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The Nature of Man
Posted: 24 November 2012 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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GenerousGeorge - 24 November 2012 02:03 PM

I rest my case.

You don’t ask enough questions and you evade questions and criticism.

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Posted: 24 November 2012 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Opinions are like ***holes, everyone has one.  I will not try to help your understanding of others comments concerning your posts anymore. Good luck! Peace!

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Posted: 25 January 2013 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Rami Rustom - 16 November 2012 06:39 AM

All evils are caused by insufficient knowledge. So all good is due to sufficient knowledge. This is the principle of optimism.

So Rami, you do believe in a Universe of cause and effect after all. Also, I should have known you were an Ayn Rand devotee from our last encounter.
Yes, I have some questions and criticisms.
First of all, I think you are in error taking an absolutist position with the word “all”, so I would prefer to see the word “some” instead.
Sufficient or insufficient knowledge of What? Good and evil? Right and wrong?
Why not say “all evils are caused by evil knowledge” and “all good is due to good knowledge”? I will tell you why, because it doesn’t say anything.
Is it not possible for some evil to be caused by sufficient knowledge and some good to be caused by insufficient knowledge?
Didn’t a terrorist need sufficient knowledge to plan and fly airplanes into the WTC? And if the same terrorist has insufficient knowledge and can’t fly the plane into the WTC, wouldn’t that be good?

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Posted: 25 January 2013 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Cypher - 25 January 2013 02:04 PM
Rami Rustom - 16 November 2012 06:39 AM

All evils are caused by insufficient knowledge. So all good is due to sufficient knowledge. This is the principle of optimism.

So Rami, you do believe in a Universe of cause and effect after all. Also, I should have known you were an Ayn Rand devotee from our last encounter.
Yes, I have some questions and criticisms.
First of all, I think you are in error taking an absolutist position with the word “all”, so I would prefer to see the word “some” instead.

Well, that is your assertion, but you haven’t explained why your assertion is right. Meaning that you haven’t explained why my absolute statement is wrong.

It is true that many absolute statements are wrong, but that doesn’t imply that *all* absolute statements are wrong.

Cypher - 25 January 2013 02:04 PM

Sufficient or insufficient knowledge of What? Good and evil? Right and wrong?
Why not say “all evils are caused by evil knowledge” and “all good is due to good knowledge”? I will tell you why, because it doesn’t say anything.
Is it not possible for some evil to be caused by sufficient knowledge and some good to be caused by insufficient knowledge?
Didn’t a terrorist need sufficient knowledge to plan and fly airplanes into the WTC?

Yes. But had he had better knowledge of things to do, he would do that instead of being a terrorist. A terrorist believes that the only path to get what he wants requires killing his enemies. And he is wrong to believe that. Had he known this, he’d do otherwise.

Cypher - 25 January 2013 02:04 PM

And if the same terrorist has insufficient knowledge and can’t fly the plane into the WTC, wouldn’t that be good?

Yes, and many would-be terrorists are prevented from committing terrorism because of their lack of sufficient knowledge of technology, for example. But that sort of lack of knowledge is not going to save us for long. Technology is getting cheaper and easier, so future would-be terrorists will require less and less technological knowledge to commit terrorism.

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Posted: 25 January 2013 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Rami Rustom - 25 January 2013 02:17 PM

Well, that is your assertion, but you haven’t explained why your assertion is right. Meaning that you haven’t explained why my absolute statement is wrong.

Is the correctness of my assertion and the fallacy of your statement not confirmed by the form of my question (Is it not possible for some evil to be caused by sufficient knowledge and some good to be caused by insufficient knowledge?) and the veracity of the examples that I provided which you yourself affirmed?

Rami Rustom - 25 January 2013 02:17 PM
Cypher - 25 January 2013 02:04 PM

Is it not possible for some evil to be caused by sufficient knowledge and some good to be caused by insufficient knowledge?
Didn’t a terrorist need sufficient knowledge to plan and fly airplanes into the WTC?

Yes. But had he had better knowledge of things to do, he would do that instead of being a terrorist. A terrorist believes that the only path to get what he wants requires killing his enemies. And he is wrong to believe that. Had he known this, he’d do otherwise.

I am glad you agree, but to say “had he had better knowledge of things to do, he would do that instead of being a terrorist” is not necessarily true. What could be true is that the terrorist was not free to choose that which never occured to him to choose because he was raised in a Madrassas and taught to hate and kill and never taught what you and I may consider to be a moral way of life. Would you agree or no?

Rami Rustom - 25 January 2013 02:17 PM
Cypher - 25 January 2013 02:04 PM

And if the same terrorist has insufficient knowledge and can’t fly the plane into the WTC, wouldn’t that be good?

Yes, and many would-be terrorists are prevented from committing terrorism because of their lack of sufficient knowledge of technology, for example. But that sort of lack of knowledge is not going to save us for long. Technology is getting cheaper and easier, so future would-be terrorists will require less and less technological knowledge to commit terrorism.

Again, I am glad you agree with me and I actually agree with you regarding your point that technology is getting cheaper and easier for everybody to use, including the terrorists. However, this fact does not nullify my examples nor my argument. Would you agree or no?

