• Shawn
    10.9k
    Hi moderators @Michael @Baden,

    I'm wondering if we could prepare some sub-forum for a Guest Speaker named David Pearce.

    He is a British philosopher and is listed over at Wikipedia here and studied his alma mater at Oxford:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Pearce_(transhumanist)

    He has a website here avialble where members may be able to read some of his thoughts.
    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=David+Pearce
    Aquantance video.

    Some more throughts from a interview:
    https://sentience-research.org/the-imperative-to-abolish-suffering-an-interview-with-david-pearce/


    I would preliminarily say that he is on board since I reached out to him yesterday on Twitter and said he hasn't much to do and would like to participate.

    David Pearce is an acclaimed hedonist, which some might find unwelcome; but, he operates from a reduction of suffering rather than more happiness. This seems like the right way to not alter homeostasis but simply maintain it at a level away from suffering.

    He is a proliofic author of many thoughts on his website and pursues at the moment a means of reducing suffering through enhancing the activity or neurotransmitter levels in the brain.

    I became interested in him after being a quasi-transhumanist myself, and believe that most of his ideas about the future are on point, given that most people prefer pleasure than pain or suffering.

    Hoping some others might comment on the idea of having him as a guest speaker questionarie.

    One topic I posted on him here:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/8735/david-pearce-on-hedonism
  • Baden
    11.4k


    Sounds like an interesting guy. I'll raise this in the mod forum.
  • Albero
    90
    This guy has always been very interesting. I never liked hedonism and I question whether fully eliminating suffering and all forms of discomfort would be a good idea. Nonetheless I’m interested to hear what he’s got to say
  • counterpunch
    1k
    "we presently keep hundreds of millions of other sentient beings in unimaginably frightful conditions. We do so for no better reason than to satisfy our culinary tastes." - David Pearce.

    https://www.hedweb.com/hedethic/hedon1.htm

    I disagree. For animals in nature, life is far more brutal than conditions on a farm. When an animal is born on a farm there's a vet - that ensures a safe and speedy delivery. In nature, any injury or disease can mean a slow and lingering death. Food and water is not guaranteed in the wild; and the temperature varies significantly. On the farm, humans minimise the suffering of animals they slaughter for food - whereas, in nature, animals are liable to be hunted, torn open and eaten alive. Sorry to burst your bubble but nature is the real horror show; and agriculture, by comparison, is humane.
  • Pfhorrest
    4.4k
    On the farm, humans minimise the suffering of animals they slaughter for foodcounterpunch

    Have you seen factory farm conditions?

    The conditions of nature are pretty awful too, but tell me which you would prefer for yourself:

    - being a prehistoric human in the untamed wilderness with all the risks that modern civilization has since mitigated, or

    - being born and raised your whole life in a cage too small for you move, which gets stacked with a bunch of similar cages in a dark warehouse where you'll never see the sun, such that the piss and shit from the people in cages above you just rains down on you, but you're pumped full of antibiotics (on top of a diet of nothing but corn syrup to fatten you up cheaply) to make sure that you're likely enough to at least survive uninfected until adulthood so that you can be slaughtered and consumed safely enough (for the safety of the people consuming your body) that the people operating the warehouse full of you shit-covered cage-people can turn a profit.

    The first option isn't great, especially compared to my life, but I'd pick that over the second option any day.
  • Shawn
    10.9k
    Pretty large accumulated Q/A on Quora by David Pearce:
    https://www.hedweb.com/quora/index.html
  • Shawn
    10.9k
    The conditions of nature are pretty awful too, but tell me which you would prefer for yourselfPfhorrest

    The logic seems funny. As if nature wasn't the natural conclusion where they ought to live.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    Have you seen factory farm conditions?Pfhorrest

    No, I haven't, not really - and I'm sure the worst practices are horrifying, but when done well, farming need not be cruel. Indeed, it's a lot less cruel than nature.
  • jgill
    1.2k
    Good luck on bringing him onboard. I gather it's been difficult to get professionals to participate in the forum. But if he has a lot of spare time he might. :smile:
  • Shawn
    10.9k
    No, I haven't, not really - and I'm sure the worst practices are horrifying, but when done well, farming need not be cruel. Indeed, it's a lot less cruel than nature.counterpunch

    Nature, as in their natural habitat? Keep in mind that pigs are domesticated animals.

