• apokrisis
    6.9k
    So justice is not reducible to thermodynamics.Banno

    Just not your idealist framing of justice as transcendent truth independent of its material basis.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    No.

    Nor should it be.
  • javra
    2.5k
    So justice is not reducible to thermodynamics.Banno

    Of course it is! Only the mathematical principles of thermodynamics can possibly determine whether, or else the extents to which, fascism is more fair and just than is democracy - or else vice versa, if the two are not in fact equally so. All you need to do is put in the numbers of these two competing systems into the right mathematical equations and one will obtain the scientifically valid answer.

    Now, while I'm myself quite ignorant of how our sacrosanct thermodynamic laws might determine what is and is not fair and just to us, just as we are told, in one's lack of any rational comprehension one must then stringently maintain a blind faith in the absolute and global authority of thermodynamics ... and of those who espouse preach it from their high tower of infallible and hence unquestionable knowledge. Else one won't do one's best to speed up the processes of entropy toward absolute equilibrium! As we all know, this being the ultimate bad.

    Then again, if the aforementioned looks like, sounds like, and smells like bullshit, I see no reason why it in fact isn't unadulterated bullshit.



    So does thermodynamics determine fascism to be any more, or else less, just and fair than is democracy? Or maybe these concepts/terms too are devoid of any meaning and importance when it comes to thermodynamics - as is the case with "good" and "bad/evil". Of course, I'm an acknowledged flunker when it comes to the "mathematically sound scientific truths" regarding whatever thermodynamics might infallibly determine. Just asking you the unquestionable erudite what system of governance one ought endorse on the basis of justice and fairness so as to maximize entropy in the long haul.
  • Igitur
    24
    I am religious, but don’t actually believe that this means that a eventually just world is determined even if everything happens for a reason.

    By my logic, people are different, and a truly benevolent God would have to make different people experience different trials for as many people as possible to be saved. Nowhere in there is a guarantee that everyone will receive the same treatment or rewards. Evidence seems to suggest that people do experience “unfair” situations in this life, and a benevolent God would make sure that all people who meet certain qualifiers (or not, there might be none depending on your religious beliefs) would grant infinite happiness to all (within the power of such a being).

    If there is not a benevolent God, the conclusion is the same as you would reach as if there was no higher power. If the universe doesn’t care about you, why would everything be fair?

    The only situation I see in which everything ends up being fair is if there is no benevolent God (in which case everyone has different but all overwhelmingly good possible outcomes which are theoretically within their power to reach), but instead a force of karma (this could also be a fairness oriented higher power. This seems less likely to me.
  • L'éléphant
    1.5k

    Fourteen joys and a will to be merry.

    That's all I want to say about that.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    Only the mathematical principles of thermodynamics can possibly determine whether, or else the extents to which, fascism is more fair and just than is democracy - or else vice versa, if the two are not in fact equally so.javra

    That isn't my argument. My argument is that it is the metaphysical principles which matter. The structural or architectural principles. So it is more about thermodynamics as a science of holistic (dissipative) structure. Even at the beginner's level of the Second Law, it is the science that encodes form and purpose as an irreducible "part of the world".

    The maths has then developed from its original Gaussian atomism to match that general metaphysical holism. For instance, the maths that encoded the notion of entropy also – dichotomously or reciprocally – could encode the notion of information as its inverse operation. Order can be defined as the inverse of disorder with the kind of mathematical rigour that has proven rather foundational to the world we are actually making for ourselves.

    So it is easy to scoff. But really, the facts are right under people's noses. Thermodynamics has rapidly evolved to become the holism reforming science. Even particle physics is no longer an exercise in atomism but about the maths of symmetry-breaking and thermodynamic condensates.

    All you need to do is put in the numbers of these two competing systems into the right mathematical equations and one will obtain the scientifically valid answer.javra

    And what is the right maths? Is it Gaussian or powerlaw. Indexed as entropy production or information creation?

    We are talking about a rich and all encompassing body of theory when it comes to thermodynamics in the current era. Folk are arguing against some antique strawman, which itself was already warmed over LaPlaceanism.

    So does thermodynamics determine fascism to be any more, or else less, just and fair than is democracy?javra

    Does one political theory do a better job of self-organising in powerlaw fashion so as to become a superorganism of interest groups over all its social scales? Does one political theory thus have a better balance in terms of producing an ecological-style resilience and a maximising of its negentropic information flows?

    The maths of thermodynamics actually now includes the kind of metrics one would need, like Friston's Bayesian mechanics and Ulanowicz's ascendancy.

    So scoff away. You are laughing at the caricature you have constructed in your head rather than the meta-scientific enterprise I've been talking about.

    Just asking you the unquestionable erudite what system of governance one ought endorse on the basis of justice and fairness so as to maximize entropy in the long haul.javra

    Well for a start, the solution we could have built in the 1970s when ecologists and systems scientists first rung the alarm bells with their mathematical models and crude but surprisingly accurate computer simulations, is now far in the collective rear view mirror.

    We needed a world government for a world problem. Some of that governance structure was laid down, but only falteringly implemented.

