep It Real
 
Posts: 6717
Age: 37
Male

England (eng)
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#37  Postby hackenslash » Mar 17, 2014 10:57 pm

I reckon he's read Brave New World or seen Equilibrium and gone, 'yep, that's the philosophy for me', overlooking the end bit where they break the influence of the emotion-numbing drugs.
User avatar
hackenslash
 
Name: The Other Sweary One
Posts: 21366
Age: 49
Male

Country: Republic of Mancunia
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#38  Postby DrWho » Mar 17, 2014 11:20 pm

Philosofer123 wrote:Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at either of the following links:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Byh6JnTg3RMecHhxV0pYeklqV0U/edit?usp=sharing

http://www.scribd.com/doc/183418623/My-Philosophy-of-Life

In the first half of the document, I present and defend the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism and negative hedonism. The second half of the document is devoted to ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind.

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit constructive feedback so that it may be improved. I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!



I don't have many objections to your philosophy of life except perhaps the moral position. I think that morality is important even if it does not come from anything supernatural. Morality is necessary for peaceful co-existence. Ultimately it's about respect and empathy for others.
The skeptical writers are a set whose business it is to prick holes in the fabric of knowledge wherever it is weak and faulty; and when these places are properly repaired, the whole building becomes more firm and solid than it was before. - Thomas Reid
User avatar
DrWho
 
Posts: 2019

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#39  Postby Philosofer123 » Mar 18, 2014 12:08 am

DrWho wrote:
Philosofer123 wrote:Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at either of the following links:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Byh6JnTg3RMecHhxV0pYeklqV0U/edit?usp=sharing

http://www.scribd.com/doc/183418623/My-Philosophy-of-Life

In the first half of the document, I present and defend the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism and negative hedonism. The second half of the document is devoted to ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind.

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit constructive feedback so that it may be improved. I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!



I don't have many objections to your philosophy of life except perhaps the moral position. I think that morality is important even if it does not come from anything supernatural. Morality is necessary for peaceful co-existence. Ultimately it's about respect and empathy for others.


Agreed. And on pages 11-12, I develop my own guidelines for behavior that are based on empathy and long-range self-interest. In fact, even for those with little or no empathy, considerations of long-range self-interest alone can promote pro-social behavior (again, see pages 11-12).
Philosofer123
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 15

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Critique My Philosophy of Life?

#40  Postby Deremensis » Mar 18, 2014 12:44 am

Philosofer123 wrote:
DrWho wrote:
Philosofer123 wrote:Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at either of the following links:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Byh6JnTg3RMecHhxV0pYeklqV0U/edit?usp=sharing

http://www.scribd.com/doc/183418623/My-Philosophy-of-Life

In the first half of the document, I present and defend the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism and negative hedonism. The second half of the document is devoted to ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind.

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit constructive feedback so that it may be improved. I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!



I don't have many objections to your philosophy of life except perhaps the moral position. I think that morality is important even if it does not come from anything supernatural. Morality is necessary for peaceful co-existence. Ultimately it's about respect and empathy for others.


Agreed. And on pages 11-12, I develop my own guidelines for behavior that are based on empathy and long-range self-interest. In fact, even for those with little or no empathy, considerations of long-range self-interest alone can promote pro-social behavior (again, see pages 11-12).


That last assertion is actually not something I'm quite so sure of. I don't believe that that is necessarily a strictly moral or philosophical view - do we actually, empirically, know that those without empathy would act pro-socially based purely on long-range self interest? For that matter, how common is it for humans to really be able to look at their long term self interest? We know for a fact that the human mind tends to reward short-term gains far more than long-term goal seeking behavior. (In a moment when I have more time, I will search for a source on that, but I'm fairly sure that it's well established.)
Deremensis
 
Name: Sean Carter
Posts: 268
Age: 25
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Philosophy

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest