• Philosophim
    2k
    And this lands you, at least prima facie, in a super counter-intuitive moral position. That’s my worry. Sure, it could still be true and be super counter-intuitive; but no one is going to accept that we have create as many things as we can.Bob Ross

    Agreed. Once we get past the basic matter issue and onto people however, I think you'll see how this works. Just one step at a time so we don't have to keep going back.

    I don’t see how B is better. I get that 3 is better than 2 if #1 (that I quoted above), but this makes me question how you derived that more existence is better from existence is good: could you elaborate?
    This may just be the ambiguity in “existence is good”. What does it mean for existence itself to be good? Are you just saying “existence is preferable to non-existence”?
    Bob Ross

    Yes, very good question. For existence to be good, it means there should be existence. So yes, it is preferable to non-existence. And that's it. That's all we have to go on! If existence is preferable to non-existence, then 3 existence is preferable to 2 existence because in the world of two existence, we have an existence deficit (or non-existence comparison) of 1.

    Its not something I feel that's proven, its more of a consequence of the foundation. The only time where we start judging whether existence can be 'bad' is in the case of its expressions. For example, lets say we had a world of 2 existence versus a world of 3 existence, but 1 of those existences in the 3 world could annihilate all existence permanently. Over the course of time, the annihilation would cause an overall decrease in actual and expressed existence than in the 2 existence world.

    Like, in number? What constitutes “most existence”? Number of “material” and “expressive” existent entities?Bob Ross

    There are a few points I've muddled out and I'm not completely sold on it yet. I definitely want to hear your thoughts on the matter here as this is new. To my mind, I've never encountered any philosophy like this, so we're really thinking on this ourselves without outside references.

    1. Existence as 'the parts'. This is the lego section. We can have a lot of different legos that can be built and broken down again. Legos themselves are not really further divisible. In the technical sense, I'm not sure if base matter can be 'broken'. For our purposes I don't think that's important. We're just referring to Aristotelean atoms, the smallest sets of matter we can have.

    2. Existence as 'relations'. This is one lego part in relation to another. It can be an inch or a mile away from another part. It can collide and bump into another part. Relations can be changed, thus allowing us to observe time.

    3. Existence as 'new identities'. An existence's expression is how it can interact with other 'legos' to create new 'identities'. An identity is a combination of legos that has an entirely new function from just a couple of legos touching. For example, you can have a lot of metal atoms together, but shape it into an engine and its something more than 'just a bunch of metal'. At an atomic level, this would be molecules or bonding between atoms to create large scale physical structures like well, a sheet of metal.

    When an existence becomes part of a new identity, its relation with other existences may change. Sodium and Chloride will kill you if you ingest them separately, but their identity of salt, is pretty tasty.

    These of course are meant to be very broad categories, as the complexity with just this can start to become overwhelming.

    So this section, I don’t think, answered my worry: isn’t this kind of pure chaos you described the best possible reality in your view? This, again, goes against all moral intuitions I have (: You are advocating for the good being destruction and construction alike.Bob Ross

    To be clear, only over an infinite period of time and space. In a finite period of time and space, order will generate overall more existence.

    My point is that the real elephant in the room, which needs to be addressed before discussion which of the two options you gave is better, is that no one will agree that the best option is to blow up the entire submarine, let alone that it is an option at all. You seem to be saying it is not only a validly morally permissible option, but it is, in fact, the best option.Bob Ross

    I'll definitely address it. No, blowing up the submarine and killing all the people onboard before an hour passes is not more moral. For now, just focus on the example given to see if it works within the limitations presented. Don't worry about where this is going until we see where it is first.
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    Although I still do not have a firm grasp on your ethical theory, I do commend you for your creativity; as this is very outside of the box! One of the many reasons I enjoy our conversations...(:

    For existence to be good, it means there should be existence. So yes, it is preferable to non-existence.

    So, ‘X is preferable to Y’ does not entail, by my lights, that ‘there ought to be as much X as possible’. If I prefer vanilla to chocolate ice cream, there is no entailment here such that I should create as much vanilla as possible. So I don’t see how ‘existing is preferable to not-existing’ entails that ‘more existent entities is better’ and, in turn, that ‘the most existent entities should be created’.

    To me, ‘X is preferable to Y’ just entails that I should choose X over Y assuming I also accept “I should choose what is preferred”.

    Again, even if more existent entities is better, including relations and interactions between those entities, it does not seem very moral at all. I do think this mandates procreation, just as one example.

    Its not something I feel that's proven, its more of a consequence of the foundation.

    I grant this for now, but I don’t think this is true.

    For example, lets say we had a world of 2 existence versus a world of 3 existence, but 1 of those existences in the 3 world could annihilate all existence permanently. Over the course of time, the annihilation would cause an overall decrease in actual and expressed existence than in the 2 existence world.

    Yes, so this just gets you into consequentialist territory, and this comes with its own bullets to bite. So what if we knew, with 100% certainty, that enslaving 1% of the population would total net produce a world with more existent entities (and relations and interactions between them) than a world where everyone is free? (perhaps people get lazy, and stop interacting when they aren’t forced to, etc.)

    You are committed to working towards a world where we enslave people; based off of your own reasoning here (in the above quote).

    You are committed to whatever total net increases “existence” in reality; which is just an act-consequentialist view where the desired goal is “more existence in reality”: this is the exact same as utilitarianism except the desired goal is different, and this lands you into making a bunch of counter-intuitive moral decisions (like the above).

    What if, just as another example, the government yanking people out of there homes once a day and thoroughly beating them actually produced more relations and interactions amongst its citizens due to their united effort to resist? Well, total net, it increases expressed existence, so it is good under your view. You say we should skip over morality as it pertains to humans, but this is where is painfully obvious that this theory is super counter-intuitive and downright immoral in many cases (by my lights).

    There are a few points I've muddled out and I'm not completely sold on it yet. I definitely want to hear your thoughts on the matter here as this is new.

    For now, I don’t have a problem with your categories; I think we have more pressing matters at hand here.

    To be clear, only over an infinite period of time and space. In a finite period of time and space, order will generate overall more existence.

    I don’t see why this is true. Over interval [1, 50] years a chaotic world will have more ‘new identities’, ‘parts’, and ‘relations’. Order produces a system where things do not sporadically get created: if we only procreate when we are financially stable vs. whenever we want for whatever reason we want, then the latter will produce more existent entities (and relations and what not) than the former. Chaos will always be better in your view.

    No, blowing up the submarine and killing all the people onboard before an hour passes is not more moral. For now, just focus on the example given to see if it works within the limitations presented. Don't worry about where this is going until we see where it is first.

