• Bob Ross
    1k


    First, it is unnecessary to know specifically what a fundamental entity is, only that it is.

    It is necessary to know specifically what a fundamental entity is and which ones are exist within the context in question in order to make the morally relevant calculations.

    It is a really simple dilemma:

    If fundamental entities are morally relevant to calculations, then one must have knowledge of the specific ones at play within the context being morally evaluated; or if fundamental entities are not morally relevant to the calculations, then they are useless for making moral calculations.

    You seem to be trying to avoid accepting one of these lines of thinking, when it is inevitable.

    To be charitable, I think what you are trying to convey is that what is morally relevant for moral calculations is expressions of fundamental entities but not the fundamental entities themselves. In other words, moral calculations are always about expressions, and not fundamental entities. If this is the case, then we are in agreement; and you have chosen the second line of thinking (above)(i.e., that they are useless themselves for moral calculations, since you need to know nothing about them to make the calculations).

    Staging is the idea of setting up a scope of what is morally being calculated to simplify the situation for general moral inquiry.

    It is not at all clear to me within a ‘staging’ (i.e., a context) that calculating, for example, it in terms of molecules is better than calculating in terms of atoms; and it seems like which one a person chooses will have a huge impact on the results of those calculations.

    Same with the piece of paper vs. molecules of paper. It is very clear that 2 pieces of paper is more identifiable ‘existences’ than 1 piece IF we are talking just about pieces of paper; but if we talk about molecules then it isn’t so clear.

    The key for me is "What is an identity"? And I think its having attributes that have unique results when interacting with another existence.

    A piece of paper fits this description.

    Implicit in my notion of identities is grouping. Every atom, even of the same element is different from another atom in some very small way. But I can't very well be looking over the minute individual make up, where each proton and neutron is located as well as the exact place of each electron in orbit can I? And for general discussion and physics, we don't. Hydrogen atoms in a general sense work a particular way. This is a change of staging. There is a limit down that we go in each stating to make calculations when we're talking about atoms in particular.

    That’s why I went with pieces of paper, but you resorted to a much harder, smaller entity to calculate—namely, molecules.

    This becomes a new foundation, though not a material foundation, but a foundational identity. Now that I've worked through it, perhaps it needs to be pointed out with some name. So: Material foundation, expressions, material foundation combinations into new identities, and these new identities follow the pattern of material foundation by being foundational identities.

    By ‘foundational identity’, are you referring here to just the smallest ‘building block’ one is willing to consider within the context? Otherwise, I didn’t really follow this part: a foundational entity is a material entity under your previous definitions.

    I'm not really favoring the molecules over the paper.

    Yes, you absolutely are! You refuse to calculate it with pieces of paper; instead, you insist on using molecules. If you used pieces of paper, then my conclusion would inevitably follow.

    If you aren’t, then please justify why you refuse to use pieces of paper instead of molecules. You still have not provided any reasoning for why we should use one over the other, as they are both expressions under your view and, thusly, at equal par.

    Bob
  • Philosophim
    2k
    If fundamental entities are morally relevant to calculations, then one must have knowledge of the specific ones at play within the context being morally evaluated; or if fundamental entities are not morally relevant to the calculations, then they are useless for making moral calculations.Bob Ross

    The later is true. Fundamental material reality cannot be created by us, so its not like we can create more. As such, all the pieces are in play outside of our control. It is more how those fundamental pieces express themselves that is important. You must have a fundamental to express, but we already have all of those and in current theories of science, they cannot be created or destroyed (at least by us).

    In discussing with you and realizing I've been dong staging without thinking about it, my real approach should be to use the fundamental as an example, but then introduce staging to demonstrate how we can evaluate starter points, or origins of calculations depending on our needs.

    To be charitable, I think what you are trying to convey is that what is morally relevant for moral calculations is expressions of fundamental entities but not the fundamental entities themselves. In other words, moral calculations are always about expressions, and not fundamental entities. If this is the case, then we are in agreement; and you have chosen the second line of thinking (above)(i.e., that they are useless themselves for moral calculations, since you need to know nothing about them to make the calculations).Bob Ross

    Your are correct Bob! Well said.

    It is not at all clear to me within a ‘staging’ (i.e., a context) that calculating, for example, it in terms of molecules is better than calculating in terms of atoms; and it seems like which one a person chooses will have a huge impact on the results of those calculations.Bob Ross

    Context, scope, rounding, etc. are the only ways we are able to process the world in quantities. If you've ever had to calculate chemical compounds in a beaker you use moles for molecules. But if its factory processing you may be combining kiloliters where moles are a non-factor. Calculus does not evaluate infinity, it evaluates "the limit" in which an infinite calculation will always get smaller as time goes on but never pass a particular number. Even when stating, "I have three peppermints in front of me", each peppermint is not identical in size, weight, taste, or shape at when measured in detail. But its not needed depending on what we're doing.

    And to measure morality, or existence, we need to follow the same pattern of manageability. Now, if the theory works at a general level, could someone sit down and measure the exact total existence of a particular combinatorial setup? Sure. Would that take a lot of time and math? Yes. We have to find a way to walk before we can run. Debating whether an exact chemical makeup is more moral than another in a very narrow and particular scope is only worth it as a stepping stone to patterns and higher moral issues. Is it worth pursing in some scenarios? Maybe. But for us in the nascent building of a theory? No.

    We're primarily concerned about creating a blueprint for a way to take the idea "Existence should be," and find a way to reasonably measure and rationally demonstrate "This scenario in this context seems more moral than the other scenario." It should fit our general sensibilities of morality without compromising its core tenants, and if it does contradict them, it should be able to rationally demonstrate why. But, to establish patterns and a methodology at the level of humanity, we have to establish patterns and a methodology at the base existential level first. We are doing a bottom up approach, not a top down. This is where this differs from every other moral proposal that I know of currently.

    This unique approach is why its also difficult to have discussions with other people on this as such a formulative level. People have a top down approach ingrained in them. Changing this thought process is difficult, and people generally shy away from difficult thinking. Not you though Bob, for which I am happy. :)

    So, if I were to summarize the theory in a more palatable way at this point, I would write something like this to a person first thinking about the idea.

    1. Material existence is the building block of existence. How they interact in relation to other existences is an expression, or how it exists. The addition of all possible expressions is potential existence. This is the sum total of any one fundamental existence.

    2. I would then demonstrate the fundamental combination using Aristotelian atoms. I still think this is a good and relatable introduction, feel free to disagree if you think its not.

    3. I would then explain how the creation of new identities acts like a new fundamental existence with its own expressions of existence which come about only in combination. These fundamental existences create new actual and potential expressions that their parts alone cannot do.

    4. We establish the pattern that creating new fundamental identities results in more existence than base material 'bumping' and existing in isolation alone. We establish the pattern that the ability to combine and uncombine creates more potential existence than only combining into one big thing.

    5. At that point we go one level higher into chemical reactions. Demonstrate that this changes the scope. When we're at the chemical reaction layer, the calculation of other atoms is not as much of a concentration of existence as the molecules. Thus we can start to establish staging, or steps of fundamental identities as contextual focus.

    6. Demonstrate that life is a series of self-sustaining chemical reactions. Chemical reactions eventually burn out with the material there, but life seeks out its own homeostasis. In theory, effective life will extend its chemical reactions indefinitely which, molecule for molecule, will outlast any regular chemical reactions that are destined to burn out. This elevates life's existence into a whole other section of staging.

    7. Finally introduce how intelligent life creates the most potential and actual expressions of existence out of individual lives, and introduce societies. At this point, we have the established building blocks and general patterns of existence to apply to the scope of humanity and society.

    Implicit in my notion of identities is grouping. Every atom, even of the same element is different from another atom in some very small way. But I can't very well be looking over the minute individual make up, where each proton and neutron is located as well as the exact place of each electron in orbit can I? And for general discussion and physics, we don't. Hydrogen atoms in a general sense work a particular way. This is a change of staging. There is a limit down that we go in each stating to make calculations when we're talking about atoms in particular.

    That’s why I went with pieces of paper, but you resorted to a much harder, smaller entity to calculate—namely, molecules.
    Bob Ross

    That is to make sure the scope did not involve the implicit human use for paper. That's what has you. You have to get rid of that to ensure we're on the very particular scope of, "Should the same type of molecules clumped into a group be divided? Does this create more existence?" That's just molecular separation, no more. If you want to talk about the scope of humanity, a question of molecular separation is completely out of scope. At that point its a much greater existence calculation as to what the person is doing, then the molecules themselves.

    This becomes a new foundation, though not a material foundation, but a foundational identity. Now that I've worked through it, perhaps it needs to be pointed out with some name. So: Material foundation, expressions, material foundation combinations into new identities, and these new identities follow the pattern of material foundation by being foundational identities.

    By ‘foundational identity’, are you referring here to just the smallest ‘building block’ one is willing to consider within the context? Otherwise, I didn’t really follow this part: a foundational entity is a material entity under your previous definitions.
    Bob Ross

    Yes, using a 'foundational identity' is a poor choice of words. I think a 'scope's origin', 'staging origin' etc. would be a much better way to describe it. I wanted to use a calculation of the foundation to establish a pattern of scope and origin, so these are much better words that describe what we're doing here. What do you think?

    I'm not really favoring the molecules over the paper.

    Yes, you absolutely are! You refuse to calculate it with pieces of paper; instead, you insist on using molecules. If you used pieces of paper, then my conclusion would inevitably follow.
    Bob Ross

    I'll clarify. If you had 10 sheets of equal sized paper, and you were wondering whether to destroy one sheet or add one sheet to it, that's a different scope. When you divide a sheet of paper in two, you are simply doing molecular separation. Same as if we could merge all ten sheets of paper into 1 large sheet. That's molecular bonding. And as noted, its the combination and separation of molecules at this scope.

    All the things we can do with paper are out of the scope. "Paper" can simply be replaced with "Abstract molecule combination and bond breaking." We can replace "paper" with "water" for example as well. The separation and recombination of molecules in general is part of the potential expressions of existence, and should be allowed. When you split a piece of paper into two, what you're doing is dividing the molecular bonds in two. Meaning that now we have 20 molecules separated from 20 molecules where there used to be 40 bonded together. Taken alone in this scope, this is in essence the only meaning to "drop of water" or "piece of paper". Its basically, "Splitting the joining of the same types of molecules into different locations". A 40 bonded entity is not the same as two 20 bonded entities, but you seem to intend that a paper cut in half is the same identity of 'paper' as when its 40 molecules bonded together. They are not.

    Hope that answers some points Bob!
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    To be charitable, I think what you are trying to convey is that what is morally relevant for moral calculations is expressions of fundamental entities but not the fundamental entities themselves. In other words, moral calculations are always about expressions, and not fundamental entities. If this is the case, then we are in agreement; and you have chosen the second line of thinking (above)(i.e., that they are useless themselves for moral calculations, since you need to know nothing about them to make the calculations). — Bob Ross

    Your are correct Bob! Well said.

    Fair enough!

    And to measure morality, or existence, we need to follow the same pattern of manageability.

    In that case, I think your original counter to my paper analogy is invalid: using ‘pieces’ as opposed ‘molecules’ of paper is more manageable, and thusly my conclusion still holds.

    In your elaboration in the subsection quoted above, I think you just argued in favor of using pieces of paper instead of convoluting the calculation with molecules.

    This unique approach is why its also difficult to have discussions with other people on this as such a formulative level. People have a top down approach ingrained in them. Changing this thought process is difficult, and people generally shy away from difficult thinking. Not you though Bob, for which I am happy. :)

    I completely understand, and I am doing my best!

    1. Material existence is the building block of existence. How they interact in relation to other existences is an expression, or how it exists. The addition of all possible expressions is potential existence. This is the sum total of any one fundamental existence.

    Fair enough.

    2. I would then demonstrate the fundamental combination using Aristotelian atoms. I still think this is a good and relatable introduction, feel free to disagree if you think its not.

