• Bitter Crank
    9.3k
    somewhere in this scheme a large amount of force is lurkingBitter Crank

    Not in my schemes, BCcounterpunch

    I wasn't think of you -- more the "super" theorists.
  • counterpunch
    1k

    I wasn't think of you -- more the "super" theorists.Bitter Crank

    I am a lousy theorist, that's true - but I look to the most scientifically fundamental and beneficial application of technology as a matter of my "belief" in the transformative potential of technology, energy and entropy, page one - the greatest benefit, with least disruption at the least cost, and so I'm keen to understand David's rationale. I'm concerned that, while longevity, well being and intelligence are goods in themselves, the implications are not theoretically dealt with - most obviously, of people living longer. How would that work? Bliss chips that have super-brilliant people stood at a production line, doing a mind numbing job 20 hours a day with a broad grin? Happy is good!
  • unenlightened
    5.6k
    What is this life if empty of care, we have no jealousy, schardenfreude, masochism, fear of punishment. We all know somewhere that the good life is empty, and the sinful life is what we want. SuperMario without Bowser? Dull, dull dull!

    Now that I’ve grown old, I realise that for most of us it is not enough to have achieved personal success. One’s best friend must also have failed. — Somerset Maugham
  • frank
    6.7k
    Frankenstein is an image of the power of science. It signifies a fear that we don't have the wisdom to use that power.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    Seems our comments on the other thread were considered extraneous! Surplus to requirements! Expendable inessentials! They were deleted.

    I'm letting it go. I imagine the science officer on Kirk's Enterprise must have had a PhD, at least!
  • Baden
    11.4k


    We're going to keep the main thread tightly on topic. You have more freedom to maneuver on this one.
  • Manuel
    314
    He obviously knows a lot of stuff in detail, and his heart is in the right place, it seems to me. But the general idea of transhumanism hardly seems plausible, unless one greatly inflates what science has achieved and what it can tell us about the world.

    On the other hand, I'm always a bit surprised by how common it is for scientists, philosophers or intellectuals in general, to deny or disagree with so called "mysterianism". That there are things that we cannot know, because we are creatures in nature, should be obvious. Saying this does not stop enquiry in any way, people can choose to study whatever they wish, but it would be a mistake, I think, to believe that anything we study, will in the long run provide answers for most of our most elementary questions.

    But of course, I could be way wrong.
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    Anti-hedonist: what about ascetic or pan-ascetic? If you are looking for a term used by the industry, pan-ascetics may not be it. I just made it up.
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    Some elementary questions may be forever remain unanswered by those who reject mysterianism. But those who accept mysterianism, there are no mysteries. For them, all unanswerable questions can be viewed as mysteries and answered by willful acts of supernatural entities. No exception.

    Seeing that the supernatural is not accessible, and seeing that some unanswered questions are about powerfully nefarious acts; therefore the only option humans have is to answer the unanswered by creating models of the natural world. This is the ONLY tool we got; whether it's adequate or not, is questionable; but no other tool presented yet.
  • Pfhorrest
    4.4k
    “Ascetic” is a good suggestion. I thought I had considered and rejected it before because it didn’t actually have anything to do with rejecting pleasure technically, just a disciplined life only contrary to the gross common use of “hedonism”, but looking it up again now it does seem like self-denial of pleasure is a part of the definition, so that might work after all.
  • counterpunch
    1k
    I disagree Oliver. Not with the wishful thinking part, but your suggestion we can't fix climate change. We can, but it requires we transcend our ideological selves, and think scientifically. The nearest large source of energy is the heat energy of the earth itself. Harnessing that energy on an industrial scale does seem technologically feasible. Massive, constant base load clean energy could be used to extract carbon from the air and bury it, desalinate water to irrigate land, produce hydrogen fuel and recycle - and if we did all those things, we would not only produce far less GHG's daily, but actively reverse the damage done by technology applied by ideologues - with no regard to a scientific understanding of reality. For that, my friend - is the real cause of climate change! The misapplication of technology for ideological ends!
  • Manuel
    314

    Well, I have in mind people like Colin McGinn or Noam Chomsky, not some spiritualists or religious types. The basic idea is that there are many questions, that are outside our cognitive capacity to understand. Examples are plentiful, the most immediate one in contemporary circles is the so called "hard problem" of consciousness: how can matter possibly have the qualities of experience? Well, it simply does have these properties, but we have no idea why.