    Sure, if we are just asking which is better under your view and everything else being equal, then 10 for an hour is better. This is not the pressing issue with the theory though.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    Although I still do not have a firm grasp on your ethical theory, I do commend you for your creativity; as this is very outside of the box! One of the many reasons I enjoy our conversations...(:Bob Ross

    I appreciate it! I often feel my outside of the box philosophy is unapproachable for many people. I had a few professors in the past who were interested, but mostly I've found people have difficulty engaging with something new. It is very refreshing to find people who are willing to engage in thinking about something new. I am grateful. :)

    So, ‘X is preferable to Y’ does not entail, by my lights, that ‘there ought to be as much X as possible’. If I prefer vanilla to chocolate ice cream, there is no entailment here such that I should create as much vanilla as possible.Bob Ross

    A good point, and its probably time that we tackle what is moral vs what is a preference. Something we have a preference for is a satisfaction of emotional desires. This is not the same as a moral outcome. While in English we can say, "X is preferable" that has a different connation in the moral sense then in a "Where should I go to dinner" sense. To avoid this overlap, we should not use 'should' and 'preferable' together to avoid an emotional connotation.

    To be clear, only over an infinite period of time and space. In a finite period of time and space, order will generate overall more existence.

    I don’t see why this is true. Over interval [1, 50] years a chaotic world will have more ‘new identities’, ‘parts’, and ‘relations’. Order produces a system where things do not sporadically get created: if we only procreate when we are financially stable vs. whenever we want for whatever reason we want, then the latter will produce more existent entities (and relations and what not) than the former. Chaos will always be better in your view.
    Bob Ross

    No, and we can use statistics to demonstrate why. Recall that chaos means anything can happen. Which could mean that in 50 years the range between nothing happening vs everything happening exists. Not only this, this can vary per time tick. Its simply an unknown gamble. But if we were able to create a stable and steady grouping of existence over time, we would come up with a certain set of existence that in many cases, would be more existence than that of a chaotic set.

    Does that mean that there could be a chaotic set that would have more existence overall? Yes, but we cannot control chaos. If we could, it really wouldn't be chaos.

    Sure, if we are just asking which is better under your view and everything else being equal, then 10 for an hour is better. This is not the pressing issue with the theory though.Bob Ross

    Alright, if there doesn't seem to be much wrong with the basics prima facia, then I think its time to go to the next step, life. First, what is life? Life is not separate from the universe, but one expression of a universe. Lets start small. A single cell vs a rock. First, we'll set it up to have the same comparative amount of molecules, so we can finally get outside of this basic area. What we're more interested in right now is the internal expressions of existence within that rock and cell.

    Comparing the internal interactions of existence of a single cell to a rock, its pretty self evident which one has more interactions and potential existence. Perhaps someone with hours to spare could do a specific count, but I feel its 'uncountably' so. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41576-020-00292-x

    What we can determine is that life is the highest concentration of expressed and potential existence when compared to plain chemical reactions or molecular grouping. Within one cell contains multiple chemical interactions as well as groupings. The other difference between a cell and a chemical reaction is a chemical reaction burns itself out over time. For the equivalent mass, a single cell continues to renew this chemical reaction over days to years. Over the limited span of the cell, we have an incredible concentration of existence.

    As such, we can start safely making general assertions based off of this reasoning. The important thing is to never forget how this basis is made. Within the context of flat comparison and introducing no other variables, life will be a more condensed and longer lasting existence per mass. Meaning from our 'objective' morality, life is more concentrated existence than non-life in this context.

    Now does this mean everything should become living and we cease to have rocks? No. Recall that as a general rule, having varieties of existence that can potentially interact with one another is more overall potential existence than one solitary type of existence. Further, there are limitations to life. Life needs a rock to stand on, and enough rocks to form enough gravity to keep an atmosphere, etc. All the non-life is necessary to produce life, and life constantly interacts with non-life creating more existence then it floating in a void.

    Of course, life has another potential problem. To sustain its chemical reactions, it must constantly resupply itself with material needed for this. Overtime, if our single cells continue to multiply indefinitely, it will use up all of the inorganic resources, and life will cease entirely. What would be better if is life was in a system where resources were renewed as long as possible, or there was a check on its growth. After all, existence is measured over time, not just in an instance. What we want is the greatest possible existence over the limited time we have.

    Nature has interestingly enough, solved this problem. Predators evolved out of matter, or living organisms that break down other living organisms. It turns out that life evolved to consume the waste products of one life, then generate waste products that the original life also uses! Thus plants consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen while animals consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide. So we can look at the cycle of basic life and its interplay and state that its overall goal is better than an alternative where only one life exists, consumes everything, then dies.

    Alright, that's enough for now. I'm not addressing humans yet, because this is the next step. See what you think about this so far! Once we're done, the next step is finally humans, I promise. :)
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    To avoid this overlap, we should not use 'should' and 'preferable' together to avoid an emotional connotation.

    This doesn’t really address the issue though, unless you are conceding that ‘existence is not preferable to non-existence’ or that preference is irrelevant.

    Recall that chaos means anything can happen. Which could mean that in 50 years the range between nothing happening vs everything happening exists.

    Not quite what I mean. I am saying that in a world with maximal existent entities, chaos between them is always better than order. Chaos, itself, does not entail that nothing might happen: it is the complete disorder and confusion of what exists as it relates to other entities that exists.

    By analogy, I am saying a room full of furniture, people, electrons, etc. in a state of continual collisions and disorder is going to be better than where everything is arranged according to specific guidelines (i.e., order) because there is more ‘expressive existences’ in the chaotic room vs. the orderly room. You seem to be noting, with this response, that the existence of the entities in the room may randomly disappear or they may stop interacting with each other. Perhaps tumultuousness is a better term for what I mean than chaos.

    Comparing the internal interactions of existence of a single cell to a rock, its pretty self evident which one has more interactions and potential existence.

    Sure, but you are basically just saying “more complexity is better”; but, then, a highly complex computer or AI would be higher prioritized and better than a newborn baby. Likewise, an adult Lion, by your own standards, has more “interactions and potential existence” than a newborn human baby: are we supposed to say it is better to have adult Lions than human babies? Is it, likewise, better to save an adult lion than a newborn baby in a crisis, then?

    Likewise, I am not sure that a newborn human baby is more complex then unalive ecosystems.

    Likewise, if the more interactions and potential existence a thing has the more moral worth it has, then hurricane has more moral worth than a rock, which considering it kills innocent people and damages lives this seems counter-intuitive.

    I will stop there for now.

    Bob
  • Philosophim
    2k
    To avoid this overlap, we should not use 'should' and 'preferable' together to avoid an emotional connotation.

    This doesn’t really address the issue though, unless you are conceding that ‘existence is not preferable to non-existence’ or that preference is irrelevant.
    Bob Ross

    My point is about context. "I would prefer to do X, but I should do this instead." Preference is often subjective.