    I think this adds more confusion than clarification; because, as noted before, you don’t calculate it this way: if ‘atoms’ are serving the purpose of a ‘material entity’, then in your example you cannot use it to calculate anything, which you clearly end up doing. I think you should use an example that uses ‘atoms’ as a selected, base expression entity; and demonstrate how, from there, one ends up with the particular conclusion you are looking for. This sidesteps any epistemic concerns about ‘material entities’ and demonstrates exactly what you are doing when determining these general patterns.

    3. I would then explain how the creation of new identities acts like a new fundamental existence with its own expressions of existence which come about only in combination. These fundamental existences create new actual and potential expressions that their parts alone cannot do.

    I think you need to clarify the terminology first. By my lights, you were using ‘fundamental’ in the sense of ‘material’ this whole time and not a contextual base: it may be worth it to semantically call them different things, or slap a different adjective on one of them, to avoid ambiguity.

    I would also suggest explaining what, ideally, the contextual base should be for one who is abiding by this ethical theory; so far it is not clear what that is.

    4. We establish the pattern that creating new fundamental identities results in more existence than base material 'bumping' and existing in isolation alone. We establish the pattern that the ability to combine and uncombine creates more potential existence than only combining into one big thing.

    Hmmm...I would like to explore this more; because I am not seeing it. I am assuming by ‘fundamental identities’ you are no longer referring to ‘material identities’.

    Firstly, ‘results in more existence’ is, again, ambiguous. According to your view, it is equally true that existence cannot be created or destroyed which prima facie contradicts your claim here.

    Secondly, depending on what you mean by ‘more existence’, I can get on board with materially bumping < expressions; but it entirely depends on what you mean specifically as opposed to notionally.

    Thirdly, it seems like a false dilemma to compare “one big thing” (exclusively) against the ability to recombine: it seems perfectly plausible (to me) that a thing is comprised of smaller things, and that larger, united thing contains, thusly, smaller things that can recombine. I don’t see why I need to choose one or the other.

    Fourthly, what is the ability to recombine? I don’t think things have such a property but, rather, they can only recombine in accordance to how outwardly things affect them. Are you envisioning a thing comprised of parts that is incapable of being affected (i.e., an immutable thing)?
    6. Demonstrate that life is a series of self-sustaining chemical reactions. Chemical reactions eventually burn out with the material there, but life seeks out its own homeostasis. In theory, effective life will extend its chemical reactions indefinitely which, molecule for molecule, will outlast any regular chemical reactions that are destined to burn out. This elevates life's existence into a whole other section of staging.

    Fair enough.

    7. Finally introduce how intelligent life creates the most potential and actual expressions of existence out of individual lives, and introduce societies. At this point, we have the established building blocks and general patterns of existence to apply to the scope of humanity and society.

    Ok, so I don’t think 6 demonstrates that life > non-life; and 7 (here) doesn’t entail intelligent life > unintelligent life. Perhaps this is what you are going for; not sure.

    That is to make sure the scope did not involve the implicit human use for paper.

    Using pieces of paper with the calculation has nothing to do with whether or not a human being is the one that tears the paper.

    Yes, using a 'foundational identity' is a poor choice of words. I think a 'scope's origin', 'staging origin' etc. would be a much better way to describe it. I wanted to use a calculation of the foundation to establish a pattern of scope and origin, so these are much better words that describe what we're doing here. What do you think?

    Those descriptions don’t make much sense to me either; but it’s better. If I am understanding correctly, then you are talking about the base entity (chosen) within a context, and not the most basic entity within the context.

    E.g., I could ask “is it, all else being equal, better to have two or one pieces of paper” and, within this context, you could choose a plethora of different types of entities as the ‘base entity’ (e.g., atoms, molecules, paper, etc.); so I am not entirely sure what you are going for here.

    I'll clarify. If you had 10 sheets of equal sized paper, and you were wondering whether to destroy one sheet or add one sheet to it, that's a different scope. When you divide a sheet of paper in two, you are simply doing molecular separation. Same as if we could merge all ten sheets of paper into 1 large sheet. That's molecular bonding. And as noted, its the combination and separation of molecules at this scope.

    All the things we can do with paper are out of the scope. "Paper" can simply be replaced with "Abstract molecule combination and bond breaking."

    You did it again: chose to use molecules instead of the paper. Just like you can say cutting paper is molecular separation, I can say it is really atomic separation. This gets us nowhere.