    So yes. The tools of dissipative structure wisdom were applied to the governance issue at a time when social democracy was in vogue precisely because of the recent experience of WW2 and the Depression before. Overpopulation, habitat loss, climate change and peak fossil fuel were all things we knew about as the maths made these realities crystal clear.

    It seemed there was a mood to be scientific and technocratic about whatever "fair and just" might mean for a planet viewed through a holistic and naturalistic lens.

    But then came the 1980s and regime change. No greenie could have imagined neo-liberalism becoming a thing. Most greenies have continued to fail to understand what their rosy models of human behaviour managed to miss – which was the extent to which fossil fuels could reshape us in their own image through the co-opted political agency of corporate big business.

    It was the short-termism of energy, agriculture and materials whose burning ambition to be entropified as quickly as possible that hollowed out our own more self-interested efforts to become a species with a long-run liveable future. Neo-liberalism arrived with its literalist slogans like burn, baby, burn, and greed is good.

    So you can scoff at the need to get the ecological basics of life right. But that selective metaphysics dooms you to losing the very ethical/political choices you might have hoped to be able to make.
  • javra
    2.5k
    That isn't my argument. My argument is that it is the metaphysical principles which matter.apokrisis

    Metaphysical principles which, from previous conversations with you, inexorably start with the assumption of the Apeiron as ultimate beginning ... while with the same assumptive position at the very same time decrying the notion of a literally absolute/complete/perfect limitless state of being as ultimate end to be absurdity. Otherwise, sophomoric interpretations of the Good (which is not of itself justice but is claimed to determine justice) such as those mentioned in this following quote would not be affirmed so easily:

    So justice is not reducible to thermodynamics. — Banno

    Just not your idealist framing of justice as transcendent truth independent of its material basis.
    apokrisis

    And I'll again point to Peircean metaphysics upholding the view that the "laws of thermodynamics" will themselves evolve as the (physical) cosmos progresses in it acquired habits.

    So from whence this metaphysical fixedness of thermodynamics as they currently are known (and as they occur) being an absolute and literally immovable/permanent grounding for absolutely everything - including notions of justice and fairness?

    (To not even address what metaphsycial justifications there might rationally or empirically then be for the Apeiron but not for the Good as the literally limitless ultimate end, else end-state, of being, this as per the Neo-Platonic notion of "the One" as one example.)

    As to my scoffy-ness, it's intended to directly address posts such as this:

    How does it make sense to ask which of these is closest to thermodynamic equilibrium? — Banno

    Hah. That is the problem of argument by Hallmark card cutesiness. You would have to be thermodynamically-informed enough to tell the difference between a closed Gaussian equilbrium and an open powerlaw one.

    So sadly, an F.
    apokrisis

    I do acknowledged in being one of these "F" receivers. I do not rationally understand how thermodynamics determines that while one man will deem the absolute obedience of their wife to be just and fair another man deem an equality of worth with their wife to be emblematic of justice and fairness - nor, if this must be added, how thermodynamics then determines that one such comprehension of justice and fairness is bad/wrong/incorrect while the contradicting understanding of justice and fairness is good/right/correct. And, if not yet apparent, belief/faith in certain matters though I might have, I'm not one to have blind faith in anything or anyone. Stupid me, I'm sure some would say.

    As to the rest of your post in general, there's much there for me to agree with as to what ought to be the case.

    In regards to global governance, we already are under an indirect form of this - not from the UN (almost laughable seeing how laws of war are nowadays addressed by some nations, this as one example) but from the current oligarchies of neo-liberal (might as well be "neo-capatilist") economy, which is global - and is indirectly governed by said oligarchy via, again as just one blatant example, lobbyists and candidate funding at both national levels and, where applicable, individual state levels.

    No doubt we will have a formal global governance sooner rather than later. Irrespective of the gripes some may express at this. The only real question is that of whether this global official governance will be Orwellian and so in some way totalitarian or, else, be one of a global democracy-by-representation.

    But again, I so far do not comprehend why a, in this case, global fascism ought be universally shunned on the rational grounds of the relative degrees of energy dissipation as compared to that of a global (I should add, "and earnest" rather than mere lip-service) democracy.

    Coming from a different metaphysical vantage, I do endorse democracy over fascism on account of the optimal well-being of all the individual psyches concerned, this in both short- and long-term appraisals. But, here, the consciousness that holds awareness and which can both suffer and be content if not joyful is not appraised as some willy-nilly term that holds no true or real metaphysical importance to the grand picture of things.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    And I'll again point to Peircean metaphysics upholding the view that the "laws of thermodynamics" will themselves evolve as the (physical) cosmos progresses in it acquired habits.

    So from whence this metaphysical fixedness of thermodynamics as they currently are known (and as they occur) being an absolute and literally immovable/permanent grounding for absolutely everything - including notions of justice and fairness?
    javra

    You are making a confused argument. Anaximander posited the Apeiron as that from which a dichotomously structure ream of material complexity arises, but also then returns. Which rather nicely sums up the Big Bang with its trajectory from a quantum foam to a quantum void with right now being the Universe's high water mark of material complexity.