    So, no better place for them.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    How is he a 'professional'? Does he have an academic post? I don't think so. Does he have any peer review publications in respectable philosophy venues? Does he even have a philosophy PhD? I googled him and I can't confirm any of the above.
  • jgill
    1.2k
    ↪jgill
    How is he a 'professional'?
    Bartricks

    He's referred to as a British philosopher several times, and it appears he makes his living in his area of transhumanism. He seems to deal with ethical issues. But you guys can disown him if you wish. Makes no difference to me.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    Anyone can call themselves a philosopher. Anyone can call themselves a scientist. But to be a professional philosopher requires having an academic post, which in turn requires having a PhD and a track record of producing peer reviewed publications.

    From what I can tell from my cursory search, he's no more a professional philosopher than some guy down the pub. Could be wrong, of course. But it's worrying to me that he doesn't seem to have a post at a university.
  • tim wood
    6.5k
    If memory serves - and it doesn't always - the last guest's experience was not optimal mainly because of us. I hope that to improve the colloquy there may be published firm guidelines for participation, together with a promise of moderation for those who cannot comply.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    Why have guest philosophers at all? If a philosopher wants to contribute, they can just join like anyone else.
  • tim wood
    6.5k
    Of course they can. Just like Julia Roberts can come to your birthday party if she wants to.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    Yes, I know they can. That's why I said what I said!

    However, Julia Roberts can't come to my birthday party because I haven't invited her and she doesn't know me from Adam (I also don't want her to come as she'd suck all the attention away from me, plus I don't like her acting). Whereas nothing stops a philosopher from joining and contributing to these forums if they so wish.

    Do you think a professional philosopher should be given special treatment, then? Should they be shielded from imbecilic comments and appalling reasoning? Why?
  • tim wood
    6.5k
    Do you think a professional philosopher should be given special treatment, then? Should they be shielded from imbecilic comments and appalling reasoning? Why?Bartricks

    By professional I understand a person who in virtue of his or her skills, talent, knowledge, expertise earns a monetary regard that even in modest quantity is worth a ton of mere reputation. That is, he or she gets paid. And usually professionals do get special treatment, and that because they're held to be worth it.

    My own view is that we invite people so that we might learn and gain from them, not they from us. Which requires good behavior on our part, just as an audience at a concert is expected to behave properly. After all, they're the show, not you or me or us.

    And should they be shielded from "imbecilic comments and appalling reasoning"? Is that what you want a guest to have to do, waste his or her time on the stupid and rude? Not to speak of wasting our time, we who are perhaps seeking a respite from the imbecilic and appalling.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    I asked 'why invite them?'. They can join if they want. Nothing stops them. But why should they be given special treatment? They are free to decide for themselves whether they wish to waste time on the stupid and rude (and how many professional philosophers have you met - rudeness abounds).

    I was taught that if you want to get good at teaching philosophy - and at philosophy itself, frankly - it's a good idea to discuss philosophical ideas with precisely such people! They'll misunderstand things in ways you never thought possible, and you'll have to learn a good bit of patience too.
  • jgill
    1.2k
    Should they be shielded from imbecilic comments and appalling reasoning? Why?Bartricks

    :lol:
  • Baden
    11.4k


    No, it was not optimal because of some twat who had a hissy fit because we edited his question. Anyway, we're still in discussions on the mod forum concerning a potential invite for David and all suggestions are welcome.
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    Anyone can call themselves a philosopher. Anyone can call themselves a scientist. But to be a professional philosopher requires having an academic post, which in turn requires having a PhD and a track record of producing peer reviewed publications.Bartricks

    You are misinformed. The designation "professional" means they earn money with it. It is their profession, or occupation, and they earn money with it.