    Recall that chaos means anything can happen. Which could mean that in 50 years the range between nothing happening vs everything happening exists.

    Not quite what I mean. I am saying that in a world with maximal existent entities, chaos between them is always better than order. Chaos, itself, does not entail that nothing might happen: it is the complete disorder and confusion of what exists as it relates to other entities that exists.
    Bob Ross

    What you mean is a specified kind of order then. A dice roll is not chaos, no matter how many dice you add into the mixture. We simply don't know the outcome. Can you specify the type of existence you think would be more moral? Use the calculations I've been doing so far. Start simple.

    By analogy, I am saying a room full of furniture, people, electrons, etc. in a state of continual collisions and disorder is going to be better than where everything is arranged according to specific guidelines (i.e., order) because there is more ‘expressive existences’ in the chaotic room vs. the orderly room. You seem to be noting, with this response, that the existence of the entities in the room may randomly disappear or they may stop interacting with each other.Bob Ross

    I'm not saying you're wrong, but this is far too vague. Can you use the system I've put forward so far? Use one of my examples as a spring board.

    Sure, but you are basically just saying “more complexity is better”; but, then, a highly complex computer or AI would be higher prioritized and better than a newborn baby.Bob Ross

    What do you mean by 'prioritized'? Remember, we've already found a mathematical rule that introducing different types of existences increases overall existence. There is nothing that prevent an AI and a baby from coexisting. In fact, its more existence for them to coexist, and no matter how moral AI becomes, it is more moral to keep the unique existence of babies within that same universe.

    And you're still too far along. You're not understanding the basics yet, just trying to see where this is going. You're talking calculus before you've mastered multiplciation. :) Use atoms. Hydrogen and helium. This helps keep it at the level that you want where we can look at the math and make sure the fundamentals are understood.

    Likewise, an adult Lion, by your own standards, has more “interactions and potential existence” than a newborn human baby: are we supposed to say it is better to have adult Lions than human babies?Bob Ross

    No, because a human being, IE, higher intelligence, is a much greater potential existence than a lion. Higher intelligence is much more capable than simple ambulation and survival. It can plan how to shape the universe and make it so in ways far beyond an animal. It can recognize its own morality. The amount of existence per atom heavily outweighs a lion. That being said, both or valuable. The universe is in general richer for having them both than not having one or the other. And if humans were eliminated, it would still be better for there to exist lions.

    Likewise, I am not sure that a newborn human baby is more complex then unalive ecosystems.Bob Ross

    One individual baby is not, but you're making two mistakes.

    1. You're assuming its either/or. Its better for there to be both.
    2. You're not comparing the amount of existence generated per 'atom'. You're comparing the generation of expressed existence of 3 atoms vs 300 million atoms.

    Again Bob, I have to see that you understand the part we're at first before we move to humanity, intelligence, etc. Try to take your examples and put them into the atom examples I've used so far. If you can't yet, then that means its probably past where we're at right now. We'll get there, just one step at a time. :)
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    As I am reading through your response, I think it is worth us slowing down a bit and discussing the actual formulas you are deriving and using to make these calculations. Initially, I was just trying to point out the severe counter-intuitiveness to the ethical theory, which I still think is applicable, but I think you are more interested in the formulas themselves.

    As I was writing up a response, the primary problem I have is that your calculations are derived from completely unexplained formulas that allegedly are derived from “more existent entities is better”.

    For example, on the one hand you seem to deploy a ‘atom-for-atom’ formula (such that an entity with more atoms is better than one with less); while, on the other, you seem to deploy a ‘potential-for-potential’ formula (such that an entity with more potential to act is better than one with less); and, yet another, is that you seem to compare potential for act-potentials as well (e.g., baby is better than a lion when considered as a fully developed adult). Crucially, these formulas are incompatible with each other at worst, hazy and unclear at best—e.g., it is not always true that an entity with more atoms has more acting-potential than one with less, etc.. Granted, I just reverse engineered these based off of our conversation and you have not explicitly endorsed them; but this seems to be what your responses tend to be indicating in your reasoning.

    For example, you say that a baby is better than a lion, if one had to choose one over the other, because the former has more potential for act-potential or, as you put it, ‘potential existence’ than the latter; but you also say the atoms is greater in a baby compared to a lion (which is clearly not true, but let’s just grant it is): an adult elephant has clearly more atoms than a newborn baby—so this can’t be an actual formula you are using. The formula may be incorporating atom-for-atom comparisons to some extent into its calculation, but that is not the sole calculation (seemingly) being made here.

    Likewise, for example, setting aside that it will lead to counter-intuitive conclusions, if we are just examining the potential for act-potentials, then a sophisticated AI robot has way more potential for acting when fully developed than a fully developed adult human. The intelligence of an sophisticated, state-of-the-art, robot equipped with AI is leagues above the computing power of a human. When I say AI, mean, as a thought experiment, a being with a mechanical body, two arms, two legs, is aware of its surroundings, has desires/goals, and exceptional computation power. Think of like AI robots in movies: the terminator or something like that.

    To be completely honest, I don’t think you will be able to come up with an actual exact formula for how to determine what is better even with the knowledge that "more existent entities is better", because there’s always going to be a counter-example which will contradict it; but I am happy to be proven wrong!
  • Philosophim
    2k
    Sorry for the delay Bob. I had to take a break from the forum for a few days to handle other things, but I'm back.

    As I am reading through your response, I think it is worth us slowing down a bit and discussing the actual formulas you are deriving and using to make these calculations. Initially, I was just trying to point out the severe counter-intuitiveness to the ethical theory, which I still think is applicable, but I think you are more interested in the formulas themselves.Bob Ross

    This exactly.

    For example, on the one hand you seem to deploy a ‘atom-for-atom’ formula (such that an entity with more atoms is better than one with less); while, on the other, you seem to deploy a ‘potential-for-potential’ formula (such that an entity with more potential to act is better than one with less); and, yet another, is that you seem to compare potential for act-potentials as well (e.g., baby is better than a lion when considered as a fully developed adult).Bob Ross

    Yes, you didn't have a grasp on these formulas which I feel we must debate over first, so there is no point in moving on until you do. Lets keep to the atom comparison for now. So no more lions or babies for now!

    First, let me introduce a few rules I've been coming up with to simplify understanding.

    1. Existence is the smallest bit of identifiable material possible.

    In our case, its quarks. But maybe in the future it will be something smaller. So the examples here are 'atomic' comparisons, but are simply an abstract for, 'the smallest existence'

    2. Existence is also created by the relation between another existence.

    This is about force exchange, or distance. Think gravity as a simple force exchange as all existences exert gravity on one another. If force exchange makes it too complicated, just make it distance.

    3. When this relation is affected by another expression of existence. Expressions are changes in the underlying function of the existence when isolated or comes into basic contact with another. Think of a pool ball bouncing against another. Both the pool bars retain their individual identity, but react differently than in isolation.

