• S
    11.4k
    What's wrong with the reasoning?Bartricks

    I told you what's wrong with it.

    And you're attacking a straw man. I am not arguing against educating children. Perhaps if you'd been made to undergo more education you'd have realized that.Bartricks

    You are actually, by logical implication, because you're arguing for your ideal, and in your ideal there are no children being educated. There are no children at all. There isn't anyone at all, for that matter.

    Yeah, that sounds lovely.
  • Janus
    8.2k
    I think you missed the irony.
  • Mww
    994
    Default wrong' doesn't mean always and everywhere wrong. Sheesh, are you doing this on purpose?Bartricks

    My argument is - for the umpteenth time - 'Kantian'.Bartricks

    Yes, I am. And yes, I know. Not all things are default wrong, but one of the things you claimed as a default wrong, isn’t, the rebuttal sustained by the premier, original, foremost Kantian kind of response there could possibly be, therefore consistent with your argument. Attempted argument. Stab in the dark argument.

    The acts I mentioned align with your qualification for what are particular examples of default wrong, insofar as a significant act is done without consent from the object of the act, so I am arguing in accordance with the first positive major premise......and successfully refuted it, by proving the doing of a significant act is not wrong by mere default of non-consent. All without invoking Kantian ethics or labels, as you have so graciously disallowed.

    Anywhooo.......Talk about someone not liking a philosophical discussion for fear he’ll find out something he doesn’t want to be true. Which of course you will deny with just the right amount of foot-stompin’ righteous indignation, but I’ll be in Canada by then, so.....have a ball.
  • Bartricks
    626
    Total and utter nonsense. You fall far below the threshold level of competence needed for profitable debate.
  • Bartricks
    626
    What an astonishingly silly point - no, I am NOT opposed to those who have been brought into existence being educated. I am opposed to people bringing people into existence.

    An example: Tim only exists because his mum was raped. Now, to be in favour of Tim being educated do we have to be in favour of rape? Er, no - Tim wouldn't be here unless rape occurred, because that's what brought him into being. So, by your irrational lights that means that being opposed to rape is to be opposed to Tim and everything we might think we'd otherwise be obliged to give Tim. But I don't think as badly as that, and it seems quite obvious to me - and to anyone else who can reason their way out of a paper-bag - that it does not follow from one being opposed to Tim's mum being raped that one is opposed to Tim or to educating Tim. Blimey!! Try again.
  • Echarmion
    647
    No, I mean by default wrong what I said I mean. Now address the argument not the label I have attached to it. The label is correct and all you're doing by disputing that is a) not focussing on the issue at hand and b) revealing your ignorance.
    Engage the argument or go away and start your own thread in which you use whatever labels you want to attach to things.
    Bartricks

    I said I would accept the argument for the purposes of this discussion. Now, what next?
  • S
    11.4k
    What an astonishingly silly point - no, I am NOT opposed to those who have been brought into existence being educated.Bartricks

    That's not what I said. Nor is it what you said in your last reply. You added the part about "those who have been brought into existence" as though no one would notice. Well, I noticed.

    I am opposed to people bringing people into existence.Bartricks

    Yes, and it isn't difficult, through this thing you may have heard of called logic, to get from that to you being against children being educated, children playing on bikes, children being told bedtime stories, children going on holiday, children watching television, children gathered around the table eating dinner, children going swimming, children playing board games, children going camping, and so on, and so forth. You are very obviously against all of that, ultimately. I hope you've thought this through properly. It would be disingenuous to make out as though you are fine with all of that, when your ideal consists of none of it.

    And that's why your stance will always be infinitely more silly.
  • boethius
    244
    The argument is Kantian and it isn't my fault you don't know what that word means. This thread is not about a label, it is about an argument.Bartricks

    You don't want to argue your point about the label, but you're certain your right about that point and arguing about it?

    Maybe, in other contexts, against less experienced debaters, maybe you'd be scoring a point by trying to "be above labels and focused on content", and maybe you're imagining even now that because in some hypothetical realm you've scored a point that you've scored a point in this realm. Well it's time to get for realz.

    I've already said that if you don't want to discuss the label, fine, let's discuss the content, but then you have to accept that people may point out why you may have mislabeled your argument. If you don't care about labels, then your point of "go make another thread about it then", is a good one, another point in the hypothetical realm where nothing needs be connected or your discussing with people who don't know how to argue.

    But you do care about labels as you insist your right about the label and I'm wrong. Your insistence is incompatible with your claim you don't care about labels and is also incompatible with your claim that people who want to argue about the label should do so in another thread: You are arguing about the label!

