• DA671
    626
    If freedom can be restricted even when there was no prior free state from which one was taken away from, then giving a good that one could not have asked for can be a fairly good way to combat pessimistic paternalism—that too without aggression.
  • Agent Smith
    8k
    Just the other day, I was imagining angels and to me, they be grotesque, hideous in form, not exactly a sight for sore eyes, but they have beautiful white dove wings. I decided if ever I encounter one, I'm just gonna focus on his/her wings!
  • DA671
    626
    Acknowledge the bad but recognise the good too! Some wings are quite large. Doing so might give on the necessary resources to start working for a cure to make the rest of the body look just as good. Also, I would like to say (even though it's a bit trite) that true value lies within.
  • Agent Smith
    8k
    Acknowledge the bad, but recognise the good too! Some wings are quite large. Doing so might give on the necessary resources to start working for a cure to make the rest of the body look just as good. Also, I would like to say (even though it's a bit trite) that true value lies within.DA671

    :up:
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k

    You’re simply going to be unreasonable to make your same argument.

    If I went around assuming for others significant limitations on their choices and foisting harms because it sometimes brings good to them as well, the good is not the ethical issue. If that’s the case I have a game you cannot escape from you’re really going to like..let me foist that onto you.
  • DA671
    626
    It isn't unreasonable to point out similar flaws. There is no need to fix something that is not broken.

    Taking unnecessary risks and causing harms to existing beings who probably do not need them to live a sufficiently valuable life is not the same as bestowing a good that cannot be solicited (and it's evident that non-existent beings cannot choose to exist).
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    cannot be solicitedDA671

    You said it bro.
  • DA671
    626
    Indeed. Which is precisely why deciding for them and suggesting that they should not have a good (even though they mostly likely would have asked for it if they could have) is nothing more than a pessimistic game that leads to the annihilation of all that is valuable. Thankfully, the world is not yet inundated with individuals who think that giving a genuine good that another individual might not be able to ask for themselves even if it was in their interest is somehow unethical.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k

    The ethical part is not about the good then. I have no problem if every choice would have been wanted and no harms befell people.
  • DA671
    626
    If non-existent beings had some prior interest in avoiding existence that was being disregarded by their creation, then perhaps it would indeed be wrong to procreate. However, the truth is that nobody in the void wants to exist or to prevent it, which is why it is neither an imposition nor a gift. If, howbeit, it is an act of aggressive paternalism to "impose" something one did not ask for, then, by the same token, it is also an act of unimaginable beneficence to provide a benefit that an individual is not able to demand before existing. If no good was sacrificed and there was a clear predilection for non-existence, I would not have had a problem with universal antinatalism. But, as things stand, it simply cannot be ethically justifiable to prevent all happiness (even if the impact is only on those who do exist).

    Edit: Also, I hope that you have a good day/night ahead!
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    If non-existent beings had some prior interest in avoiding existence that was being disregarded by their creation, then perhaps it would indeed be wrong to procreate.DA671

    Indeed we disagree. I don’t think a person needs to exist prior to life to know it will be affected, and thus at some point negatively. Child born in lava pit will be born in a lava pit. If you can convince the woman not to, you will prevent this negative for the future person. Clearly future states matter.

    If, howbeit, it is an act of aggressive paternalism to "impose" something one did not ask for, then, by the same token, it is also an act of unimaginable beneficence to provide a benefit that an individual cannot (which is different from "did not") demand before existing. If no good was sacrificed and there was a clear predilection for non-existence, I would not have had a problem with universal antinatalism. But, as things stand, it simply cannot be ethically justifiable to prevent all happiness (even if the impact is only on those who do exist).DA671

    Yes, we’ve had this debate. I’m just going to repeat the point that the ethical part is about whether to foist harms and limitations, not goods. It’s goods that come with significant impositions. That’s the very question at hand. The person not existing beforehand isn’t some magic excuse that somehow makes this situation different. I’ll just repeat, I have a game I’d love to foist on you, certainly will be fun in some parts. Yes, you won’t be able to escape the set of choices and yes at parts you will be harmed. Even if I conjured you from thin air to play my game, and not taken you from your existing life, there are serious ethical considerations you would be overlooking to say, “oh no that’s fine”.
  • DA671
    626
    The absence of that negative at the cost of their existence simply has no value for the person who does not exist, in my view. Fortunately, most people would recognise that such as act is simply not good for any individual's well-being. But if it's bad to create someone in a situation where they would be experience suffering, it can also be good to create someone who would experience ineffaceable happiness. Love and beauty are good even if one is not capable of asking for them.