    4. This can create an entirely new identity in which two existences create something more than a trivial interaction. Think about two atoms forming a molecules. The combination of these expressed existences becomes something entirely new adds new expressed existence that could not happen for each 'atom' in isolation.

    5. Potential existence is the total possible amount of expressed existence that can happen from one atom, or a new 'identity' like a molecule.

    Consequences of these rules:

    1. In most cases, having more potential expressions of existence allows a greater existence to ultimately be expressed.

    2. Where possible, the elimination of one existence's actual and potential existence should be avoided.

    3. A variety of expressed existences are preferable to uniform. For example, there is more potential existence in having a hydrogen and helium atom alone, while also having a separate pair of hydrogen and helium atoms as a molecule instead of two molecules.

    Lets start with just this. Go through the rules and consequences and pick at it thinking in atoms alone at this point. No babies! :D I have next steps planned, but we need to go slow.
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    Sorry for the delay Bob. I had to take a break from the forum for a few days to handle other things, but I'm back.

    Absolutely no worries!

    1. Existence is the smallest bit of identifiable material possible.

    I don’t think ‘existence’ is quite the word you are looking for (unless I am just misunderstanding), as the term refers to anything that ‘is’. #1 here refurbishes the term to only refer to the most fundamental and primitive entities.

    Anyways, I see what you are conveying here: your approach starts with the most fundamental ‘building blocks’ which, for you, are ‘fundamental “particles”’ (where ‘particle’ is symbolic and not necessarily something tangible).

    1. In most cases, having more potential expressions of existence allows a greater existence to ultimately be expressed.

    For the sake of brevity, I am going to refer to your fundamental principle that ‘existing is better than not existing’ as EB, and the derivate principle ‘the more potential expressions of existent entities the better’ as PEB.

    With respect to PEB, what are you grounding/anchoring the span of potential expressions for comparison between ‘candidates’? (E.g., are you calculating it in terms of total net relative to the ultimate outcome? Are you calculating it in terms of the immediately foreseeable outcome? Are you anchoring it in the present or future?)

    For example, when you determine something has X potential in terms of the expressions of existence, is that X potential calculated in terms of every single foreseeable expression it could produce during its lifetime? Or is it grounded in the present—i.e., X potential is calculated in terms of what the entity is producing in the present moment and not what one could anticipate it producing in the distant future. If the former, then how plausible does the inference need to be (in terms of how much potential it has) in order to be considered valid in your view?

    I also noticed that you said “in most cases” and not “in every case”: so, is PEB just a general principle as opposed to an absolute one?

    2. Where possible, the elimination of one existence's actual and potential existence should be avoided.

    I get what you are saying; but this doesn’t seem moral to me at all. This will absolutely lead to biting a ton of bullets in ethics; and same with PEB (and EB).

    I will stop here for now,
    Bob
  • Wayfarer
    20.4k
    Existence is the smallest bit of identifiable material possible.

    In our case, its quarks. But maybe in the future it will be something smaller. So the examples here are 'atomic' comparisons, but are simply an abstract for, 'the smallest existence'
    Philosophim

    Good ol' atomism, eh? The problem is, quarks, whatever they are, are not ‘identifiable material’ or ‘particles’ as such. From an article on the nature of particles:

    A particle is...a collapsed wave function. But what in the world does that mean? Why does observation cause a distended mathematical function to collapse and a concrete particle to appear? And what decides the measurement’s outcome? Nearly a century later, physicists have no idea.

    Werner Heisenberg elaborates:

    During the nineteenth century, the development of chemistry and the theory of heat conformed very closely to the ideas first put forward by Leucippus and Democritus (i.e. atomists). ...The concept of the atom had proved exceptionally fruitful in the explanation of chemical bonding and the physical behavior of gases. It was soon apparent, however, that the particles called atoms by the chemist were composed of still smaller units. But these smaller units, the electrons, followed by the atomic nuclei and finally the elementary particles, protons and neutrons, also still seemed to be atoms from the standpoint of the materialist philosophy. The fact that, at least indirectly, one can actually see a single elementary particle—in a cloud chamber, say, or a bubble chamber—supports the view that the smallest units of matter are real physical objects, existing in the same sense that stones or flowers do.

    But the inherent difficulties of the materialist theory of the atom, which had become apparent even in the ancient discussions about smallest particles, have also appeared very clearly in the development of physics during the present century.

    This difficulty relates to the question whether the smallest units are ordinary physical objects, whether they exist in the same way as do stones or flowers. Here, the development of quantum theory some forty years ago has created a complete change in the situation. The mathematically-formulated laws of quantum theory show clearly that our ordinary intuitive concepts (such as ‘particle’ ~ wf) cannot be unambiguously applied to the smallest particles. All the words or concepts we use to describe ordinary physical objects, such as 'position', 'velocity', 'color', 'size', and so on, become indefinite and problematic if we try to use then of elementary particles. I cannot enter here into the details of this problem, which has been discussed so frequently in recent years. But it is important to realize that, while the behavior of the smallest particles cannot be unambiguously described in ordinary language, the language of mathematics is still adequate for a clear-cut account of what is going on (i.e. by predicting observations ~ wf).

    During the coming years (spoken in 1949), the high-energy accelerators will bring to light many further interesting details about the behavior of elementary particles. But I am inclined to think that the answer just considered to the old philosophical problems will turn out to be final. If this is so, does this answer confirm the views of Democritus or Plato?

    I think that on this point modern physics has definitely decided for Plato. For the smallest units of matter are not, in fact, physical objects in the ordinary sense of the word; they are forms, structures or— in Plato's sense—Ideas, which can be unambiguously spoken of only in the language of mathematics.
    — The Debate between Plato and Democritus

    (Democritus represents materiaiism, Plato represents idealism.)

    Turns out that 'the indivisible atom' is not quite so fundamental after all.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    1. Existence is the smallest bit of identifiable material possible.

    I don’t think ‘existence’ is quite the word you are looking for (unless I am just misunderstanding), as the term refers to anything that ‘is’. #1 here refurbishes the term to only refer to the most fundamental and primitive entities.
    Bob Ross

    My mistake, 'material existence' works better.

    With respect to PEB, what are you grounding/anchoring the span of potential expressions for comparison between ‘candidates’? (E.g., are you calculating it in terms of total net relative to the ultimate outcome? Are you calculating it in terms of the immediately foreseeable outcome? Are you anchoring it in the present or future?)Bob Ross

    Alright, as long as you understand the start, we can move into time. Over unlimited time, if nothing eliminates material or potential existence, then all things are possible. But we don't have unlimited time, nor know if it exists. We have limited time. What is moral is based upon a time frame. If over 100 seconds there is a steady total of '10 existence' this is a better outcome then a total of 12 existence over 50 seconds, then 0 existence over 50 more seconds.