    Likewise Peirce grounded his metaphysics in the tychism of firstness and its rational self-complexification that produces the cohesive equilibrium state of a synechic thirdness. But I would agree that he didn't offer a map of the downward unwinding that follows – the wave that builds, peaks and then disperses. He did reflect the knowledge of science and the Christian mysticism of his time in that regard.

    I do not rationally understand how thermodynamics determines that while one man will deem the absolute obedience of their wife to be just and fair another man deem an equality of worth with their wife to be emblematic of justice and fairnessjavra

    As you admit, you don't understand thermodynamics so how could you understand how it might or might not apply to some "ethical" question or other.

    I mean you should see that you are indeed questioning a dichotomy that appears to exist in the real world – one where two opposite sides seem to passionately believe that their pole is the one that represents the idealised "truth".

    A "thermodynamic" or systems science view of this social situation can see how it expresses the two extremes that compose a system – its global constraints and its local freedoms. A functional system is one that can balance the two in a scalefree equilibrium fashion. That is, a fashion that is capable of being scaled and thus grow to fill its entropic niche in a persistent long-run manner.

    Wives can be chattel in one kind of entropic setting – such as say a nomadic pastoralist community where offspring are capital and fertility is to be guarded – and then co-workers in another, like a neo-liberal white collar office place where careers are capital and offspring an optional luxury good.

    Both would historically be fairly extreme points on the spectrum of social organisation. But both also clearly proved their local case by indeed scaling to fill their available entropic niches. A setting on the wife-constraining spectrum was picked and it could grow as it unlocked the entropy flow needed to sustain it as the sensible and "ethical" thing to be doing.

    So an impossible dilemma becomes a trivial historical example of how a deeper "mathematical" principal – scaling – is at work.

    All that moral philosophy posturing and agonising and ... it turns out to be this simple. :grin:

    In regards to global governance, we already are under an indirect form of this - not from the UN (almost laughable seeing how laws of war are nowadays addressed by some nations, this as one example) but from the current oligarchies of neo-liberal (might as well be "neo-capatilist") economy, which is global - and is indirectly governed by said oligarchy via, again as just one blatant example, lobbyists and candidate funding at both national levels and, where applicable, individual state levels.javra

    Well yes. The well-meaning set up the key new post-WW2 institutions. UN, GATT, IMF, World Bang, EU, Nato, etc. And then they got corrupted as even in their design they had built in the smooth handover of currency sovereignty and Middle East oil from the Brits to the US. The modern empire package where capital and resources – as the avatars of information and entropy – became directly plumbed together in a rather human-excluding way.

    We can't blame things on some evil force that snuck in from outside. Demonise some elite. We let fossil fuel grab the controls of the system we were building through its corrupting influence on a thinking class that hadn't really understood that humans are just another subsidiary branch of Nature's great entropification scheme.

    The one that starts simple, complexifies like mad, then slides back down to ultimate simplicity again. As Anaximander outlined for us at the very dawn of metaphsyics.

    But again, I so far do not comprehend why a, in this case, global fascism ought be universally shunned on the rational grounds of the relative degrees of energy dissipation as compared to that of a global (I should add, "and earnest" rather than mere lip-service) democracy.javra

    Again, the question is does it scale? Is it a powerlaw structure with equilibrium balance that has the legs to persist and grow. Or at least persist and repair.

    Is it mature rather than immature or senescent? Does it balance the resilience of youth with the wisdom of experience?

    These are questions that ecologists know how to frame and to measure.

    But, here, the consciousness that holds awareness and which can both suffer and be content if not joyful is not appraised as some willy-nilly term that holds no true or real metaphysical importance to the grand picture of things.javra

    I see it the other way round. You have neither a model nor a measure to support any claim you might make. Thus you merely have opinions and anecdotes.

    LIke many, you understand metaphysics as applied idealism – the practical reason not to have to engage with the reality of dealing with life in some properly reasoned fashion ... as Peirce urged with his Pragmatist model of inquiry, the triadic feedback cycle of abduction, induction and deduction.
  • javra
    2.5k
    You are making a confused argument. Anaximander posited the Apeiron as that from which a dichotomously structure ream of material complexity arises, but also then returns. Which rather nicely sums up the Big Bang with its trajectory from a quantum foam to a quantum void with right now being the Universe's high water mark of material complexity.apokrisis

    As facts go, we don't have much of Anaximander's perspectives but a few fragments of writing. And in these, we are told of a cyclical cosmology rather than the linear one which you here present and modern physics generally endorses - even though there are currently valid cyclical models of the universe. So this is not Anaximander's Apeiron - but apo's Apeiron which apo modifies from Anaximander's. Metaphysical justifications for presuming the Apeiron yet direly lacking - outside of because apo says so arguments. Till then, it might as well be magical thinking.