    The goods and bads both matter ethically. Extricating the former from ethical consideration is not possible if one wants to have a comprehensive worldview, in my opinion. There is no "magic" involved in pointing out that the inexistent is not dancing in joy due to their lack of being, which is why they cannot be made worse off by existing. However, this view is not held by all, so I do not insist on arguing for it—primarily because I do not have to. Obviously, one should seek to avoid creating harms. Nevertheless, I simply do not see how it can be ethical to never lead to the genesis of a good. As an existing individual who has no strong proclivity for unknown games at the moment, it wouldn't be good to take a risk that has a higher probability of things going wrong. When the value is already there, there is no point in pulverising it and then trying to repair it. But who knows? If no adequate source of value can be found, playing certain risky games can be worth it. Having said that, I would merely like to point out that trying to do good for existing beings (who might have a strong interest in a state of affairs they are in) is not the same as creating somebody (who does not have a desire to remain in the void) in order to bestow innumerable benefits that matter just as much as the negatives do. The significant impositions also come with resilient wills and indescribably powerful positive experiences that cannot be relegated to the sidelines. It's still good to try to save someone even if there is a small chance that they would become miserable due to this because one knows that the probability of a positive outcome is higher. Pessimistic rhetoric about games does not diminish the potency of happiness.

    Indefinitely stretching discussions can become quite vexatious, especially on a weekend! My apologies for callously jumping into the thread. As I have said before on multiple occasions, I do agree that suffering is a serious problem that needs to be tackled. If there were more people who cared about doing that instead of just discussing things such as politics and celebrities, it is quite likely that the need to even have this discussion would not be strong. Nonetheless, I am glad that you are here advocating for giving people the good (and I consider the lack of harms to be a good thing) that they deserve. Have a nice day!
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    The absence of that negative at the cost of their existence simply has no value for the person who does not exist, in my vieDA671

    You gotta stop harping at a point I didn’t make. It’s about the parent making a choice that could affrect someone. It’s about whether to impose or not.

    But if it's bad to create someone in a situation where they would be experience suffering, it can also be good to create someone who would experience ineffaceable happiness. Love and beauty are good even if one is not capable of asking for them.DA671

    I’m just gonna repeat what I said previously about creating limitations and harms.

    There is no "magic" involved in pointing out that the inexistent is not dancing in joy due to their lack of being,DA671

    Are you purposely twisting the argument or just not understand? It’s about whether it’s ok to make these decisions that limit and harm for another. The state of not existing but could exist doesn’t exonerate that this is a decision that if chosen one way, will affect a person. And that’s the issue at hand. This is beyond common sense.

    Nevertheless, I simply do not see how it can be ethical to never lead to the genesis of a good.DA671

    You don’t? You don’t see how assuming that others should like and experience these sets of choices and endure these harms, because there is good, can be an ethical problem? Really?

    My apologies for callously jumping into the thread.DA671
    Noted

    If there were more people who cared about doing that instead of just discussing things such as politics and celebrities, it is quite likely that the need to even have this discussion would not be strong. Nonetheless, I am glad that you are here advocating for giving people the good (and I consider the lack of harms to be a good thing) that they deserve. Have a nice day!DA671

    Cool
  • DA671
    626
    I never claimed that you said anything else. My point was that, due to the allegedy harmful nature of creation, the so-called imposition (the choice) has negative (moral) value, which is why it's bad. Similarly, creating the positives is good because it provides a good. If the absence of the choice is simply neutral (as opposed to being good), then choosing happiness still seems like the better option. I was referring to the value/disvalue inherent in those choices. My point was that there are no negative/positive effects (and no impositions/gifts) for the individual that stem from the act of creation or the lack thereof. Later on, I assumed the proposed framework to be true but suggested that it should be expanded because the creation of the positives is also ethically good.

    And I will just say that freedom and benefits are also pertinent factors to consider.

    I am not trying to misconstrue anything. The question of exoneration, in my opinion, simply does not arise when the decision does not lead to an action that decreases one's well-being. Of course, not everyone agrees with that, which is fine. In this case, I think that common sense would also tell us that it is good to create positives and the ability to find happiness regardless of whether or not inexistent souls are asking for them. Even a Kantian deontological framework would not ask one to simply ignore the enormous amount of good that could come from an action. The innate goodness of the outcome, despite the presence of harms, does seem to suggest that procreation is at least justifiable, provided one has the right intentions and properly cares for the person. Absolute contentment is not a reality (yet) but neither is life epitomised by infinite deprivation. I believe that respecting the diversity of the sentient experience is generally preferable to a one-size-fits-all solution.

    I do not see how some people fail to see that letting their pessimism and excessive aversion to/emphasis on risks lead to the prevention of billions of good experiences is perfectly acceptable. Verily, it's a mystery that keeps intensifying.