    But, this does man that an existence of 1000 over 1 second would be equivalent. Of course the problem is the zero existence afterward. Over the course of a limit to infinity, having even 1 existence over all of that time would be superior to any limited set of existence that destroys itself completely.

    Thus another general rule.

    1. Potential existence can be lower temporarily if it will/may pay off by creating more potential existence later.

    Of course, now lets put the idea out there that we could manage it somehow. We can't plan for infinite time, just limited time. How do we manage our atoms?

    This could be very complex, or simple. Lets start simple. We have 4 atoms floating around in infinite space. While potentially they could interact with one another to create a molecule, in actuality, the probability of doing so is extremely low. More likely than not, the four atoms will scatter to infinite distances of one another to never again interact. The 'potential' is there for them to interact, but the forces practically cut that potential off entirely. I'm not sure what to call this.

    But what we could do is put a limiter. For example, put a box around our atoms. They can drift away, but not so far away that they never have the actual possibility of contacting one another again. Funny enough as a side, gravity in theory attracts all things towards each other. Meaning that if there were no other outside forces, there would be a practical limit to how far away atoms could get from one another before gravity reversed their momentum to return.

    To get complicated we would need some math that I'm not willing to go through right now. :) Lots of probabilities and calculations for the optimal limitation distance etc. There are two more points we want to glean out of this now.

    1. The math can get, 'big'. In an ideal scenario we could calculate it all out. And if we want to be 100% correct, we should. But of course calculating future morality is the realm of probability. Nothing is certain.

    2. Because the specifics of the math can get rather large, we need a more efficient way to handle scenarios. This is the rule of eliminating equivalences in both sides. So if we are comparing two universes in a box with three atoms, if the box size is the same in both universes, we do not have to take the existence into consideration in comparing both. This is exemplified in the submarine example.

    3. Significant figures should also be taken into account. Considering we are including a lot of unknowns in the situation, there comes a point where further calculation is unnecessary for general conversation and decisions. If for example we get a ratio of 1.9997621 to 1.9998621 this can largely be rounded to 2. This will be important as we scale beyond atoms. Eventually there will come a point on our scale where the 'quark' value of existence is so insignificant for measurement and practical purposes that we disregard it as a consideration.

    4. These moral patterns do not change as existence becomes more complex. At its base, the calculations and rules are the same. How we assess something as it moves up to a new identity like 'life' is important, but still follows the same fundamental rules.

    I also noticed that you said “in most cases” and not “in every case”: so, is PEB just a general principle as opposed to an absolute one?Bob Ross

    As you can see from the above, this is why this is a general principle. Time and meaningful significant digits can bend this a bit.
    2. Where possible, the elimination of one existence's actual and potential existence should be avoided.

    I get what you are saying; but this doesn’t seem moral to me at all. This will absolutely lead to biting a ton of bullets in ethics; and same with PEB (and EB).
    Bob Ross

    Perhaps, but remember we cannot look to where we're going when starting at a base. We have to look at where the base leads us. As I noted earlier, we can dip into lower potential and actual expressions of existence if the payoff is more existence down the road.

    That's enough for now. Let me know what you think Bob! Once we feel comfortable with what's happening at the atomic level, I'll move back to life.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    In our case, its quarks. But maybe in the future it will be something smaller. So the examples here are 'atomic' comparisons, but are simply an abstract for, 'the smallest existence'
    — Philosophim

    Good ol' atomism, eh? The problem is, quarks, whatever they are, are not ‘identifiable material’ or ‘particles’ as such. From an article on the nature of particles:
    Wayfarer

    Hello Wayfarer! I appreciate your contribution to the thread, but this is a fairly special one. I'm building up a case as I go to propose a 'logical supposition' for an objective morality. As you noted in the quote, I am not endorsing atomism, I am using it as a convenient abstraction to communicate the underlying ideas of the OP.

    While we could have an interesting discussion about mathematical particles vs waves in another thread, its not relevant here and I don't wish to get side tracked. If you're interested in thinking about the logical plausibility of an objective morality, let me paste a summary of the initial part leading up to this point. This should be a very fun measure of philosophy where we're really thinking about something new and different. I would love to have your thoughts. :)

    The idea is that we don't know if there is an objective morality. If there is though, I find all moral questions boil down to needing the foundation of "Should existence be" or "Should nothing be"? Basically if "Existence should not be" is true, all other moral questions are moot. If there is an objective morality, then only one of these can be right. Either existence should, or should not be. No answer means, no objective morality. Which is fine if you don't believe in one, its about determining what would make the most sense if there was one.

    So examine the following:

    1. It is unknown whether, A, 'everything should not exist' is true. A = T/F
    2. IF A is true, it must not lead to a conclusion which contradicts itself A = A && A != !A
    3. Assume 'nothing should exist' is true A = T
    4. Because it is moral that 'nothing should exist' the objective claim 'nothing should exist' should also not exist.
    5. But if the moral claim, "Existence should not exist" should not exist, then by consequence, "Existence should exist" A -> !A
    Therefore, if we are assuming an objective morality exists, the only claim which does not lead to a contradiction to its claims is "Existence should be".

    What I'm noting is that if it is, according to itself, it shouldn't be. If such a morality exists, it would be immoral for it to exist. Compare this to the idea of "Contradictions should be encouraged". If that's the case, then we should contradict the point "Contradictions should be encouraged". But if we contradict this, then this necessarily means "Contradictions should not be encouraged".

    With the idea that "Existence should be" would logically be the foundation for any objective morality, I'm building up a way to use math to calculate out comparative existence scenarios and build up to a morality that people can use that is based on objectivity, not culture.
  • Philosophim
    2k


    Nice topic! Are you able to follow what's going on here? I just posted a little summary for Wayfarer above. I would love to hear your opinions if you're interested.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k

    I provided the link as my views on your topic. I will check the summary that you are mentioning and see how I can contribute with something more specific to your topic ...
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k
    The idea is that we don't know if there is an objective morality.Philosophim
    Where should we search for that? Morality is a broad term: it can mean conformity to a set of rules of right conduct. It can also mean virtuous conduct. It can also mean the quality of such a conduct. It can also mean personal principles regarding right or wrong ... So, it seems that morality has a subjective quality and hence we can't talk about an objective morality.

    This is why I prefer talking about ethics, which, although sometimes is --wrongly-- used interchangeably with morality, It has to do with principles defined objectively, whether based on a cenral concept or not.

    Now, about your logical scheme ... I have some difficulty following it. What does "everything should not exist" --or its opposite for that matter, "everything should exist"-- mean? How and where can this be applied to? And what does this have to do with morality? (Morality comes in only in step (4).)
    So, I jump to your conclusion:

    Therefore, if we are assuming an objective morality exists, the only claim which does not lead to a contradiction to its claims is "Existence should be".Philosophim
    See, you looking for an objective morality, which you have not defined --and which needs to be, since it's a broad term and also of a subjective nature, as I mentioned in the beginning.