    Likewise Peirce grounded his metaphysics in the tychism of firstness and its rational self-complexification that produces the cohesive equilibrium state of a synechic thirdness. But I would agree that he didn't offer a map of the downward unwinding that follows – the wave that builds, peaks and then disperses. He did reflect the knowledge of science and the Christian mysticism of his time in that regard.apokrisis

    What does any of this have to do with what I asked? Once again:

    So from whence this metaphysical fixedness of thermodynamics as they currently are known (and as they occur) being an absolute and literally immovable/permanent grounding for absolutely everything - including notions of justice and fairness?javra

    To which I'll now add, if the Apeiron, why the emergence of thermodynamics to begin with? Other than due to magic, of course.

    As you admit, you don't understand thermodynamics so how could you understand how it might or might not apply to some "ethical" question or other.apokrisis

    As my previous scoffy-ness alluded to, this type of reply pretty much parallels the authoritarian theist who knows God or else God's Word, telling me I don't understand God/God's Word so how could I understand the answer to whether or not something like the enslavement of a person is ethical?

    I find no reason to uphold your interpretations of thermodynamics as sacrosanct science. I do find thermodynamics to be model(s) regarding what is that is very much open to questioning and revision, just as any other model of science is, irrespective of the maths involved. As I also find the very notion of entropy to be. In your replies you however implicitly address both of these as though they were infallible scientific knowledge of what is as they're presently interpreted. And where from this infallibility?

    What don't I understand?: the maths. But wait, its not the maths that are important but the metaphysics behind them:

    Only the mathematical principles of thermodynamics can possibly determine whether, or else the extents to which, fascism is more fair and just than is democracy - or else vice versa, if the two are not in fact equally so. — javra

    That isn't my argument. My argument is that it is the metaphysical principles which matter.
    apokrisis

    Metaphysical principles which you do not justify much less address (see for example the question I've re-posted). And round and round we go.

    So an impossible dilemma becomes a trivial historical example of how a deeper "mathematical" principal – scaling – is at work.

    All that moral philosophy posturing and agonising and ... it turns out to be this simple. :grin:
    apokrisis

    Yea, no. Just words without meaning. Apropos, as to your example of opposites in this context, the opposite of women chattel for men would be not equality of worth (as is/was typical of hunter gather tribes) but that of men as chattel for women. Just as the opposite of polygamy is not monogamy but polyandry.

    We can't blame things on some evil force that snuck in from outside. Demonise some elite. [...]apokrisis

    No, by any means we cannot blame others whatsoever for anything. So called (somehow always economic or else political - because cash and power-over is all that really matters in life) elites which are evidenced to either rape or else known to quite cordially mingle with those that pimp women for raping included. Not unless we introduce some Abrahamic notion of demons that somehow come from without. Poor innocent lambs that those elites are - especially when their greed succeeds in making them and their corporations too large to fail. But the poor, that's another matter altogether - the poor can be deemed biologically deranged in their misdeeds by the genes they've inherited, this as some have claimed of those incarcerated (who were obviously not "too big to fail' in their endeavors).

    But just as long as it all assists entropy, hey, its all good.

    ( ... all this being indicative of faulty reasoning, to stupid old me at least.)

    But again, I so far do not comprehend why a, in this case, global fascism ought be universally shunned on the rational grounds of the relative degrees of energy dissipation as compared to that of a global (I should add, "and earnest" rather than mere lip-service) democracy. — javra


    Again, the question is does it scale? Is it a powerlaw structure with equilibrium balance that has the legs to persist and grow. Or at least persist and repair.

    Is it mature rather than immature or senescent? Does it balance the resilience of youth with the wisdom of experience?

    These are questions that ecologists know how to frame and to measure.
    apokrisis

    Ecologists as a group deal with the question of "Does it balance the resilience of youth with the wisdom of experience?" in addressing their field of research? We might be living in two disparate worlds.

    And you provide no answer to my quoted question. Might as well claim only those in the thermodynamically-informed spheres of reality understand why murder is wrong ... this by mathematically addressing such questions as "did the killing of another human properly 'balance the resilience of youth with the wisdom of experience'". Which, if needs be said, is nonsensical reasoning.

    Look, if my intelligence and/or sapience is beneath yours, you have two options: one is to freely choose to not talk to me - as any sane human ought to freely choose to not rationalize with a lesser animal on issues of metaphysics for example. The other is to address things at my comparatively reduced level of comprehension - this as might any sane parent explain things to their kinds. But to insist that so it is and that I should believe that it despite it making no rational sense to me is very much akin to the hallmark of authoritarianism. Your metaphysics are to me so far not rationally cogent. No math-understandings required. And your inability to make rational sense of ethics likewise follows.

    As to your possibly lofty assumption that I am too far beneath you to warrant reply, don't worry. I don't name myself "javra" (i.e., "mongrel", to put it nicely) on this forum for nothing. But as mongrels go, that won't stop me from honestly expressing my views.

    You have neither a model nor a measure to support any claim you might make. Thus you merely have opinions and anecdotes.apokrisis

    Let's see, I ground all my metaphysics in the reality that all presently occurring sentient beings necessarily occur as individual first-person points-of-view, or better worded "of awareness". Nothing new to the old-timers hereabouts. You claim this to be merely opinion and anecdote. And then you contrast this with the metaphysical foundation of Anaximander's Apeiron which, to be as charitable as possible, you reinterpret to suit your whims.