    :up: Thank you.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    If the absence of the choice is simply neutral (as opposed to being good), then choosing happiness still seems like the better option. I was referring to the value/disvalue inherent in those choices. My point was that there are no negative/positive effects (and no impositions/gifts) for the individual that stem from the act of creation or the lack thereof. Later on, I assumed the proposed framework to be true but suggested that it should be expanded because the creation of the positives is also ethically good.DA671

    But it’s not about effects. It’s about the rule. And so contra your post here, you are misconstruing the argument. We will continue to disagree because not providing positives from scratch has no moral relevance. Assuming someone else’s choices (limitations of sets of choices) and harms is where ethics comes into play. Creating positives always comes with this baggage. Why you want to rehash this debate specifically between us, I don’t understand. We’ve done it before.
  • DA671
    626
    Personally, I think that divorcing the rules from the effects does not make much sense. However, once again, I did not misconstrue your position. I acknowledged, for the sake of the discussion, that the value lies in the choice. I then said that I do not see a good reason for claiming that one should utterly discount the value of doing good and just focus on not harming someone. Here, "effects" was used here with reference to the idea that creation can be a harm/benefit (because there had been an earlier discussion about creating someone in a lava pit/in a blissful state of affairs).

    We will indeed continue to disagree because I believe providing positives has enormous moral relevance (though it can be difficult to recognise that due to the interconnected nature of harms/benefits and the fact that existing beings can live decent lives without requiring constant interference for happiness).

    When assuming is the only thing one can do and the bestowal of a lifetime's worth of happiness is at stake, then only looking at the limitations and ignoring the opportunities does not seem right to me. Then, there is also the loss of happiness that could be experienced by many people as a result of a lack of creation. Deontology does not wish to annihilate the minority perspective for the sake of a greater good, which is why one cannot ignore the positive perspective that many people have.

    The baggage might not always seem like an immense burden when there are countless invaluable diamonds in it them. It's not for me to decide that the negatives would always be more important even if I fail to find adequate value in my own life.

    I merely wanted to restate the obvious lest some people mistakenly begin to think that preventing all positives is ethical. Thank you for the discussion, and I hope that you have a great day!
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    I then said that I do not see a good reason for claiming that one should completely disregard the value of doing good and just focus on not harming someone.DA671
    So that's the very point in question. Is it ever okay to aggressively assume harms/choices for another person? I understand your position that it is okay to assume goods for a person. I can even get on board with it IF it didn't have the contingency that I was going to be assuming choices/harms for another. But of course, it doesn't and you are stuck with the reality.
  • DA671
    626
    Is it ever okay to not let unmitigated pessimism hinder one's ability to empathetically bestow a great good to another person when they are not in a position to solicit it? I think that the answer is yes and therein lies all the difference. If non-creation did not jeopardise the well-being of those who are here and there was a guarantee that there is no good that is being prevented for a sentient being who could not ask for it, I could have been more sympathetic to AN (though I still do appreciate its supporters desire to reduce suffering). No matter what my perspective of life is, I am indeed (gladly, for now) "stuck" with the reality that the positives will always matter.
  • Agent Smith
    8k
    Correct me if I'm wrong but your main point seems to be the unethical nature of thinking for others (the child who's born). True, if possible I would have liked to be consulted on the matter.

    However, isn't antinatalism the exact same thing, thinking for someone else?
  • DA671
    626
    And choosing to not bestow a positive that innocent sentient beings deserve. Some people would say that non-existent beings are not harmed by this choice and have no interest in existing. But if creation is an imposition/harm even though nobody is living a free life in a blissful antechamber before birth, then I believe one can also say that giving a good is ethical irrespective of the presence/absence of an agent who is able to ask for that good. Thinking for someone who is not able to save themselves is generally good, even if there is a minuscule chance that they actually did not wish to be saved. One has to act on the basis of reasonable probabilities.

    And there is obviously the impact on existing people but that's a different matter.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    Correct me if I'm wrong but your main point seems to be the unethical nature of thinking for others (the child who's born). True, if possible I would have liked to be consulted on the matter.

    However, isn't antinatalism the exact same thing, thinking for someone else?
    Agent Smith

    It's not about thinking for others on its own. It's about specifically creating impositions for them or deciding what impositions are appropriate for others.
  • DA671
    626
    Do keep the benefits (and the lack of any prior interest in the void) in mind. Anyway, it's been nice to have had the privilege of discoursing with the veterans of the forum. I hope that you and everybody present here has an excellent day!
  • Agent Smith
    8k
    impositionsschopenhauer1

    What do you have to say to people who exult "Thank god I was born!" To be frank, I've never heard anyone make that remark. It just doesn't seem to make sense, oui monsieur?
  • schopenhauer1
    7.7k
    What do you have to say to people who exult "Thank god I was born!" To be frank, I've never heard anyone make that remark. It just doesn't seem to make sense, oui monsieur?Agent Smith