    So, again, where and how should we search for such an objective morality in the first place?
  • Wayfarer
    20.4k
    Basically if "Existence should not be" is true, all other moral questions are moot.Philosophim

    Isn't that another way of asking 'is there a reason for existence?' And that, if there is a reason for existence, then there is what you're calling an 'objective morality' because existence is grounded in a reason, or is justified. Whereas if there is no reason for existence, then nihilism (nothing matters, nothing is real) flows from that. Have I paraphrased your intent?
  • Philosophim
    2k
    Where should we search for that? Morality is a broad term: it can mean conformity to a set of rules of right conduct.Alkis Piskas

    I did not summarize everything in the OP, though perhaps I should have. As defined in the OP, morality is "what should be".

    Now, about your logical scheme ... I have some difficulty following it. What does "everything should not exist" --or its opposite for that matter, "everything should exist"-- mean? How and where can this be applied to? And what does this have to do with morality? (Morality comes in only in step (4).)Alkis Piskas

    The point is that all moral questions will eventually require this question, "Should there be existence?". "Why should we help people?" must answer the question, "Why should there be people?" which eventually must answer the question, "Why should there be anything at all?"

    Isn't that another way of asking 'is there a reason for existence?'Wayfarer

    No, its really just asking the question, "Should there be existence?" Check my reply above to Alkis, you're both on a similar line of questioning.
  • Alkis Piskas
    2.1k

    So, if I understand this well, you are talking about morality in the Universe. And, since you don't specify what kind of things should exist or not, your quest includes both animated matter (life) and inanimated matter, incuding of course energy, space and time. In other words your are asking if there is (or was) an original plan for the creation of the Universe. And whether that plan is (or was) moral or not?
    Still, you don't define what you consider as "moral". This makes it difficult to engage in a quest on the subject of existence. For one thing, it raises the question, "Moral in what sense and for whom"? So, since you don't define all that, the logical structure or even the whole questioning you are trying to build is too vague and blurry and it kind of floats in the air.

    In short, whatever you have in mind as an entity who created the Universe --some God or Supreme Being or Primal Cause-- according to a Plan, and whether that plain is (was) moral or not, one will always ask, "Moral in what sense and for whom?".
  • Wayfarer
    20.4k
    Isn't that another way of asking 'is there a reason for existence?'
    — Wayfarer

    No, its really just asking the question, "Should there be existence?"
    Philosophim

    They mean the same. 'Should there be?' is just another way of asking 'is there a reason for?'

    Here we are, trying to re-invent philosophy on the basis of hair-splitting distinctions.
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    If I am understanding correctly, then it sounds like you are just calculating total net 'identities' in reality over time, where preferably it is calculable closest to the last point in time. This doesn't seem moral to me and there are plenty of examples where this is just morally counter-intuitive and immoral. Likewise, is going to be plagued with bullets needing to be bitten.

    Let's move on to human interaction and see where this goes.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    In other words your are asking if there is (or was) an original plan for the creation of the Universe.Alkis Piskas

    No, I'm actually not. I don't think it requires an intelligence for there to be a morality, only an intelligence to comprehend a morality. This is not a morality that is human centric, but universal.

    Still, you don't define what you consider as "moral". This makes it difficult to engage in a quest on the subject of existence. For one thing, it raises the question, "Moral in what sense and for whom"?Alkis Piskas

    Morality is simply the question of, "What should be?" That's it. It doesn't require you or I. It doesn't require a God. Its the very simple question of whether there should, or should not be anything first, then building up from there.

    They mean the same. 'Should there be?' is just another way of asking 'is there a reason for?'Wayfarer

    No, and here's why. I can explain the reason why we have pollution. Should there be pollution? I can explain the reason why a criminal stole from the bank. Should the criminal have stolen from the bank?

    Here we are, trying to re-invent philosophy on the basis of hair-splitting distinctions.Wayfarer

    We're really not. What about the rest of the summary Wayfarer?
  • Philosophim
    2k
    If I am understanding correctly, then it sounds like you are just calculating total net 'identities' in reality over timeBob Ross

    Ah good. I had hesitated to use that word as I wasn't sure it fit. I've been trying to pare this down as basic as possible. I view an identity as a section of existence which has a unique capability to interact with another existence. Even two similar identities are never identical as they exist in different locations.

    where preferably it is calculable closest to the last point in time.Bob Ross

    Its an option based on what we're trying to accomplish. Time is a component of calculation. We could use seconds, minutes, hours, or years. While the smallest time tick would be the most accurate, it may be impractical to do so. For one, in the time it would take to calculate the total existence in the next tick, several ticks would have passed and we'll never catch up.

    This doesn't seem moral to me and there are plenty of examples where this is just morally counter-intuitive and immoral.Bob Ross

    Based on, 'Existence should be," do you have something in our approach so far that doesn't seem moral. Moral intuitions should be thrown away for now. We have a start, and from that start we've set the next step. Is this logical? Are there problems with it now? All life is gone in the universe, and this is all that remains. Are we wrong in our approach? We'll move on after as it all builds up from here.
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    Ah good. I had hesitated to use that word as I wasn't sure it fit.

    You view basically just mandates that the best state of reality is one with the most identifiable parts and relation of parts (or, in other words, most identifiable entities and relation of those entities); and this just seems to entail that everything capable of making decisions should be trying to get to that best possible world.

    While the smallest time tick would be the most accurate, it may be impractical to do so.

    But what are you calculating, the best way to achieve that best possible world?

    If I am getting a salary of X, then I can:

    1. Calculate total gross;
    2. Calculate total net;
    3. After essential expenses; etc

    You just seem to be noting I can do all of them, but I want to know, in your formula, are you determine the right thing to be based off of a span of 1 year, 1 minute, most forseeable future, etc.?

    Based on, 'Existence should be," do you have something in our approach so far that doesn't seem moral.

    Not really. I think when an ethical theory leads to conclusions which violate every single moral intuition known to man (including the painfully obvious ones), then there is probably something wrong with the theory. E.g., someone tells me it is right to commit mass genocide, and I am inclined to think they blundered somewhere in their reasoning, but technically, in principle, they might be right depending on their argument (even though I don't like it).

    I would say, in this case, you have just setup a moral framework where the most entities existing is best and your conclusions aren’t that particularly off; it is the idea that this is objective that is wrong, but I have been granting it for the sake of seeing where this goes. Likewise, it could be objectively right and I still would never promote this theory assuming my inferences about actions is accurate, because it will produce a world which I don't think anyone is going to want to live in (:

    Let’s just move on to people’s interactions and see how well or poorly your thinking holds up; and perhaps I have just misunderstood.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    You just seem to be noting I can do all of them, but I want to know, in your formula, are you determine the right thing to be based off of a span of 1 year, 1 minute, most forseeable future, etc.?Bob Ross

    Ok, this would be human morality. We'll get there soon.