    Stupid as I might be, I sill find far more confidence in the reality that I, as a first-person point-of-view, am than I do in the reality of the Apeiron, especially in the linear cosmology version which you endorse, from which, as you affirmed in other posts, we obtain the inference that "awareness" is a rather meaningless term.

    LIke many, you understand metaphysics as applied idealism – the practical reason not to have to engage with the reality of dealing with life in some properly reasoned fashion ...apokrisis

    Oh mighty unquestionable authority of reality and knower of other peoples' deepest turths and perspectives, this is emblamatic of the bullshit I addressed in a previous post I made in this thread.

    Notice how I so far have not explicitly engaged in the psychobabble of what your true intentions and perspectives are as a person ... be this lack of engagement stupidity on my part or, else, some semblance of wisdom and dignity.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    But as mongrels go, that won't stop me from honestly expressing my views.javra

    Express away. :up:
  • javra
    2.5k
    As is most always the case from you, words without content.

    There, I've expressed.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    I am religious, but don’t actually believe that this means that a eventually just world is determined even if everything happens for a reason.Igitur
    Yes. Modern religions still preach hope for perfect justice, but may no longer teach that piety will be immediately rewarded with peace and prosperity. Instead, believers should expect to suffer patiently --- in some cases for a lifetime --- buoyed by their faith in an Ideal-but-remote place & time, and a non-physical body. Even though secular laws have reasoned that "justice delayed is justice denied".

    Most world religions propose some solution to the obvious & pervasive injustices of this material & temporal world : "vale of tears". In the Old Testament for example, justice was not to be expected in a heavenly afterlife, but in a society governed by the miraculously-revealed laws of God. Since that earthly society, Zion, a "city set on a hill", was repeatedly deconstructed by invaders --- sent by God to punish the Chosen People --- the notion of a heavenly city of refuge emerged. After the Jewish Messiah was crucified by another set of foreign invaders, an offshoot sect of Gentiles changed their expectations from Justice in this world and this life, to a spiritual world and an immortal life. Moreover, the divine "reason" why bad things happen to good people, was blamed on an Evil god, who foiled & frustrated the best-laid plans of the Good god. Since then, the real space-time world has been re-imagined, not as a god-designed Paradise, or a god-governed city-set-on-a-hill, but a battle-ground of constant warfare between heavenly hosts and demonic hordes.

    In the book of Job, that faithful sufferer of divine injustice was ridiculed by his neighbors, who espoused a Just World theory*1. Even today, when historically dominant traditional religions have splintered into more than 45,000 sects*2 around the world, hope & faith in a Just World survives. In the US and Latin America, "The just world fallacy*3 is commonly seen in theologies with some form of worldly reward system, such as in Prosperity Gospel beliefs." So, in the face of real world injustice, hope & faith abide, that God would never allow his truly faithful followers to suffer. After several millennia of faith & works religions though, human societies seem to be no closer to the prophesied Just World. Clearly, the old moral laws inscribed in stone, have failed to produce an ideal society of god-fearing people. So, they have been reinterpreted, mostly by Paul, to be only a temporary pale imitation of the heavenly world-to-come in an unspecified future resolution to the perennial injustice problem. :smile:



    *1. Job's Justice :
    It addresses theodicy (why God permits evil in the world) through the experiences of the eponymous protagonist.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Job

    *2. Disunity of Religious Beliefs :
    Estimations show there are more than 200 Christian denominations in the U.S. and a staggering 45,000 globally, according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.
    https://www.livescience.com/christianity-denominations.html

    *3. Just World Fallacy :
    The just world fallacy, also known euphemistically as the just world hypothesis, is a naturalistic fallacy that states that the consequences of all actions are predictable and deserved. This implies (although sometimes only subconsciously) a belief in some sort of universal force that ensures moral balance in the world, in such a way that a person who exhibits good and moral behavior will eventually be rewarded, while evil and immoral actions will eventually be punished. It is both a concept in theology and considered to be a cognitive bias in psychology. It is summed up by the phrase "What goes around, comes around."
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Just_world_fallacy
  • javra
    2.5k


    Although on the whole the lyrics to this song are a bit too materialist for my tastes, I yet very much agree with its primary message: “the world, per se, is neither fair/just nor unfair/unjust, period”. (And I conclude this as someone who nevertheless upholds the reality of the Good as per Plato and Aristotle, etc – from where the very notions, or “eidoi”, of fairness (that aligned with the Good) and unfairness (that misaligned with the Good) reportedly emerge to begin with.)

    At any rate, this pithy conclusion of “the world is neither fair nor unfair” as just worded might be somewhat too non-dualistic for many, but I find it in full keeping with previously mentioned notions of “the world can be fair only to the extent that we make it so”.