    Bob
  • Philosophim
    2k
    And to measure morality, or existence, we need to follow the same pattern of manageability.

    In that case, I think your original counter to my paper analogy is invalid: using ‘pieces’ as opposed ‘molecules’ of paper is more manageable, and thusly my conclusion still holds.
    Bob Ross

    It is manageability combined with relevant accuracy. I noted a while back that when we use a staging level as a base, what is reasonably relevant is one step up, or one step down. Paper is just a combination of molecules one step down (unless there's another name for a 'particle' of paper). In this particular context, we are also dividing a piece of paper, which makes its composition very relevant.

    As noted, we are not creating 'two pieces of paper' we are 'splitting a conglomeration of paper molecules apart'. We can't let the fact that we can casually call it, "Two pieces of paper" override the fact that its really splitting one piece of paper into two smaller pieces of paper. Not including the fact that these are smaller mass is leaving out a huge component of the equation.

    I think you should use an example that uses ‘atoms’ as a selected, base expression entity; and demonstrate how, from there, one ends up with the particular conclusion you are looking for. This sidesteps any epistemic concerns about ‘material entities’ and demonstrates exactly what you are doing when determining these general patterns.Bob Ross

    I appreciate the feedback, and on thinking about it, I agree. I do think fundamental entities are an important part of the overall theory for certain invented scenarios, but I don't want that to detract from the overall point of measuring expressions. It is a complete change in thinking as it is about morality, so the less confusion at the start the better!

    I think you need to clarify the terminology first. By my lights, you were using ‘fundamental’ in the sense of ‘material’ this whole time and not a contextual base: it may be worth it to semantically call them different things, or slap a different adjective on one of them, to avoid ambiguity.Bob Ross

    Yes, this is true. I probably should stop calling them something special and just 'identities'. Why I feel like their needs to be an adjective there is to separate it from a purely subjective identity. 'Identity' in this case is when the combination can potentially express itself in a manner that the combination could not have expressed alone. I suppose I'm trying to find a way of expressing a difference between a new chemical bond and a mixture (as per chemistry). They are both identities, but a mixture generally keeps the same underlying expression of its components with mass being the main difference. When I'm thinking of a 'foundational' identity, I'm thinking of a chemical change. H20 becoming water vs hydrogen and oxygen mushed together as gasses somewhere.

    I would also suggest explaining what, ideally, the contextual base should be for one who is abiding by this ethical theory; so far it is not clear what that is.Bob Ross

    That is at the context of human morality. The context of calculation will be determined by the context of the people involved. We'll get there, but lets satisfy where we're at first.

    Hmmm...I would like to explore this more; because I am not seeing it. I am assuming by ‘fundamental identities’ you are no longer referring to ‘material identities’.

    Firstly, ‘results in more existence’ is, again, ambiguous. According to your view, it is equally true that existence cannot be created or destroyed which prima facie contradicts your claim here.
    Bob Ross

    Correct, I am really referring to identities. And for the initial pass at the theory, new chemical identities. Mixtures generally don't have an overall change in potential expression.

    Secondly, depending on what you mean by ‘more existence’, I can get on board with materially bumping < expressions; but it entirely depends on what you mean specifically as opposed to notionally.Bob Ross

    This would be an interaction that does not result in a chemical bond.

    Thirdly, it seems like a false dilemma to compare “one big thing” (exclusively) against the ability to recombine: it seems perfectly plausible (to me) that a thing is comprised of smaller things, and that larger, united thing contains, thusly, smaller things that can recombine. I don’t see why I need to choose one or the other.Bob Ross

    Let me clarify what I meant by this, as I referenced this incredibly briefly way back that you would not remember. Real quick, it is fun when sharing a philosophy with another person for the first time to see what they consider important and relevant, vs what you think they'll consider important and relevant. When I first wrote the knowledge paper, it was an over 200 page monster that covered all sorts of small scenarios that I found people just never thought of or didn't care about. :) I find the same situation here.