    The label is correct, but I am not debating it further here - start your own thread about Kantianism and what it has to involve if you want. But this thread was started by me - me, not you - to discuss a particular 'argument', not a 'label'. Okay?!Bartricks

    This is exactly what arguing about the label looks like. You say you're right and I'm wrong, the exact format we'd expect of a difference that merits arguing.

    Simply cause you started the thread doesn't give you some "last word right" about a claim. If you really do want that argument to be elsewhere, what's coherent with that desire is "well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't, people can start a new thread to discuss that, but I'm not interested in the label so let's get back on track". But you don't say this, you insist you're right, without citing Kant, any secondary sources of Kant, anyone defending the idea that the name Kant now represents a whole class of ideas that may include things radically incompatible with anything Kant ever said, nor have you offered such a commentary.

    Furthermore, I've already stated I'm fine with you continuing to call your argument Kantian if you clarify what you mean by that. I've described, in my view, the core elements of Kantianism that make Kantianism incompatible with your argument. If you said, well "my version doesn't include any of that, and Kantianism to me is just about respecting consent", I've already stated I'd be willing, for the purpose of this discussion, to continue with your definition of Kantianism.

    It may surprise you that I also don't care about labels, I care about meaning; it just so happens that we can't just magically infuse our words with the meaning we want, we need to use social conventions to get started (i.e words and what they would usually mean in the given context). To me Kantianism is not a social convention describing what you want in this context, and so just liable to just create confusion; now, if you want to give me a long history lesson to show I'm mistaken, and most people are not confused by the social convention (i.e. words) and how your using it, great; maybe I am wrong. Now, if you don't care about history or what the social convention is, you can just say "well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but I'm making a new social convention and by Kantianism I mean such and such"; or you could follow the convention in such contexts and coin a new term like "anti-natalism Kantianism" to indicate your attempting to make the intersection of these two concepts.

    There are lot's of options other than just insisting that your right but also insisting that you need not back up your reasons that you think your right because the point doesn't matter to you. That's just a silly position.

    As for what you say about governments and surgeons - which premise are you trying to challenge with these examples? Presumably this one:

    1. It is default wrong to perform an act if doing it will significantly affect another person without their prior consent.
    Bartricks

    Probably? Literally the reference to your premise is in quotes in the second paragraph of my argument:

    Other posters have outlined the problems in principle that you need to overcome, but you seem genuinely flustered by the people here not agreeing to your premise, which you have finally been kind enough to reveal that "lack of consent is wrong by default".boethius

    Again, maybe in another hypothetical realm where I mentioned you "revealed your premise" but then went onto argue something without making explicit what premise I'm talking about, point for you. In this realm, unfortunately, it's a silly mistake to not read someone's criticism and then take the high ground of linguistic accuracy (again, incompatible with the wanton labeling move, a very imprecise game).

    I'm not even citing myself way-back somewhere, but the exact post your replying to.

    Yes? Well, a) how does it challenge that premise given that the premise does not say that it is always and everywhere wrong? You need to show that it is not even default wrong, not just that there are a whole range of scenarios in which it is overall justified - for by definition, that is consistent with premise 1.Bartricks

    No, I don't need to show anything.

    You don't understand my point, read it again.

    I'm saying, let's assume it's default wrong; first question for you, what principles come into play that override the "default wrong" for cases of surgery? If it's the presumption that the person wants to live, why not apply the same principle to the pre-conception unborn. Why does the "default wrong" not important in one case, but suddenly is important in the next?

    These are questions for you, based on your premise.

    And you explain:

    Of course surgeons are often going to be justified in performing operations without a person's consent. But a) it is regrettable that they have to do without it (if, for instance, a surgeon performed an operation without getting the consent of someone who was perfectly capable of giving it, then we'd all recognise that what the surgeon did was seriously wrong; and when consent is impossible its absence is still bad, it just doesn't operate to make the act overall wrong because there are countervailing moral positives that make it overall right.Bartricks

    Ok, so it's regrettable we can't ask the unborn pre-conceived, let's assume that's bad, just like the surgeon who still operates because of countervailing moral positives, anyone wanting to conceive can invoke the same countervailing positives to justify conceiving a baby.

    Or not? What are the countervailing positives, why do they matter in one case and not the other?

    b) in the case of governments you can't seriously be maintaining that consent is irrelevant to their legitimacy?Bartricks

    Did I say that? Please cite me if you think I said that.