    But there are so many other "hard problems". Why does gravity work the way it does? How is it that we give meaning to the world? Why do we have a sense of morality? Why existence? How can I move my arm or my finger? It's clear that I can do it, but I have no idea why I can do it, or how it is that I do it. And much more.

    I'm not invoking any spiritual entities like God, soul-stuff or anything of that nature, that only appears to give an answer, when all it does is invoke an all defined and obscure aspect, which under closer analysis doesn't add anything to our comprehension of the world.

    But it seems to me that at almost any instance, if we look at things closely, they just make no sense. Sure, many will say something like "what are you talking about?" I know how I move my arm, I just move it. Or, what do you mean why does gravity work the way it does? That's just the way gravity is. I'm inclined to say that we have no idea in either case. But we proceed as if we understood these things.
  • counterpunch
    1k


    ↪David Pearce Thank you for your time and expertise.TaySan

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/519771

    No one has ever thanked me for my time and expertise - and I look far more systematically to the potential benefits of science.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    Antinatalists are simply wrong because they don't understand causality and use words like "suffering" and "cause" in a way that's not commensurate with how they are understood in law, philosophy or ethics.Benkei

    Benkei. If ALL cases of suffering stem from the state of affairs of being born, then ALL cases of suffering can be prevented by preventing that state of affairs. I don't see the problem there. You don't need to parse each individual case of suffering out to realize that all cases of suffering can be prevented for a future person by not procreating.

    What you really seem to be saying is that there is a potential for each individual case to be ameliorated. This becomes an empirical question as to how well humans can really prevent suffering. David does seem to think that this is a possibility. I suspect many antinatalists, out of principle of not causing the suffering that gets to goal, would not recommend to procreate until we get to that Transhumanist goal. They would also probably be skeptical of its achievement.
  • Baden
    11.4k


    (Please only tag or reply to David with comments or questions in the main thread. I don't want these two mixed up.)
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k

    Took it out of this thread
  • god must be atheist
    2.7k
    The basic idea is that there are many questions, that are outside our cognitive capacity to understand. Examples are plentiful, the most immediate one in contemporary circles is the so called "hard problem" of consciousness: how can matter possibly have the qualities of experience?Manuel

    You may call me a hair-splitter, but how do you know we won't understand the answer to the hard question, once we found it? We may NEVER find it, but it's not guaranteed that it is beyond our cognitive capacity to understand it, once the answer is given or found.
    Why do we have a sense of morality?Manuel
    To this question, clear answers exist.
    Why does gravity work the way it does?Manuel
    This is not a problem.
    Why existence?Manuel
    Again, not a problem.
    How can I move my arm or my finger? It's clear that I can do it, but I have no idea why I can do it, or how it is that I do it. And much more.Manuel
    Basic biology can answer it.

    I don't think human comprehension can be tested by human questions. Human knowledge, yes, it can be, but not comprehension.

    But it seems to me that at almost any instance, if we look at things closely, they just make no sense.Manuel
    I am sorry... I disagree. Most things, with a few exceptions, make sense to me. The few exceptions are the Bible, the Koran, etc.

    Or, what do you mean why does gravity work the way it does? That's just the way gravity is. I'm inclined to say that we have no idea in either case. But we proceed as if we understood these things.Manuel
    If you ask me, you're looking for meaning in things that are not meant to have meaning.
  • Pinprick
    606
    I suspect many antinatalists, out of principle of not causing the suffering that gets to goal, would not recommend to procreate until we get to that Transhumanist goal.schopenhauer1

    Just curious, but from what I gather, the goal is to have a 80-100 hedonic range. Given this level of variability, wouldn’t the risk that one may experience low levels of pleasure (80) become the new AN cause for not procreating? If the risk of experiencing a 0 or -1 is reason enough to not procreate, then why would anything less than absolute 100 level pleasure suffice? How low would you allow the baseline to drop before you reverted back to AN?
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    Just curious, but from what I gather, the goal is to have a 80-100 hedonic range. Given this level of variability, wouldn’t the risk that one may experience low levels of pleasure (80) become the new AN cause for not procreating? If the risk of experiencing a 0 or -1 is reason enough to not procreate, then why would anything less than absolute 100 level pleasure suffice? How low would you allow the baseline to drop before you reverted back to AN?Pinprick