    Recall that potential existence is the possibility of an identities expression. While atoms may combine with molecules, they also have the potential of unbonding and becoming just atoms again. That is overall more existence then if such bonds were permanent. So atoms can combine, uncombine, recombine, etc. They are not permanently locked in thus losing potential existence.

    Ok, so I don’t think 6 demonstrates that life > non-life; and 7 (here) doesn’t entail intelligent life > unintelligent life. Perhaps this is what you are going for; not sure.Bob Ross

    In the most simple terms, imagine baking soda and vinegar. When combined, we have a very excitable chemical reaction. But eventually the vinegar and baking soda all combine and the reaction is finished. Its a short burst of identities forming over time, then a cessation of combinations. A life is baking soda and vinegar that seeks to renew itself indefinitely. Even if a life will perish, it simply creates a new one to take its place. Chemical reactions will always run out, thus there is a shelf life on its existence over time. Life, if given the chance, will never end. Thus this is a higher concentration of reactions and identities localized over indefinite time.

    Life vs intelligent life is another step up because life at its simplest is still very reactionary. Intelligence allows life to be more proactive then reactive. Intelligence allows the creation of self-awareness, and a comprehension of the universe. It is existence which can recognize that it is existence. It can envision and plan for complex constructions, ideas, and impacts within the universe beyond what an unintelligent life can do. Not only is this ability to plan a unique existence of its own, the enactment of the plans of intelligent life is something which cannot happen in any other way. Thus the potential existence of intelligent life is incredible.

    Using pieces of paper with the calculation has nothing to do with whether or not a human being is the one that tears the paper.Bob Ross

    Ok, I'm glad you understand that.

    E.g., I could ask “is it, all else being equal, better to have two or one pieces of paper” and, within this context, you could choose a plethora of different types of entities as the ‘base entity’ (e.g., atoms, molecules, paper, etc.); so I am not entirely sure what you are going for here.Bob Ross

    You just need clarification. "Is it better to have two pieces of paper of equal mass or 1" is different from, "is it better to divide a mass of paper into two smaller pieces".

    You did it again: chose to use molecules instead of the paper. Just like you can say cutting paper is molecular separation, I can say it is really atomic separation. This gets us nowhere.Bob Ross

    I am hoping you'll understand the point that dividing a paper's mass is not the same as creating two pieces of paper of equal mass.
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    I apologize for the belated response! I have not found the time to respond adequately until now.

    It is manageability combined with relevant accuracy. I noted a while back that when we use a staging level as a base, what is reasonably relevant is one step up, or one step down.

    Ok, so, correct me if I am wrong, you seem to be going for calculating ‘more existence’ in terms of the nearest scientific measuring unit of a thing: is that correct?

    Paper is just a combination of molecules one step down (unless there's another name for a 'particle' of paper)

    Unless I am correct above, then I don’t see why you would choose to use molecules rather than pieces of paper; nor mass of the paper. It isn’t always clear what “one step down” really is.

    For example, take water. I could say that 2 Liters of water is more existence than 1; or I could equally say 100 molecules of water is more existence than 50. There’s no clear “one step down” here.

    Secondly, let’s say I am correct in that you are trying to use scientific units of measure. Ok, a piece of paper doesn’t qualify then; but, it really doesn’t take away from my point: cutting a piece of paper cleanly into two pieces retains the molecule count and (total) mass. So it is an morally indifferent action under your view?

    If so, then you need to clarify (I think) better in the OP what you mean by “more existence is better”, because it clearly isn’t “more → better”.

    Thirdly, why use only scientific units of measure? It seems perfectly coherent and reasonable to say “two pairs of glasses are better than one pair of glasses”: why eliminate normal and valid units of measure?

    I do think fundamental entities are an important part of the overall theory for certain invented scenarios

    The problem is that it is all-too conjectural. Neither of us know the nature of fundamental entities other than they are the smallest parcel of reality: they may not even be analogous to atoms combining; and, on top of that, it serves no legitimate purpose to your calculations.

    . Why I feel like their needs to be an adjective there is to separate it from a purely subjective identity

    What I was trying to convey, was that you need an adjective to distinguish the too and not htat you should call them both ‘identities’--that would produce even more ambiguity and confusion. The problem is that you are using the phrase “fundamental entity” in to toto genere different ways.