    Now, I think most would agree here that there can be just governments and unjust governments, but even concerning only just governments, an argument defending a just government can't possibly be based on the consent or everyone that government significantly affects. Not only a single person not consenting then makes the government "default wrong", but many can't consent, in particular unborn children.boethius

    I explicitly say "an argument defending a just government can't possibly be based on the consent or everyone that government significantly affects". Everyone, does this imply I'm saying "consent is irrelevant", or am I saying literally " an argument defending a just government can't possibly be based on the consent or everyone that government significantly affects" because that's what I literally said.

    I'm aware governments try to seek consent of people on occasion, sometimes even most of them.

    That leaves whole classes of cases where the government ignores consent. Consent of individual that disagree with the government and don't consent to anything (do we care about that, no). Consent of suspects under arrest. Consent of children.

    Most importantly ...

    I mean blimey, there's a vast, vast literature on what it takes for governments to be justified in their activities and a great, great deal of it focusses on the issue of consent.Bartricks

    Yes! There is a lot of literature and theories, and none of them obtain the consent of unborn preconceived children!

    If it's not legitimate to conceive a child without their consent, what's the legitimacy basis of the government which also operates without consent of the unborn preconceived? And in so operating, significantly affecting these future children of parents that didn't get the anti-natalist message as well as anti-natalists that made a mistake and birthed a child.

    Isn't the whole government default wrong by your definition? What's the countervailing moral positives to justify it compatible with your premise? (a great many theories incompatible with your premise don't help your case)

    If "perpetuating society in a coherent fashion possibly with the consent of, if not everyone, at least a bunch of people (but not children, never children)" is a countervailing moral positive that makes government ok, why can't parents chime in and say "we're perpetuating society too and that's a countervailing moral positive that makes it all overall good, despite the lack of consent of the unborn preconceived being in itself regrettable".

    So the fact that most citizens in a community have not, in fact, given explicit consent to be governed is an age old problem - now, I am not saying that some kind of extreme anarchist position is right, I am just pointing out that it speaks to the overwhelming plausibility of premise 1 that virtually every political philosopher there has ever been recognises that there is an issue here that needs to be thought about, not just dismissed.Bartricks

    Again, read:

    Now, I think most would agree here that there can be just governments and unjust governments, but even concerning only just governments, an argument defending a just government can't possibly be based on the consent or everyone that government significantly affects. Not only a single person not consenting then makes the government "default wrong", but many can't consent, in particular unborn children.boethius

    I say "but even concerning only just governments", so I'm not even talking about dictatorships and bad governance. Of course political philosophers have thought about consent, it's called democracy. But does democracy represent even everyone alive consenting to it? No. Does democracy represent the consent of people yet to be born? No.

    What's the justification of government based on your premise?

    It seems to me there is no justification based on your premise, and why would you even be concerned about that? Why not embrace the end of society that anti-natalism entails?

    Now, one option you have is to indeed say "that's correct, we should not have babies and we should not have government, let's speed up the end when and where we can".

    Another option is to bring in more premises that somehow justify government but not having babies. You've referenced the "vast, vast literature on what it takes for governments to be justified" which parts of this vast literature view the preservation of society as irrelevant to government? I think you will find if you cared to read part of this vast literature, most of the authors assume preserving and perpetuating society is a good thing and the main activity of government (if not actively, making conditions favorable to it happening); if they (these political philosophers) are backing you up about justifying the idea of government, why are you dismissing anything they've said about preserving society. Can you find even one theory that's justifying government to preserve society but ... only until everyone is dead of old age because there are no more children.

    You want anti-natalism to be true but you also want government to continue in order to live your comfortable tea-drinking life, it's up to you to show how these are compatible. You can't just say "well, people have justifications for government"; it's likely a great many of them would disagree with anti-natalism, so some new arguments are required.
  • Bartricks
    626
    This is a reply to the first bit - no, I care about accuracy and I am not misusing the term 'Kantian' in labeling the argument as such. But this thread is not about labels and I am not discussing it further because there is nothing to discuss.
  • Bartricks
    626
    This is a reply to your second bit. Do you deny the premise? You haven't said. If you deny it, provide a case against it. If you don't deny it, why do you deny my conclusion?
  • Bartricks
    626
    This is a reply to the final bit - no, I don't 'want' antinatalism to be true. Even if I did - and I repeat, I don't - that would be irrelevant to the credibility of the argument.

    Anyway, here is the argument - the Kantian argument (that you can call Terry if you prefer) - again.

    1. If an act will affect another person in a significant way without their prior consent then it is default wrong
    2. Procreative acts significantly affect another person without their prior consent
    3. Therefore procreative acts are default wrong

    Note, the conclusion is not that all procreative acts are wrong, or even that any are, for it is possible that all procreative acts are ones in which there are other morally relevant considerations in play that make the act overall morally justified or simply cancel the otherwise wrong-making quality of the feature described in 1. (If you think that is in fact the case, say and explain what those other features are).