    Having a Ph.D. or an academic status or job is NOT the only way to make money with philosophy. You can be a celebrity, advocating a philosophical view, and be on TV, or other media, and demand and obtain money for your contribution.

    To wit, Socrates was NOT a professional philosopher, although those were teeming in his time in Athens.
  • Aryamoy Mitra
    156

    You are misinformed. The designation "professional" means they earn money with it. It is their profession, or occupation, and they earn money with it.god must be atheist

    That's what I was dwelling over, too; educational accreditation shouldn't be conflated with being a 'professional', albeit the overwhelming majority of (successful) academic professionals, are educationally accredited.

    Furthermore (and this is solely an additive interpretation, with no suggestive insinuation of any kind), being professional doesn't necessitate that you be of an exemplary standard in a stated discipline; countless individuals are duplicitous enough to garner an exorbitant living, whilst desecrating the substance of a discipline, and/or disseminating misinformation to their audiences.
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    Yes, but you need to be good - really good - at philosophy to be a professional academic. So being an academic is a sign of quality. By contrast, to earn money at 'philosophy' some other way doesn't require being good at it (arguably, you'd need to be quite bad at it - you need to prioritize boiling everything down to catchy maxims). Indeed, it is really only in the academy that being really good at it provides one with a viable way of earning a living. So, 'professional' should surely be understood to mean 'professional academic' not just anyone who has managed to earn money from philosophizing.
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    So, 'professional' should surely be understood to mean 'professional academic' not just anyone who has managed to earn money from philosophizing.Bartricks

    Philosophy is a subject matter for debate. Your "bad" may be the "good". You can't trust your own judgment and declare categorically that what you deem good is indeed good and what you deem bad is indeed bad. Your judgment is by force subjective, and as such, it is prone to error.

    Your argument of catchy maxims getting generated only by populist mass philosophers is refuted by
    "You can't step in the same river twice", "The only thing I know is that I know nothing", "cogito ergo sum", "eppur si mouve", "Workers of the world unite: you have nothing to lose but your chains", "Meet the new boss: same as the old boss", "Philosophy... is a talk on some cereal box. Religion: is a light in the fog. Philosophy... is a walk on some slippery rocks, religion... is a smile on a dog."

    I calls them as I sees them. If "professional" means earning money, then "professional philosopher" means philosopher who earns money, be he or she good or bad. "Academic philosopher" is most likely also professional, but not all professional philosophers are academic philosophers.

    And I have seen my share of bad academic philosophers. (Bad as judged by me.)
  • Bartricks
    2.8k
    If "professional" means earning money, then "professional philosopher" means philosopher who earns money, be he or she good or bad. "Academic philosopher" is most likely also professional, but not all professional philosophers are academic philosophers.god must be atheist

    Yes, but the only value of inviting a 'professional' philosopher is surely that they are good at philosophy, as opposed to good at making money out of philosophy.

    Your argument of catchy maxims getting generated only by populist mass philosophersgod must be atheist

    Er, that isn't what I said. Read what I actually said.

    And I have seen my share of bad academic philosophers. (Bad as judged by me.)god must be atheist

    If they're academic philosophers they're highly unlikely to be bad at philosophy. They're almost certainly exceptionally good at it. I mean, that's the point (and if you judge them bad....well, you're not a professional philosopher are you?). By contrast, to make money at philosophy you don't have to be exceptionally good at it, rather you have to be a good salesperson. These are quite different skills.
  • creativesoul
    9.8k
    ...you need to be good - really good - at philosophy to be a professional academic...Bartricks

    Just look at all the marvelous lines of thought coming from those who are really good...

    :death:

    Really good at doing what, exactly?
  • Shawn
    10.9k
    *ignores the shitposting*

    *then, just wallows*
  • Baden
    11.4k
    *ignores the shitposting*Shawn

    :up:

    *then, just wallows*Shawn

    :down:

    We are close to making a decision on this. Hang in there.
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    arguably, you'd need to be quite bad at it - you need to prioritize boiling everything down to catchy maximsBartricks

    This is not what you wrote?
  • creativesoul
    9.8k


    He looks to have an interesting position...
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