    While atoms may combine with molecules, they also have the potential of unbonding and becoming just atoms again. That is overall more existence then if such bonds were permanent

    I don’t see how this creates more existence; because, again, I don’t know exactly how you calculating this: it is also very vague so far.

    As an example, if the combining of two atoms which produces a molecule (let’s say) is better than those two atoms just being two, separate atoms; then the combining of molecules of two pieces of paper into one piece of paper is better than those two pieces being separate pieces. BUT, it seems like you would reject the unit of measure on the second example, even though it is directly analogous to the example you accept; and, might I add, without further clarification, they both produce one, new expression entity.

    So atoms can combine, uncombine, recombine, etc. They are not permanently locked in thus losing potential existence.

    Ah, so it is because the ability to recombine has more potential for other existences. How do you calculate the comparison between expressions and potentials? For example, what’s better: (1) a process of entities producing expressive entities ad infinitum that has no ability to recombine, or (2) a set of expressive entities equal to the beginning quantity of expressive entities for #1 that have the ability to recombine but are indefinitely idle?

    You just need clarification. "Is it better to have two pieces of paper of equal mass or 1" is different from, "is it better to divide a mass of paper into two smaller pieces".

    Sure, let’s get an answer to multiple of these style of questions:

    1. Is it better to have two pieces of paper of equal mass or 1?
    2. is it better to divide a mass of paper into two smaller pieces than not to?
    3. Is it better to combine two pieces of paper into one big piece of paper than not to?

    I still think it is perfectly reasonable to analyze it in terms of non-scientific units (e.g., is better for there to be one potato or two?); but let’s go with that for now.

    Bob
  • Philosophim
    2k
    I apologize for the belated response! I have not found the time to respond adequately until now.Bob Ross

    Not a worry Bob! I was away this weekend myself.

    It is manageability combined with relevant accuracy. I noted a while back that when we use a staging level as a base, what is reasonably relevant is one step up, or one step down.

    Ok, so, correct me if I am wrong, you seem to be going for calculating ‘more existence’ in terms of the nearest scientific measuring unit of a thing: is that correct?
    Bob Ross

    Scientific measurement is a fine way to represent identities at times. When removing the human element and its identities it can bring to paper, we are left with the molecular to consider. The question of 'what is a meaningful identity' is based on when the combination of more than one existence creates an identity which could not exist if the two were separated.

    The degree of this can be described by the change in expressions. A large puddle of water vs a small puddle of water is still just a conglomeration of water molecules. The identity of 'water' does not change. But if an animal drinks water and that water combines with tree pulp and chemicals to become paper, its now become a part of new identity, and thus more potential expressions, then it could as water alone.

    For our purposes, because neither of us are chemists, we're trying to process and develop an overall general measurements of existence that is comprehensible, and attempt to observe patterns which we can build upon. If the there is something to this as a general theory, perhaps 'molecular morality' would be a sub genre to explore. For our purposes, I'm simply trying to demonstrate that identities are different ways of existential expression, and that the marriage of potential and actual interaction between different types of identities allows new identities which can form which would not otherwise.

    Paper is just a combination of molecules one step down (unless there's another name for a 'particle' of paper)

    Unless I am correct above, then I don’t see why you would choose to use molecules rather than pieces of paper; nor mass of the paper. It isn’t always clear what “one step down” really is.
    Bob Ross

    'Paper' without any context of its use, is just a conglomeration of paper molecules into a mostly flat shape. When you split a piece of paper, you are dividing its molecular make up. That's the 'one step down' in this context. As such, dividing a piece of paper in two in this context only has its molecular makeup in consideration.

    For example, take water. I could say that 2 Liters of water is more existence than 1; or I could equally say 100 molecules of water is more existence than 50. There’s no clear “one step down” here.Bob Ross

    Yes, in this isolated context considering nothing else, 2 liters of water is more existence than 1. The one step down from the liters of water, would be the molecules. One step down from the molecules of water would be atoms. Until we find the material foundation I spoke about, there's always one step down.