 

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Posted: 25 January 2013 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Cypher - 25 January 2013 03:51 PM
Rami Rustom - 25 January 2013 02:17 PM

Well, that is your assertion, but you haven’t explained why your assertion is right. Meaning that you haven’t explained why my absolute statement is wrong.

Is the correctness of my assertion and the fallacy of your statement not confirmed by the form of my question (Is it not possible for some evil to be caused by sufficient knowledge and some good to be caused by insufficient knowledge?) and the veracity of the examples that I provided which you yourself affirmed?

I don’t think so. I explained that better moral knowledge would cause a terrorist to not be a terrorist anymore, regardless if that person had sufficient technological knowledge to actually commit a terrorist attack.

Cypher - 25 January 2013 03:51 PM
Rami Rustom - 25 January 2013 02:17 PM
Cypher - 25 January 2013 02:04 PM

Is it not possible for some evil to be caused by sufficient knowledge and some good to be caused by insufficient knowledge?
Didn’t a terrorist need sufficient knowledge to plan and fly airplanes into the WTC?

Yes. But had he had better knowledge of things to do, he would do that instead of being a terrorist. A terrorist believes that the only path to get what he wants requires killing his enemies. And he is wrong to believe that. Had he known this, he’d do otherwise.

I am glad you agree, but to say “had he had better knowledge of things to do, he would do that instead of being a terrorist” is not necessarily true. What could be true is that the terrorist was not free to choose that which never occured to him to choose because he was raised in a Madrassas and taught to hate and kill and never taught what you and I may consider to be a moral way of life. Would you agree or no?

I agree that someone like that was indoctrinated to hate non-Muslims, and his parenting was very bad, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have freedom. By that I mean, its possible that you accidentally befriended such a man and then he learned from you that his ways are wrong. The possibility of this, is what I’m talking about. Its possible for him to learn knowledge that makes his life better. Whether or not he actually learns that knowledge is not relevant.


Consider humans before civilization. Lets say that they used to beat their children into submission. Does one of those kids have the possibility of learning that his ways are wrong? Yes he does. But that doesn’t mean he *will* learn that he’s wrong. It would take a few thousands years before someone created the idea that beating children is immoral and causes much psychological harm on a child that typically lead to chronic problems in adulthood.

Cypher - 25 January 2013 03:51 PM
Rami Rustom - 25 January 2013 02:17 PM
Cypher - 25 January 2013 02:04 PM

And if the same terrorist has insufficient knowledge and can’t fly the plane into the WTC, wouldn’t that be good?

Yes, and many would-be terrorists are prevented from committing terrorism because of their lack of sufficient knowledge of technology, for example. But that sort of lack of knowledge is not going to save us for long. Technology is getting cheaper and easier, so future would-be terrorists will require less and less technological knowledge to commit terrorism.

Again, I am glad you agree with me and I actually agree with you regarding your point that technology is getting cheaper and easier for everybody to use, including the terrorists. However, this fact does not nullify my examples nor my argument. Would you agree or no?

I disagree because better moral knowledge would prevent a person from committing a terrorist attack regardless of whether or not he had sufficient technological knowledge to commit the terrorism.


What do you think?

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Posted: 25 January 2013 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Rami,

This is another absolutist statement, betrayed by the word “would”. Your statement “that better moral knowledge would cause a terrorist to not be a terrorist anymore,” is not necessarily true because the terrorist may be aware of better moral knowledge and still choose to be a terrorist for other reasons. Also, this statement in no way nullifies my assertion that your original absolutist statements are false.

I think your hypothetical situation where I might accidentally be befriended by a terrorist and convert him to a moral way of life is pretty far fetched and just because something is possible does not necessarily make it probable or even likely to happen in the real world.

I stand by my criticism and I believe my original assertions are correct and I think you are trying to obfuscate the discussion with other irrelevant explanations and hypothetical scenarios for reasons I can’t even begin to guess at.

BTW, did you come up with this axiom: “All evils are caused by insufficient knowledge. So all good is due to sufficient knowledge.”? And if not, oughten you attribute it to it’s original source?

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Posted: 26 January 2013 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Cypher - 25 January 2013 05:42 PM

Rami,

This is another absolutist statement, betrayed by the word “would”. Your statement “that better moral knowledge would cause a terrorist to not be a terrorist anymore,” is not necessarily true because the terrorist may be aware of better moral knowledge and still choose to be a terrorist for other reasons.

But those “other reasons” are wrong, and better knowledge would reveal that they are wrong.

Cypher - 25 January 2013 05:42 PM

Also, this statement in no way nullifies my assertion that your original absolutist statements are false.


I think your hypothetical situation where I might accidentally be befriended by a terrorist and convert him to a moral way of life is pretty far fetched and just because something is possible does not necessarily make it probable or even likely to happen in the real world.

Who cares if its probable? That wasn’t anywhere in my argument.


Think of the evolution of memes (ideas that replicate from person to person). Meme evolution is like gene evolution. Fit memes live, unfit memes die off. In the past, beating one’s wife was not considered immoral. Now it is, at least in the more advanced parts of the world. The beat-your-wife meme is dying. Its unfit. In the future, it’ll be extinct.