    Note too that premise 1 does not say that if an act affects another person in a significant way without their prior consent that it is therefore wrong. It says it is 'default' wrong.

    Premise 1 is very weak, which is precisely why it is going to be extremely hard to deny. I mean, I just don't see how one reasonably can deny it.

    Nevertheless, that does not establish that procreative acts are wrong, but it does set up a burden of proof. They are wrong 'other things being equal'.

    What you need to do is describe a case taht is relevantly analogous to a case of procreation - that is, a case in which another person is significantly affected without their prior consent - but which is obviously morally fine.

    If or when you present such a case I will simply look and see what the most plausible explanation is of why the consideration mentioned in 1 is not making the act wrong and see if that consideration is present in typical procreation cases.

    For example, take the case of a surgeon operating on an unconscious person without their prior consent.

    Well, for this to be a case in which the surgeon's actions are obviously morally fine, it would need to be a case in which failure to perform the operation would result in something significantly bad happening to the patient. Yes? I mean, let's say I am ugly and I happen to be unconscious. A surgeon decides to give me facelift without my consent. Now, obviously that's wrong and seriously so. And it is wrong even if I actually like the resulting face. It's wrong.....wait for it......because the surgeon didn't get my consent.

    But in a case where I will die, or even one in which, unless the surgeon does something, my face will be scared for life, and there is no time to wait for me to regain consciousness, then I think virtually all would agree that the surgeon would be morally justified - probably obliged - to operate on me, despite the lack of consent.

    Do examples of that kind suggest that procreation is morally okay? Not at all, for it is blindingly obvious why, in this case, the surgeon ought to operate - it is to prevent something incredibly bad happening to me. Yes? So, although acts that significantly affect others without their prior consent are default wrong, they are sometimes right when not performing them would result in a significant harm to the person in question.

    Clearly this does not apply to procreative acts. Procreation does not prevent something bad happening to the person who otherwise would not be created - as I said in my opening post (maybe you should re-read it).

    So arguing that surgeon cases like the one I described provide some kind of telling evidence that procreation is morally fine is as unreasonable as thinking that they provide some kind of telling evidence that it is fine for surgeons to go around giving unconscious people facelifts willy nilly.

    What about your government cases? Well, exactly the same applies. They're simply not relevantly analogous to procreation cases. So all you're doing is pointing out that sometimes we are plausibly justified in doing things that significantly affect others without their prior consent - which isn't in dispute.
  • boethius
    244
    This is a reply to the first bit - no, I care about accuracy and I am not misusing the term 'Kantian' in labeling the argument as such. But this thread is not about labels and I am not discussing it further because there is nothing to discuss.Bartricks

    If it's not about labels why insist you're right about the label? You keep going on discussing the label all while denying that it's important to you to discuss.

    This is a reply to your second bit. Do you deny the premise? You haven't said. If you deny it, provide a case against it.Bartricks

    You do not seem to understand the discursive method being employed here.

    I hope it will become clear to you in time.

    If you don't deny it, why do you deny my conclusion?Bartricks

    Where do you see me denying your conclusion? Please cite me.

    My first goal is to explore what your premise implies in other areas.

    I agree that if your premise is true, and your premise implies "babies are bad to conceive because we can't get the yet-to-born-and-grow-into-an-adult person's consent makes it default wrong" then your premise also implies "government is default wrong be we likewise cannot get the consent of yet-to-be-born-and-voting-citizens".

    Now, to solve the surgeon issue of consent on unconscious patient you invoke "more good than harm" so "default consent is regrettable but we don't care about it in that situation, and you can apply the same to government "more good than harm", but then parents can also apply it to children "having children does more good than harm".

    My argument is that your premise and reasoning structure to get from "lack of consent is default wrong" to "conceiving babies is default wrong", if consistently applied also applies to governments being default wrong.

    Your only counter argument to this is a vague reference to "arguments somewhere that justify governments" that reside in a vast literature, or then simply denying it's relevant:

    What about your government cases? Well, exactly the same applies. They're simply not relevantly analogous to procreation cases.Bartricks

    Did I say it's an analogy? No, I'm trying to apply the principle of morality of "lack of consent is default wrong (if it significantly affects the person)" to government. You've proposed a principle, but you seem to think principles can't be applied elsewhere.

    So all you're doing is pointing out that sometimes we are plausibly justified in doing things that significantly affect others without their prior consent - which isn't in dispute.Bartricks

    Great, this isn't in dispute, so I guess you agree that as long as parents are plausibly justified in having children then all's ok, even if that significantly affects their yet-to-be-born baby. That argument structure isn't in dispute. Case seems to be closed.

