Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The sad (but not unexpected) conclusion

The Sad but not surprising conclusion of this conversation has been reached, at least for now:

These is my follow up to the comments I received from the most recent round of responses and about the conversation its self.  I am uninterested in comments on this post (thus they are not enabled for this post); if you (who are reading this) have comments regarding the previous posts, which regard the actual discussion, feel free to make them there.  What follows really is in the hopes that dalillama (promethics) understands what I think is wrong with their position.  It is already outside of the discussion its self, which as I indicated in the last post must end if dalillama (promethics) could not agree to to ground already conceded, since the conversation had therefore ceased to be rational and in good faith (if indeed it ever was).

-------------Below this is purely for the edification of people following the discussion---------------

After days of failing to identify (or address) the moral claim of a zero aggression or a nonaggression principle, dalillama (promethics) had this to say, "All of them [NAPs] suffer from the same flaws, and can be dealt with equivalently. The consequentialist version fail because the consequences of such a principle are not what the proponents of it claim."  This needs to be 'unpacked' slightly to be completely examined.  All of the NAPs have a common idea, and this is obvious since I can put them all into one category (i.e. NAPs), that part of this statement is tautologically true.  That all arguments in this category suffer from a flaw which allows for dismissal is certainly possible, though I would point out that dalillama has failed to do this given numerous opportunities.  That does not of course mean it can not be done (though I am currently unaware of how to show the morality of using aggression, within the the definitions I have defended, against peacefully resisting moral agents to compel compliance with my wishes (or those of a group of people which might or might not contain myself or the individual to be compelled).  Then we have the argument about construction come up again.  I have already said I am not defending deontological of consequentialist constructions directly (largely because I do not care, but also on a technicality) because emergent behavior is very rarely what the rule-maker intended and also does not always behave in the way the rule-maker would expect.  This is not a flaw of the rules or the rule-maker, but a consequence of complex interactions.  Certainly rules can be tweaked to change outcomes (which is the idea of consequentialist ethics) but one would need to see the outcomes from a set of rules (and presume they knew that changing X would cause Y), this has not occurred, and I have argued that with a free market as the interaction mediator that a direct causal relationship would be very hard to proscribe (though it might be possible to see after the fact) which is due to the ideas of value and demand which are harder to manipulate proscriptively.  The fact that an idea is untested is also not a flaw with the idea, it is in fact not a flaw.

"You also failed to offer solutions in the original discussion which sparked this."   I moved the discussion off of the FTB forum at your request, and addressed the topic you proposed.  The only person who was arguing about the practicality of how to achieve social change was Jadehawk.  I, correctly pointed out that I was not talking about practicality.  I have made the same observation to you.  My original interjection into the argument was actually just a correction about what libertarian thought was, since I believed (and maintain) that 'Tis Himself presented an incomplete description
of the view in his caricature of libertarian thought.  The conversation, on my end at least, was never about telling anyone in that forum, or this one, what to do or how to do it.
"Your alleged commitment to social justice is made meaningless by your unwillingness to work towards it."  We obviously have different definitions of 'work towards,' because I consider a personal commitment and a change of personal actions to be work towards social justice.  You are correct that I will not do more than tell (and by 'tell' is used in a loose sense that includes economic and social pressure) others that they are being bigoted unless they are going to commit an immanent act of violence against someone (in which case I will attempt to intervene).  I do not think anyone deserves any more from me than that without other factors being involved, the commitment to nonaggression is the base level of my respecting others rights (not the sum total of my actions or expectations).

"As far as your other points, you have consistently refused to even acknowledge reality, let alone explain how your utopian fantasies would actually work in the real world. You can make up as much as you like about how things would work in magical voluntarist fairyland, but that has no bearing on reality, nor does it in any way address real world problems or solutions." I am not sure that I spoke very much about anything other than the meta-ethic in question, which as I have already pointed out does not say much about the 'reality' since it is a lens one looks at the world with, and not the world its self.  I gave you several opportunities to explain why the very basic moral stance I asserted was flawed.  Your answer that you do not like its consequences is certainly enough for you to decide to not follow the meta-ethic I have laid out, but it has no bearing on your ability to show a flaw (or the existence of a flaw) in the ethic its self.  I have not said definitely how things will work out, though I have pointed to reasonable supposition.  I have pointed you a moderately well fleshed out meta-ethic.  It of course has not had the thousands of years of polish and development of statist cultures since it has not been tried in any real scale.  I was also not pointing out that society needed to be voluntarist-dominant (though I did point out that other philosophies can exist within a voluntarist society but the opposite is not obviously true).  I would also like to point out that because an experiment is a thought experiment (which is basically what voluntarism is at this point) does not mean it 'has no bearing on reality or that it does not address real world problems or real world solutions.'  All it means is that it is not being tried (with the caveat that it does sort of occur in small scales currently).

"You are clearly coming from an extraordinarily sheltered situation, and have little to no conception of either history or current events."  I disagree, but then I am aware of who I am and what my understanding of life as a member of a minority group, current events, and history are, and you are not.  I do not feel compelled to enlighten you, nor do I really care what your opinion of me personally or my demonstrated (to your satisfaction) level of mastery of any particular subject is.

"I have no further time to waste with you until you are able to separate discussions of reality from philosophical wankery." This would be less humerous if it did not come from an 'ethics with foresight' blogger…  As it stands, you may flounce away if you so choose (since that is what I asked you to do if you could not or would not address the points I indicated in the last blog post, which you failed to do).