    I would say, in this case, you have just setup a moral framework where the most entities existing is best and your conclusions aren’t that particularly off; it is the idea that this is objective that is wrong, but I have been granting it for the sake of seeing where this goes.Bob Ross

    But why do you see it as wrong? The way to take it is to assume that no life exists, but morality still would. What would morality look like without life? This question must be answered, because life is technically still just atoms and molecules cobbled together a particular way. We are not separate from the rest of the universe, we are made up of it.

    I would say, in this case, you have just setup a moral framework where the most entities existing is best and your conclusions aren’t that particularly offBob Ross

    If you are ok with what has been noted here so far, then I will continue. We may need to return, but we'll see.

    To understand life, we first need to understand chemical reactions. Chemical reactions are typically a flurry of interactions over a short period of time that eventually end once the material for the chemical reaction is used up. There is a high concentration of existence here, however it comes to an end.

    Life is interesting in the fact that it is a series of chemical interactions that continually seek to extend these chemical reactions as long as possible. Even to the point of creating a new life, or set of chemical reactions, that will continue on once the original can no longer renew itself. Comparing a single cell to a rock, we can see just in the internals alone how much existence there is. We have cytoplasm, organelles, and a cell wall. Not to mention we have mobility, as well as reproduction. Life is a high concentration of existence and considered more moral in comparison to an equivalent number of atoms in a rock.

    Something I've been noting is you seem to be using morality as a means of comparative elimination. In all cases, it is more moral to have both the rock and the life instead of either the life or the rock. Now in a case in which the rock would be destroyed or the one cell would live, in this comparison alone the life would be considered more moral and should continue to exist over the rock. But getting into eliminative morality should only be a consideration when there is an absolute choice between the two and no means of compromise.

    Of course, what's more existent than single cell life? Multicellular. This is the same exact pattern as atoms and molecules. Does this mean all single cell life should become multicellular? No. Just like the possibility of atoms forming into molecules doesn't mean all atoms should form into molecules.

    With this, we see the pattern of moral existence continues. What is most moral is an environment in which life and non-life can co-exist. Why life is particularly special is that it needs to sustain its own chemical reactions. This at time may put it into conflict with other lives. Ideally, two cells should be able to coexist. But there may be reasons why they cannot. Both cells may need the parts of the other cell to survive, and if neither of them eat the other, both will die. But in all cases, it should only be that one cell destroy the other only if it is necessarily more existence for it to do so. It is not about what the cell feels or wants (if it could feel such things) it is again a calculated outcome of existence.

    Can we have an evil cell then? Yes. Lets say we have a cell that kills every other cell it comes across. It does not eat the other cell or use it in anyway. The other cells are no threat to it. It just kills the other cell because it can. At this point, such a cell should either be contained from other cells, or be eliminated from existence. Its expressed existence is one that lowers the potential and actual existence around itself overall compared to a good cell.

    Multicellular life follows the same pattern once again. Instead of cells co-existing, its sheep and wolves. Ideally, both would be able to co-exist without killing one another. But, a wolf must eat meat to live. Further, simple multicellular life has no check on itself for its multiplication beyond available resources. If a population multiplies too much and burns through all of its resources, it can no longer renew itself and dies out entirely. Wolves serve as a check to ensure too many sheep do not form, eat all the grass and plants in an area, and result in a mass extinction event.

    Ok, take a look at what I've noted for life and see if you have any issues. Once you're good here, we'll move onto humans.
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    You just seem to be noting I can do all of them, but I want to know, in your formula, are you determine the right thing to be based off of a span of 1 year, 1 minute, most forseeable future, etc.? — Bob Ross

    Ok, this would be human morality. We'll get there soon.

    It isn’t, though: I am talking about the formula used for non-life and life here.

    But why do you see it as wrong?

    You have not given a clear analysis of what the property of goodness is (i.e., what is good?) nor why it is objective.

    It seems to have to do with ‘rational agents agreeing on’ (i.e., your use of ‘objectivity’--which I deny) the good being ‘there should be existence, and more of it’ because you find it internally incoherent to posit the contrary.

    Life is a high concentration of existence and considered more moral in comparison to an equivalent number of atoms in a rock.

    Now in a case in which the rock would be destroyed or the one cell would live, in this comparison alone the life would be considered more moral and should continue to exist over the rock

    An atom-to-atom comparison is not going to land you with life > non-life. E.g., a 1,000,000 ton rock has more atoms than a single-cell life and a (human) baby—so your conclusion would then be, when in conflict, to preserve the rock over the baby.

    Something I've been noting is you seem to be using morality as a means of comparative elimination.

    I am using comparisons and counter-factual examples to demonstrate how the conclusions of this theory are severely morally counter-intuitive.

    Does this mean all single cell life should become multicellular? No. Just like the possibility of atoms forming into molecules doesn't mean all atoms should form into molecules

    Why not? You seem to be saying it is objectively right/good for more identifiable entities to exist, and ‘upgrading’ from a single-cell to multi-cell seems better relative to that.

    If the reason is that life needs non-life and thusly having only life overall lowers the amount of existent entities (because everything would perish into a blob or something), then it is unclear what formula you are actually using. It seems like you are using an act-consequentialist formula where you are trying to maximize the number of existent entities.

    Likewise, it doesn’t make sense to say you are maximizing existence when you also believe that that matter is all that exists and cannot be created or destroyed: that entails existence itself is always equal—rather, what it exists as changes.

    Wolves serve as a check to ensure too many sheep do not form, eat all the grass and plants in an area, and result in a mass extinction event.

    But if you are just doing an atom-for-atom comparison, it may turn out that a big sheep may need to be preserved over a small, feeble wolf. Likewise, if you are considering how to maximize how many existent entities are there, then you would have to do more than an atom-to-atom comparison and consider the foreseeable consequences of keeping the sheep vs. the wolf and pick the one that seems to maximize your goal here. I am just unsure what exactly you are going for here.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    But why do you see it as wrong?

    You have not given a clear analysis of what the property of goodness is (i.e., what is good?) nor why it is objective.
    Bob Ross

    Hm, I may have lost you then. I've gone over it several times at this point and I'm not sure what else to tell you. I need something more specific Bob. What about what I've written is unclear? What is good is what should be right? If you're not with me at this point, then it might be a lost cause.

    You just seem to be noting I can do all of them, but I want to know, in your formula, are you determine the right thing to be based off of a span of 1 year, 1 minute, most forseeable future, etc.? — Bob Ross

    Ok, this would be human morality. We'll get there soon.