Cypher - 25 January 2013 05:42 PM

I stand by my criticism and I believe my original assertions are correct and I think you are trying to obfuscate the discussion with other irrelevant explanations and hypothetical scenarios for reasons I can’t even begin to guess at.

You shouldn’t guess at my motivations. You don’t know me well enough.

Cypher - 25 January 2013 05:42 PM

BTW, did you come up with this axiom: “All evils are caused by insufficient knowledge. So all good is due to sufficient knowledge.”?
And if not, oughten you attribute it to it’s original source?

David Deutsch did in his book _The Beginning of Infinity_.

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Posted: 26 January 2013 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Rami,
I believe I am getting to know you, and, I highly recommend that you attribute such things to their original authors, from the very beginning, to avoid being accused of plagiarism, which is dishonest and therefore an immoral act.


Based upon my observation above I am not sure who I am having this discussion with Is it you or Deutsch? If it is you then I will proceed with my criticism and questioning.


You never answered my question in the beginning: Insufficient/sufficient knowledge of What?
Do you mean knowledge of good and evil in particular or ALL knowledge in general, which is correct?

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Posted: 26 January 2013 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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Cypher - 26 January 2013 08:18 AM

Rami,
I believe I am getting to know you, and, I highly recommend that you attribute such things to their original authors, from the very beginning, to avoid being accused of plagiarism, which is dishonest and therefore an immoral act.

I don’t care if others accuse me of plagiarism. David himself doesn’t care that I use his ideas without his name.

Note that most of my ideas are from other people. Should I mention where each one came from? In most cases, I don’t even know or remember.

Cypher - 26 January 2013 08:18 AM

Based upon my observation above I am not sure who I am having this discussion with Is it you or Deutsch? If it is you then I will proceed with my criticism and questioning.

David is not here, so you’re discussing with me. Thats one reason that I didn’t invoke the name of David Deutsch.

Cypher - 26 January 2013 08:18 AM

You never answered my question in the beginning: Insufficient/sufficient knowledge of What?
Do you mean knowledge of good and evil in particular or ALL knowledge in general, which is correct?

Well, good and evil is the field of morality, so I’m talking about moral knowledge.

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Posted: 26 January 2013 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Rami Rustom - 26 January 2013 08:29 AM

most of my ideas are from other people

This is more than just an idea. It is a precise statement of a principle and it would be helpful for others to know its source, from the start, so they can investigate it directly for themselves, rather than relying on a third party who may or may not have an adequate level of understanding of the proposition.


Do you believe that the physical Universe is moral, immoral or amoral and what is the basis or foundation for this belief?

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Posted: 26 January 2013 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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Cypher - 26 January 2013 02:13 PM
Rami Rustom - 26 January 2013 08:29 AM

most of my ideas are from other people

This is more than just an idea. It is a precise statement of a principle and it would be helpful for others to know its source, from the start, so they can investigate it directly for themselves, rather than relying on a third party who may or may not have an adequate level of understanding of the proposition.

If you want the best explanations (in discussion), I’m not the person to talk to. You’ll get it by asking your questions and addressing your criticism on the email list for the book _The Beginning of Infinity_:


https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/beginning-of-infinity


I suggest reading Chapter 9 in the book first.


David Deutsch fields questions and criticism in the email list. Many other people do too, including me.

Cypher - 26 January 2013 02:13 PM

Do you believe that the physical Universe is moral, immoral or amoral and what is the basis or foundation for this belief?

I don’t understand the question. Morality is about making the right decisions. The universe doesn’t make decisions.

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Posted: 26 January 2013 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Rami Rustom - 26 January 2013 02:27 PM

Morality is about making the right decisions.

What exactly does this mean because it seems rather vacuous?
Do you realize what a simplism that statement is?
I prefer the idea that morality is about the well-being and suffering of conscious creatures.

.

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Posted: 26 January 2013 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Cypher - 26 January 2013 04:47 PM
Rami Rustom - 26 January 2013 02:27 PM

Morality is about making the right decisions.

What exactly does this mean because it seems rather vacuous? Do you realize what a simplism that statement is?

I disagree on both counts. I said that so that I could setup my idea that: The universe doesn’t make decisions.

Cypher - 26 January 2013 04:47 PM

I prefer the idea that morality is about the well-being and suffering of conscious creatures.

I find that vague. How about this?


Every interaction between moral beings should be mutually-beneficial. That means that no one gets hurt. By “hurt” I mean psychological suffering.

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Posted: 26 January 2013 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Rami Rustom - 26 January 2013 04:55 PM

Every interaction between moral beings should be mutually-beneficial.

Yes, I would agree with this, but it is, like many of your ideas, easier in principle than in practice, primarily because not everyone is a moral being.


BTW, at least the following has a criteria.
Cypher - 26 January 2013 08:47 PM

I prefer the idea that morality is about the well-being and suffering of conscious creatures.

[ Edited: 26 January 2013 05:28 PM by Cypher]
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