    Thinking you might get a kick out of this song’s lyrics:

  • NotAristotle
    276
    "And some amoralists or nihilists who think its all "just one damn thing after another" "

    Here is an argument:

    If determinism is true, then there is no morality.
    If determinism is true, there is no morality because it would not be just to hold someone morally accountable for actions that are outside their control.
    But this is a moral reason for saying that 'if determinism is true then there is no morality.
    Therefore, there is morality.
    Therefore, determinism is false.
  • kindred
    35
    The world is not fair and just because some people are unfair and unjust hence why we have a justice system for serious breaches of injustice.

    Fairness although in most cases non-enforceable is due to lack of empathy and compassion.

    Also people can be fairly ignorant, judgemental and short sighted which creates all sorts of problems and on the other hand of the scale even wars.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    At any rate, this pithy conclusion of “the world is neither fair nor unfair” as just worded might be somewhat too non-dualistic for many, but I find it in full keeping with previously mentioned notions of “the world can be fair only to the extent that we make it so”.javra
    In the singing birds song, is he saying, "another world" : perhaps a Garden of Eden? Or is he imagining this present world as Non-Dual? Hamlet --- the melancholy Dane --- recognized that Good & Evil are not features of the world itself, but a personal interpretation : “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. Even so, Hamlet was driven mad by his pessimistic mindset. Can we be driven sane, by an optimistic attitude toward a world that can be interpreted either way? "It's an ill wind that blows nobody good". One person's misfortune is often another's good luck.

    Back in my musically impressionable day, Bob Dylan concluded that the answer to unfairness and injustice and moral duality is "blowin in the wind". Does that mean there is no final solution to a world that blows both Hot and Cold, both Good and Evil?

    My philosophical view is that the physical/material world is Monistic : a single dynamic causal force (amoral energy) that can have positive or negative effects, depending on the individual's me-centered --- or we-centered --- interpretation. That's why the Buddha preached a No-Self perspective, and the Stoics focused on self-control. Fairness & Justice are not of the world, but in the mind of the observer. The cosmos is what it is, but humans can imagine what it could be.

    Apparently, homo sapiens is also the homo virtus of the animal world. Capable of seeing injustice, and of doing something about it, by working together toward the ideal of a fair & balanced society. By imposing moral structure on an amoral world. :smile:


    Blowin' In The Wind
    And how many years can some people exist
    Before they're allowed to be free?
    Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
    And pretend that he just doesn't see?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
    The answer is blowin' in the wind

    ___Bob Dylan
  • javra
    2.5k
    In the singing birds song, is he saying, "another world" : perhaps a Garden of Eden?Gnomon

    Yes, he's saying "another world" - ultimately concluding with this other world being a place where "nothing ever dies". Which I think supersedes even the notion of a Garden of Eden. This is not what everybody deems to be the ultimate good - Buddhist notions of Nirvana without remainder as one (counter-)example, Plotinus's the One as another, in both these cases there being no world to speak of, but only pure being devoid of any existence (here in the sense of that which "stands out"). Still, to me at least, the song does get an emotive point across, an emotive point that many enough do share: we (most at least) do secretly want, or at least yearn for, more than the world makes possible to have even in principle. I suppose to a Buddhist, this however being indicative of not following the middle-path.

    Still, at the end of the day, it's just one song among many, and I don't endorse a good portion of its perspectives. Just the part about the world being neither fair nor unfair.

    My philosophical view is that the physical/material world is Monistic : a single dynamic causal force (amoral energy) that can have positive or negative effects, depending on the individual's me-centered --- or we-centered --- interpretation. That's why the Buddha preached a No-Self perspective, and the Stoics focused on self-control. Fairness & Justice are not of the world, but in the mind of the observer. The cosmos is what it is, but humans can imagine what it could be.Gnomon

    I get that, and as I've previously mentioned, my own philosophical view is not one of materialism (i.e. a monism of physicality/materiality). Yet, do you find the "mind of the observer" to be any less real than the physicality which it observes and thereby knows? And, if not, are not both then equally real aspects of that which constitutes "the world" as-is.

    If so, then I find that fairness & justice (together with unfairness & injustice) are as much of the world as are the minds of observers to which these notions are requisite. This doesn't then make the world of itself either fair or unfair in total. Nor does it address that by which fairness and unfairness is determined. Yet it does seem to avoid the inconsistency of a dualism - namely, between a) fairness/justice (and of the observers to which these properties often enough apply) which is claimed to not be of the world and b) the physical world itself - occurring within an upheld monism of materialism/physicalism, this however the latter be interpreted.
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    So from whence this metaphysical fixedness of thermodynamics as they currently are known (and as they occur) being an absolute and literally immovable/permanent grounding for absolutely everything - including notions of justice and fairness?javra
    I don't know how this thread got off-track on discussions of Physics and Thermodynamics as the "grounds" for ethical concepts. But, a quick Google search found that some modern developments in philosophy have narrowly focused on Linguistics and Phenomenology, which analyze common words down to their presumptive atomic meanings. I don't know about , but personally, I have no formal training in technical philosophy, or in modern deconstruction of traditional meanings.