    But keep in mind, I am not denying your premise here, you're denying your premise by arriving at contradictory treatment of your premise.

    What I am trying to demonstrate to you is that your argument does not live in a quarantine.

    You seem to be perfectly happy over-ruling your premise in the case of the surgeon, in the case of children, in the case of government. But then what does "default wrong" even mean if we dismiss it so easily?

    You want to live in a status quo world where the water runs and the tea flows, and you want to rely on completely normal and usual arguments that prop-up the status quo, but then, with surgical precision, you want to excise the minimum out of the status quo where it concerns people being happy about parents conceiving babies, most of the time, and carefully insert a stent of your new premise that implies conceiving babies is always bad, no one should do it, without disturbing any other organ of the body politic.

    This is an incredibly difficult task. Any tiny mistake and you end up with uncontrolled bleeding of the status quo: that a surgeon is wrong to force their (much less the government's) view of right and wrong onto their unconscious patient to make a plausible case that their doing more good than harm, that of course we need to ask children consent about everything (if we are worried about consent before their born it's preposterous to then immediately ignore it when they can make some physical sign of what they want), and certainly government's need just as much as parents the consent of the unborn for any action that will significantly affect the unborn (it takes a village to raise a child and so the whole village is default wrong not getting consent about any actions that significantly affect the unborn child).

    Once you navigate through all these issues, what I think you will find is that your argument is transforming with everyone of your posts to a consequentialist argument that the consent isn't really the problem, we easily ignore consent in every other case that it's logically impossible to resolve a situation based on consent, but rather the problem is the presumed harm the baby will eventually encounter.

    Procreation does not prevent something bad happening to the person who otherwise would not be created - as I said in my opening post (maybe you should re-read it).Bartricks

    This is your actual argument, and it does not mention consent, but rather not-procreating necessarily avoids all harm to the not-born-infant ... but it also necessarily avoids all good things too.

    If the surgeon is "overall justified" in carrying out the surgery on the unconscious parent because it's likely to be more good than bad (saving the life, probably, is more good than the resulting pain and scars from being saved, in the moral system of the surgeon and not the patient, who we know nothing about and may have even just attempted suicide from which we can imply a disagreement with the surgeons ethics) then why not the parent if they too feel it's plausibly good conditions for their child; likewise, if we ignore consent of real children because it does more good than harm to them why can't we ignore the consent of the unborn-child on the same grounds; and, finally, if we view government and social institutions, despite their problems, as overall justified if they have a plausible case for doing more good than harm concerning the future of their citizens, again why aren't parents allowed to make the same judgement call to their future citizen (if you allow me for a moment to make the Kantian claim that people are sovereign, i.e. have rights, over their own bodies).

    These questions are not simple to answer. Your premise is and your way of reasoning to your conclusion is a radical departure from how society has gotten along and what most people think is true.

    Are you convinced that not only is your argument true but that it doesn't affect much the rest of the status quo, because you have some plausible grounds to assume "sure, this is a very different thing than most people believe and radically alters the course of society (to no longer existing), but of course has no other radical consequence" because you've really thought it through? Or, rather, because you prefer a cowardly disposition and don't want to be a position of advocating for the ceasing-to-exist of society but then potentially living uncomfortable tea-lacking situations of society ceasing to function due to insufficient consent of the people that would be significantly affected by society's activity to those ends.

    This is a reply to the final bit - no, I don't 'want' antinatalism to be true. Even if I did - and I repeat, I don't - that would be irrelevant to the credibility of the argument.Bartricks

    Again, in another realm where you have actually put in the work to understand your own argument and it's implications, maybe this would be a point for you.

    However, in this realm, you've just ignored most of the criticism you've encountered here, not just from me but the other posters (and I don't even have the worst criticism, of principle, just showing that lot's of other things seem to be implied by your principle which a brave person, if they were honest, would simply accept), which indicates a psychology in denial and doesn't want to question its world view, but wants the argument to be right to satisfy ulterior motives that the argument serves or then your own ego.

    Or so is my hypothesis about your state of mind. Let's put it to the test, can you deal with not only the criticism in this response but can you go back and actually deal with all the criticism you've already received? Surely, someone who "don't 'want' antinatalism to be true" would take all criticism offered very seriously.
  • Coben
    832
    Wow. [applause]
  • boethius
    244


    Thanks.

    Though I did make one mistake on second reading ... I don't think it matters much, I'll still be up by a few dozen points. I do hope Bartricks sticks with the debate despite being pointless so far.
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