    That's the child, not the person making the decision for them. And I have had this debate before, but just because someone says that at one moment in time, doesn't mean a minute later, when they are stuck in traffic they don't go "Oh fuck I hate this shit". Is in the moment dislike their attitude or that general statement? But I think all of it is irrelevant because you are looking at the effect only, when this is about the principle of deciding impositions that are appropriate for others. Even the person who says they were grateful or whatnot, that doesn't prevent the fact that there were harms they may not want to encounter and limitations that they would not have wanted in the choices. In other words, I don't think that statement really reveals much about the nature of how people encounter harms and choices in life.
  • Athena
    2.3k
    I think in the West much of Eastern is considered nonsense. But I also think this is more about perspective than fact.

    Is God outside of nature or is nature God? Should we look for God in everyone? Could our understanding of God affect our understanding of democracy?
  • Athena
    2.3k
    [quote="DA671;724052"[/quote] Are you aware of Spinoza? Given what you said I think you may be familiar with him.

    Baruch (de) Spinoza[13] (24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677)[17][18][19][20] was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish origin.[12][18][21] One of the foremost exponents of 17th-century Rationalism and one of the early and seminal thinkers of the Enlightenment[17][22] and modern biblical criticism[23] including modern conceptions of the self and the universe,[24] he came to be considered "one of the most important philosophers—and certainly the most radical—of the early modern period.
    — wikipedia

    I have been watching and rewatching this video about him. Especially his reasoning of cause and effect impresses me as how the ancient Athenians thought and I think this thinking is the foundation of democracy. It goes with what Cicero said about happiness and doing the right thing when one knows what the right thing is. It is the foundation of democracy being rule by reason and good moral judgment being good reasoning.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leoBccWOZfo

    And thank you, I am having a nice day. I am enjoying the forum and eating popsicles on this hot day. I just finished eating a shrimp salad. And I want to say I have an extremely low income that forces me to live very simply while thanks to the internet and libraries and books, I can have what Cicero and Jefferson meant by happiness. Intellectually my life is very full and that makes any personal troubles seem very small. Poverty does have to mean ignorance and suffering.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    ↪jgill
    I think in the West much of Eastern is considered nonsense. But I also think this is more about perspective than fact. Is God outside of nature or is nature God? Should we look for God in everyone? Could our understanding of God affect our understanding of democracy?
    Athena

    I suppose there are psychoanalytic threads woven into the relationships between the gods of ancient Egypt, but, yes, nonsense. On the other hand, some of the spiritual practices originating in the East, like Zen Buddhism, are relevant today. I once wrote a chapter of a book on a certain aspect of a sport being a "mystical art form." :cool:
  • Athena
    2.3k
    Why is math important to philosphy?

    What I experience is mentioned in the video about Spinoza, that the more I learn and expand my consciousness, the more I see a bigger picture and that decreases the importance of the small things. Learning other languages and traveling are good ways to expand our consciousness and so is MATH. With math, we can see the invisible. I know a professor who can lecture for at least 4 hours about knots and how we can use math to know if the DNA is knotted or not. Like pi can explain so many surprising things making math mind-blowing as we can know more than our six senses can detect.
  • Athena
    2.3k
    I suppose there are psychoanalytic threads woven into the relationships between the gods of ancient Egypt, but, yes, nonsense. On the other hand, some of the spiritual practices originating in the East, like Zen Buddhism, are relevant today. I once wrote a chapter of a book on a certain aspect of a sport being a "mystical art form." :cool:jgill

    In India, it seems religion and math went hand in hand. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_mathematics
    That is not so in the West outside of Egypt and the Greeks who delighted in learning from Egypt. In India, the relationship between religion and math made it possible for them to recognize 0 as a legitimate number and to recognize negative numbers, and it made them capable of contemplating infinity.

    The mystical and math go very well together and I think the Western mind is biased and this bias is like blinders that limit the consciousness of the Western mind.

    PS In another thread I tried to have a discussion of how ancient Greeks and Romans differed and that discussion didn't go very well, so here I want to bring up the fact that the Roman number system would have never led to scientific discoveries.

    How did Romans calculate without zero?
    The Romans never used their numerals for arithmetic, thus avoiding the need to keep a column empty with a zero symbol. Addition and subtraction were done instead on an abacus or counting frame. https://mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk/Education/rome/
  • jgill
    2.6k
    The mystical and math go very well together and I think the Western mind is biased and this bias is like blinders that limit the consciousness of the Western mind.Athena

    There are about 24,000 math topics on Wikipedia, many if not most by "Western minds". That doesn't sound like the Western mind is terribly limited.
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