    So, my language is mostly colloquial, and never doctrinal. When I use a physical metaphor, it's intended only as an easily understood analogy between observable physical things and abstruse metaphysical abstractions. For me, "thermodynamic equilibrium" is not a dogma, but a simile with ethical equality. They are not "grounding for absolutely everything". Apparently, some who are more erudite are reading into our words meanings that were not intended. :cool:



    Metaphor and Phenomenology
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    Continental philosophers such as Paul Ricoeur and Jacques Derrida go further in adding a linguistically creative dimension. They argue that metaphor and symbol act as the primary interpreters of reality, generating richer layers of perception, expression, and meaning in speculative thought. The interplay of metaphor and phenomenology introduces serious challenges and ambiguities within long-standing assumptions in the history of Western philosophy, largely with respect to the strict divide between the literal and figurative modes of reality based in the correspondence theory of truth.
    https://iep.utm.edu › met-phen
  • Banno
    23.7k
    ...justice as transcendent truth independent of its material basisapokrisis

    Not something I recognise. Of course justice takes place in the world.

    I'm just pointing out that it is not obvious how thermodynamic considerations enter in to the situation pictured here:
    equal-vs-fair_orig.webp

    The boxes seem quite material, their distribution being the issue. Nothing here appears transcendental, but it's unclear how you are using that word.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    The boxes seem quite material, their distribution being the issue.Banno

    Yep. And I pointed to how this reflects the two kinds of equilibrium distributions in statistical mechanics – Gaussian and Scalefree.

    Folk were objecting to thermodynamics because they could only think about it in terms of its original closed system Gaussian distribution and were unfamiliar with its more generic open system powerlaw or fractal distribution – the one that better fits the actual Cosmos with its dichotomistic action of expanding and cooling.

    Thermodynamics is flipped on its head once it becomes a model of self-organising growth rather than featureless death.

    And familiarity with this would help in ethical discussions about things like income distribution for instance. Is it fair that wealth has become almost scalefree in its global distribution?

    Folk with Gaussian expectations of life would see the current world as insanely unequal and thus unfair.

    Folk better informed by power laws would think free growth is just doing its thing. It is a distribution of wealth that is not constrained by a mean. The billionaires can't be blamed. The system is not distorted. This is just the distribution that a free growth system – based on its own problematic beliefs around endless fossil fuels and a free atmospheric sink for CO2 – will arrive at.

    Your cutesy Hallmark card is confused because fairness depends on which notion of equality or equilibrium is in play. In time, small kids grow up to be tall adults. But right now, they need taller boxes. Or lower fences. Although then that will be unfair to the adults as they will have nothing holding them back in the paying stands.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    That's all very clever, but tells me very little.

    Are you claiming that the difference between fair and equal is the same as the difference between a normal distribution and one that follows a power law? If so, then some further explanation is needed. If not, then what are you claiming?

    So far as I can see you have yet to explain the supposed connection between fairness and thermodynamics - you've just made the claim that they are connected, again.

    More generally, there is a difference between what is the case and what ought be the case that also remains, so far as I can see, unaddressed. I know I have made this point to you previously, and I take it to underpin much of the comment on your posts at Pragmatism Without Goodness and elsewhere.

    Supose science demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that the universe is such that thermodynamics is a model of self-organising growth, or whatever it is you are espousing. How does this tell us what we ought do?

    I've tried to hand you a simple example, for you to show us how this would work. How does it show us that we ought share the boxes in this way? You can choose another example, if this is too difficult: Why ought we keep promises? How does thermodynamics help with the trolly problem? How do scale-free equilibrium distributions apply to antinatalism?

    You advocate pragmatism - show how thermodynamics helps with practical issues.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    That's all very clever, but tells me very little.Banno

    Clean out your ears. This was the OP that I was addressing. I was pointing to the third option of the pragmatic/semiotic view that stands beyond the impasse of the idealism vs realism debate.

    Systems science fixes things with its holism that can include the whole world. Thermodynamics - as updated by dissipative structure theory - now founds science from cosmology to the mind.

    I get a sense that this forum has some moralists who feel that the physical world is morally neutral, yet organized human societies should be scrupulously fair & balanced toward some ideal of Justice ; and some amoralists or nihilists who think its all "just one damn thing after another" ; plus perhaps some nameless positions in between.Gnomon

    So every time you say “thermodynamics”, you are not using it in the modern sense of self-organising cosmic order. You are still stuck in the metaphysical bog of idealist vs realist debates.

    If you want to argue that equality and fairness are different kinds of distribution, then you have to start making that actual argument in a proper fashion.

    And also show how the distinction is even relevant to the OP. Is justice on the equality or the fairness side of the equation? Or something else?

    Whatever you think your case is, try putting that picture into words that make sense. They you might start to realise the confusions it relies on.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    Clean out your ears.apokrisis

    More spit. Much as is to be expected on your history.

    Have you read the story of the emperor's new cloths? I think folk hereabouts are not too keen on your garment.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    More spit. Much as is to be expected on your history.Banno

    You and your eternal whinging. Just answer the question. What argument do you think your cartoon makes about "distributions" that might be dichotomously labelled "fair" vs "equal"?

    Is this a difference that makes a difference somehow in relation to the further terms of "justice" or "balance", which were the terms of the OP?