    Yes, I think unless paradise, not worth it. That sentence should read.. "Would not recommend: "Procreate-until-we-get-to-that-Transhumanist goal", meaning, do NOT procreate in the hopes of reaching this goal. Why? I mention in the next sentence, that most likely it cannot be achieved. But also the billions that would suffer on the possibility of a whim of a hope for this achievement.
  • Benkei
    4.2k
    All cases of suffering stem from the big bang. To be consistent, you should be aiming higher and wipe out existence instead of just humans. It also makes the causes of climate change moral because it brings this state closer than trying to improve it. You're aiming too low because you're being entirely arbitrary about which necessary cause to intervene at.

    My point is, nobody in their right mind and with a proper understanding of causality would agree "life causes suffering". When we say something causes something else, we're talking about sufficient and proximate causes. By abusing language and not familiarising you with how the words are actually used, you reach idiocy. But this had never penetrated your thick skull because you're not interested in challenging your own preconceived notions.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    My point is, nobody in their right mind and with a proper understanding of causality would agree "life causes suffering". When we say something causes something else, we're talking about sufficient and proximate causes. By abusing language and not familiarising you with how the words are actually used, you reach idiocy. But this had never penetrated your thick skull because you're not interested in challenging your own preconceived notions.Benkei

    Well ditto. I think you are abusing language yourself here as you know perfectly well why procreation is the target:

    1) If we take the deontological approach, then making this decision on another's behalf is construed as wrong. The big bang doesn't make decisions, humans do. But I obviously don't have to say that ridiculous point.

    2) If we take the utilitarian approach, ALL harm that befalls a person comes from birth. Birth doesn't happen out of thin air, but out of decisions made by humans. Again, this is obvious and I don't have to say this ridiculous point.

    I also mentioned (and you didn't address) that what your argument is really trying to address is the empirical question of whether each individual case of suffering in a person's life can be ameliorated and gotten rid of. Obviously I think that is near improbable to zero. Besides which, combined with the deontological approach, that might not even matter as a consideration being that you are making unnecessary risky decisions on another person's behalf in the first place- putting them in (what we know to be from empirical evidence) a lifetime's worth of enduring negative experiences and having to overcome them. I think whether or not positive experiences are involved too, doesn't negate the fact that this negative experience/overcoming "game" is being unnecessarily bestowed upon a future person (on their behalf) in the first place.
  • Outlander
    1.1k


    Where does pleasure from from? Does animal pleasure count? Why wouldn't animal suffering then? Animals won't kill themselves off, so what exactly are you proposing here. Why wouldn't life just re-create itself from whatever means it did in the first place? How can you be so sure life doesn't exist on other planets and so requires extermination there as well? Shouldn't we continue life so we can strive to become technologically advanced enough to exterminate all life as we know it across the entire universe? (I'm assuming that's your silent motive here :wink:)
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k

    No, I am not a utilitarian totalizer like this.
  • Benkei
    4.2k
    I'm an antinatalist and I solve problems as follows.

    I don't like getting wet, water causes me to be wet, so we should get rid of water.

    I don't like car accidents, cars cause these accidents, so we should get rid of cars.

    I don't like getting sun burnt, the sun causes sun burns, therefore we should get rid of the sun.

    Idiots.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k

    You have to admit, you don't actually address my rebuttals.

    However you characterize it, I have given you my response. If you would like to address it, please do.
  • Benkei
    4.2k
    Your rebuttals don't come into play until it is accepted life causes suffering so I don't need to address them because they're irrelevant.
  • schopenhauer1
    5.5k
    Your rebuttals don't come into play until it is accepted life causes suffering so I don't need to address them because they're irrelevant.Benkei

    What do you mean by that? I addressed your claims, this is evasion. If you want to show my how I didn't address your claims in my rebuttal, go ahead.
  • Benkei
    4.2k
    I continually demonstrate life doesn't cause suffering, so your rebuttals are irrelevant unless they specifically deal with issue of causality and prove that life causes suffering. If it doesn't cause suffering, then ending life to end suffering is an idiot move.

    Here's another analogy for you. A painting has paint, therefore the painting causes paint.
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