    It isn’t, though: I am talking about the formula used for non-life and life here.
    Bob Ross

    I've noted several times its the time span that we decide to look at. So you could determine the total existence after 1 minute or 1 hour.

    An atom-to-atom comparison is not going to land you with life > non-life. E.g., a 1,000,000 ton rock has more atoms than a single-cell life and a (human) baby—so your conclusion would then be, when in conflict, to preserve the rock over the baby.Bob Ross

    No, you don't understand the theory. I see no reference to material, expressed, or potential existence. You're not calculating, you're just expressing. I seem to have lost you completely.

    Something I've been noting is you seem to be using morality as a means of comparative elimination.

    I am using comparisons and counter-factual examples to demonstrate how the conclusions of this theory are severely morally counter-intuitive.
    Bob Ross

    No, you are not showing me any calculations or the thoughts or vocabulary of the theory itself. We aren't on the same page.

    Does this mean all single cell life should become multicellular? No. Just like the possibility of atoms forming into molecules doesn't mean all atoms should form into molecules

    Why not? You seem to be saying it is objectively right/good for more identifiable entities to exist, and ‘upgrading’ from a single-cell to multi-cell seems better relative to that.
    Bob Ross

    Go back to the calculations I did comparing atoms that cannot combine into a molecule vs atoms that can combine into a molecule. I believe I've mentioned already that a world in which all atoms combined into molecules permanently would be less potential existence then one in which there can still be a breakdown and interactivity between atoms and molecules.

    Likewise, it doesn’t make sense to say you are maximizing existence when you also believe that that matter is all that exists and cannot be created or destroyed: that entails existence itself is always equal—rather, what it exists as changes.Bob Ross

    Please go back and look at expressed and potential existence. I've noted this a few times already and me repeating it here will not add anything more to it.

    But if you are just doing an atom-for-atom comparison, it may turn out that a big sheep may need to be preserved over a small, feeble wolf.Bob Ross

    This is true. When we take an individual comparison we may find this to be the case. It depends on the results of the calculation. If the small and feeble wolf cannot hunt easily and will die in a year vs a big healthy sheep that would live for ten years, it would be more moral for the sheep to live in this particular limited calculation.

    Likewise, if you are considering how to maximize how many existent entities are there, then you would have to do more than an atom-to-atom comparison and consider the foreseeable consequences of keeping the sheep vs. the wolf and pick the one that seems to maximize your goal here.Bob Ross

    Correct. As we increase the scale beyond the atomic in comparisons, atoms become an insignificant digit in our calculation. What is important is to understand the fundamentals of the atomic comparison so that we can continue to apply the patterns going forward.

    I'm afraid I'm losing you here Bob. It may very well be that I haven't communicated clearly, but you're also missing quite a few points I've gone over. I will work harder to be more clear, but I can also see a problem you may be doing that is preventing you from understanding the issue.

    1. You're working backwards from human morality down to this. You won't understand it that way. We have to start from the basics of "Should there be existence" and work our way up without looking ahead.

    2. Don't worry about whether its subjective or objective for now. You seem so concerned about seeing it as subjective that you're missing the idea itself. Just go with the assumption, "There should be existence" is the base objective morality and go from there.

    If you can't or don't want to do that Bob, then we probably can't continue. Which is fine by the way, not all ideas are open to discussion between people depending on where they are at the moment. I have had several exciting and fun conversations while talking about this to a few people, so maybe something is getting lost in the written word here. But as of this moment I feel like everything I've said before just isn't being grasped, and I am at a loss as to how to clarify this when you aren't referring to many of the points I've already made.
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    I think we are both missing each others points, so let me slow down and ask one question: are you not saying that, in principle, the entity with more atoms is (morally) prioritized higher over one with less?
  • Philosophim
    2k
    I think we are both missing each others points, so let me slow down and ask one question: are you not saying that, in principle, the entity with more atoms is (morally) prioritized higher over one with less?Bob Ross

    No. I'm talking about a system with the greatest existence, material, expressed, and potential would be considered the more moral reality.

    Take a scenario with 5 atoms that cannot form a new identity vs four atoms that can.

    Eliminate that which is identical within the potential existence. So 4 atoms can bump into each other on both, which leads 5 individual 'bumps' 4 atoms can move anywhere, so we have one 'can move anywhere' set.

    So 4 basic interactions, one move anywhere set for the atom.

    Now compare to the four atoms that can potentially combine into molecules. Disregarding what is equal to the five molecules, we have 1 formation into a 2 atom molecule, and each individual atom bumping into that molecule and each other. 3*2*1 = 6. Multiply this four times as each atom can combine into a molecule, so 24. We can have the potential of two molecules forming out of the four, so 2 existence molecules, and one potential bump between them * four atom combinations = 12

    So we've already gained more potential existence in basic interactions. to be 36, or nine times more potential interactions than the five single atoms. As for the infinite movement set, you have 4 atoms then the two molecule identities that could move around, for a total of six infinite movement sets.
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    Just FYI, I edited this post. Not sure when you read it.

    No. I'm talking about a system with the greatest existence, material, expressed, and potential would be considered the more moral reality.

    I apologize, I must have misunderstood you then.

    What is the difference between ‘existence’ and ‘material’: I thought the latter was a sub-type of the former. Same with expressed vs. existence.

    Now compare to the four atoms that can potentially combine into molecules. Disregarding what is equal to the five molecules, we have 1 formation into a 2 atom molecule, and each individual atom bumping into that molecule and each other. 3*2*1 = 6. Multiply this four times as each atom can combine into a molecule, so 24. We can have the potential of two molecules forming out of the four, so 2 existence molecules, and one potential bump between them * four atom combinations = 12

    This is still counter-intuitive: it is entirely possible that the maximal expressed and material existences is entities which are not alive. For example, it is entirely possible that when forced to choose between saving a robot and a baby, you will have to save the robot (because the material and expressed existences is higher in the former over the latter). This formula just results in biting a lot of bullets.

    Likewise, so far you seem to be saying we can just make up a time frame to use for their comparisons, but then it becomes utterly arbitrary. For example, when choosing whether to save an adult sheep or a premature (human) fetus, if you are just talking about expressed and material existences that they currently have, then you have to save the sheep but if you consider a time frame of adult hood, then the premature (human) fetus is the choice. If you just say “you guys get to choose which time frame to use”, then this theory doesn’t really help anyone figure out what is moral (at best) or gives them a free get out of jail card to justify immoral acts (at worst).

    Likewise, if you consider potential expressed and material existences, then this also has weird consequences; e.g., a hurricane may end up, if it runs its full course, producing much more expressed and material existences than a newborn baby--but obviously everyone is going to say that we should stop hurricanes and preserve the rights of babies. Yours would choose to preserver the hurricane over the baby (if in conflict).
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Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.