    I realise silence will be the reply. One can only hope you piss off permanently.
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    How does it make sense to ask which of these is closest to thermodynamic equilibrium?Banno

    What you are not answering is which equilibrium do you have in mind? Gaussian or scalefree?

    In the meantime, help yourself to more spit.

    Go and boil your bottoms, son of a silly person. I don't wanna talk to you no more you empty-headed animal food trough wiper. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
  • Banno
    23.7k
    What you are not answering is which equilibrium do you have in mind? Gaussian or scalefree?apokrisis

    I'm happy for you to choose. After all, it's you who claim that they are relevant.
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    What you are not answering is which equilibrium do you have in mind? Gaussian or scalefree?apokrisis

    Does it matter?

    You and I can choose Gaussian or scalefree -- but that's not the philosophical question. the question is: Which do you choose?

    Yeah?
  • Banno
    23.7k
    Try this:

    First up, logic does say that balance is what emerges from the very possibility of a dichotomy or symmmetry breaking. If you have a dividing, this in itself brings the further thing of a mixing. There has to be a unity of opposites as the final result. The action going both its way has to arrive at its own equilibrium average state.

    So forget good and evil for a moment. This just is the logic where a symmetry-breaking must play itself out to become a symmetry-equilibrating. The wrinkle then is that the equilibrium balance is then itself a new ground of symmetry – now raised a level – that can once again be broken and equilibrated.

    Hierarchies of structure can arise in openly growing fashion as each level of symmetry-breaking below it becomes some closed and stable balancing act.

    This is a tricky kind of causality to contemplate. It is not the reductionism of "cause and effect". But it was already where metaphysics started with Anaximander and his pre-socratic cosmology.

    So there is a general metaphysical model of division and its balancing. And then the further possibility of stacking up these "phase changes" on top of each other in hierarchically complexified fashion. A rich cosmos can emerge from its simple dichotomous origins.

    And then we get to the vexed issue of good and evil. Which is problematic because it replaces the complex systems causality of the natural world with the polarised story of a cause and effect world. A mechanistic viewpoint. Instead of a pair of actions that are complementary – as in a dichotomy or symmetry breaking – we have just a single arrow from a here to a there. There is a high and a low, a good and a bad, a wonderful and an awful. There is a place to leave behind and a place to approach.

    So we have now the reductionist causality that seeks to encode reality in terms of a one-way traffic system. If you discover that two directions exist, one of the ways has to be the correct way, the other thus the opposite of the correct.

    But the systems approach says the only way anything is caused to exist is by it going in both its directions in a symmetry-breaking fashion, and the place that this dichotomising "leaving behind" then approaches is the symmetry-equibrating thing of its overall dynamical balance. A holistic state of globalised order ... which then can be the ground of departure for yet another rung of hierarchical complexity in the form of dichotomising~rebalancing.

    So in terms of human moral social order, good and bad would be arrows pointing between some lower level and some next step level of stabilised equilibrium balance. The arrows wouldn't be the simple and brutal monotonic ones of reductionism. One path mandated and the other path forbidden. The arrows would point the way from one state of naturalistic balance to the next more complexified state that might be attained.

    The lower level isn't intrinsically bad as it has proven itself to be a stable platform for some kind of higher aspirations. But the goal is to break it as symmetry so as to step up to some higher equilibrium state – that likewise is good to the degree it can prove itself a stable platform for steps even beyond that.

    So in that organic or thermodynamic context – which moral discussions can at least dimly grasp in terms of a Maslovian hierarchy of needs – good is to be building community to a degree of stability that creates the potential of further steps, and evil is the back-sliding destabilisation of the teetering house of cards that already exists as the relatively stabilised platform on which we stand.

    Good~evil is tarred jargon as it does speak to the simplicities of reductionist models of causality. But we can sort of get what the terms are getting at from a systems perspective and its ecosystem style, richness constructing, hierarchical complexity.

    There is no need to climb an endless ladder of complexity or goodness of course. But for a natural system that must exist in an uncertain and destabilising world, there is a value in maintaining a potential for taking next steps as situations demand. We have to be able to step up because there is a reserve to spend.

    This trade-off between stability and plasticity in organisms that live and act is certainly yet a further wrinkle in the whole causality deal. But who says metaphysics has to be simpler than it actually is?
    apokrisis

    It seems that all of this might indeed be the case, and yet we still would not be able to say if the real world is fair and just, or if it isn't.

    Yet you seem to think that this somehow answers .

    How?
  • apokrisis
    6.9k
    I'm happy for you to choose. After all, it's you who claim that they are relevant.Banno

    But you have to clear up why your saccharine image illustrates anything in the first place.

    You say it is something about distributions. And I agree. I can immediately see the familiar distinction between normal and powerlaw distributions, as found in the mathematically precise form given by statistical mechanics.

    But in what sense is one distribution equal and the other fair? Such terminology seems to assume the idealist conclusion you are angling for. The one that says the realm of mind is ontically distinct from the realm of matter. Thermodynamics can apply to one, but not the other.

    So I have asked repeatedly for you to make your case if you think you have one. I've already made my own.
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