    Ok, a piece of paper doesn’t qualify then; but, it really doesn’t take away from my point: cutting a piece of paper cleanly into two pieces retains the molecule count and (total) mass. So it is an morally indifferent action under your view?Bob Ross

    It seems to be. Within this context, as long as the actual and potential are there to recombine, there doesn't seem to be any real gain or loss. And within the context of a humane doing it? The molecular separation level is completely irrelevant.

    If so, then you need to clarify (I think) better in the OP what you mean by “more existence is better”, because it clearly isn’t “more → better”.Bob Ross

    More existence is based on the foundation of "More material, more expressions of the material, more potential expressions from the material, and this pattern through the combination of expressions.

    The act of a bunch of paper molecules losing bonds to be separated doesn't seem like much of a difference, at least with the last calculation I made. The context of the dividing of a substance alone gives us very little existential change, and seems meaningless. I never considered it to be morally meaningful myself, and I think looking at it closer after your example hasn't really changed that.

    I do think fundamental entities are an important part of the overall theory for certain invented scenarios

    The problem is that it is all-too conjectural. Neither of us know the nature of fundamental entities other than they are the smallest parcel of reality: they may not even be analogous to atoms combining; and, on top of that, it serves no legitimate purpose to your calculations.
    Bob Ross

    Since it is irrelevant for yourself, then its not necessary to discuss. I know there will be someone who would think its relevant, so it needs to be included in the theory for consistency. But currently our exploration of this is not going down those paths, so no need to address it. It changes nothing for where we are in the discussion at the moment.

    While atoms may combine with molecules, they also have the potential of unbonding and becoming just atoms again. That is overall more existence then if such bonds were permanent

    I don’t see how this creates more existence; because, again, I don’t know exactly how you calculating this: it is also very vague so far.
    Bob Ross

    An atom can express itself in particular ways. However, once it joins as a molecule, it loses certain potential expressions as an individual atom as long as it remains a part of that molecule. As a simple example, we cannot breath water right? We would drown despite there being oxygen in water. It is only when oxygen is in its separated state that we gain the interaction of being able to breathe it.

    If everything joined into one giant blob, the loss of potential existence would be tremendous. My point is that when an atom can combine, but also has the potential to uncombine, this creates more potential existence then a combination which can never break apart again.

    How do you calculate the comparison between expressions and potentials?Bob Ross

    Expressions are what is, potentials are what could be. They are a necessary addition when considering any future change. For example, at any moment a life has the potential to die. That's an important consideration when planning what that life should do in the next moment. The universe in theory has the potential to separate into complete entropy. Could a universe such as that every come together again? There are potentials which if made actual, eliminate other potentials permanently. If a person dies, they can't just be reassembled together. Perhaps the potential is there in theory, but not practically.

    The potential vs actual is a struggle for myself as well. Beyond the general use for it, it can quickly grow in complexity depending on the context we create. The goal here is to see if the established vocabulary and patterns can make sense in a manageable general sense where it is most relevant to people's moral questions. Specific and isolated contexts deserve their own study. If what I'm proposing is viable, this is a field of study, something which cannot be easily covered in an introductory conversation.

    1. Is it better to have two pieces of paper of equal mass or 1?Bob Ross

    2, in this context. This is not necessarily the same context when we introduce other variables.

    2. is it better to divide a mass of paper into two smaller pieces than not to?Bob Ross

    In this context I would say it is mostly meaningless. Depending on how its cut and organized, my intuition is that we could find instances in which some expressions end up creating slightly more or less existence, but not meaningful enough beyond an isolated thought experiment.

    3. Is it better to combine two pieces of paper into one big piece of paper than not to?Bob Ross

    Same answer as point 2.

    I still think it is perfectly reasonable to analyze it in terms of non-scientific units (e.g., is better for there to be one potato or two?); but let’s go with that for now.Bob Ross

    It is, depending on the context. If you've created a context in which the molecular composition as well as small variations of mass are irrelevant, then yes. For example, we're talking about shipping millions of potatoes to Ukraine to feed people. If you create a scenario in which those things are relevant, than no. This would be talking about splitting a potato into two parts.

    I hope this helps a little! I'm happy the conversation has transitioned to this line of thinking as this lets us really explore the foundations of theory first.
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