Some of my controversial views on philosophy

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I think God is provable through ones own self consciousness. As an extension of this, i believe morality is objective and Mortem and i can prove it.  Mortem or I plan on maybe opening up a god debate in the future on the matter. You should read into menos paradox. 
Keep us posted.

8 days later

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Hey there, SNP1! Been a while. 

Disagree here. I remember being quite the defender of this view on DDO (when I went by SNP1), but I no longer feel it is a justified position. I feel as if too much of the debate has been centered on atheism vs monotheism, but the moment you through polytheism into the discussion it changes things.
I’d be curious what you think the strongest arguments for polytheism are!

To be sure, I grew up Hindu, and many Hindu sects are polytheistic -- including my family’s. I’ve actually never thought a monotheistic religion is true. So when I became atheist, I was leaving behind a polytheistic faith (to be clear, lots of Hinduism is monotheistic too, and I don’t mean to generalize -- it’s just that my family, in particular, wasn’t). 

Agreed, but I am curious on if you are a compatibilist or hold to more of a libertarian free will? While I do think compatibilism is easier to support, I do have a lot of sympathies for libertarian free will. Our intuitions just scream that some extent of libertarian free will is true.
I’d say something closer to libertarian free will. 

I tend to think that Aristotelian Virtue Ethics is one of (if not the) best moral theories.
I know lots of virtue ethicists, yeah. I’m personally not as compelled by the arguments for it. 

This is where I disagree and think that you have some conflict in your points. if you assign a future person as having as much moral value as a present person, then how do you justify the view that "Creating new happy lives is a good thing, though not as good as making existing people happy. Creating new bad lives is a bad thing (though not as bad, other things equal, as inflicting suffering on existing people)"? I think future people certainly have moral worth, and we should act to look after future generations, but does that give it equal weight to people here today? I do not think so. Future people do not exist (yet) while present people do. I think more moral value is given to things and people that exist than things and people that do not (similar logic as to why theft, murder, etc. is wrong but playing GTA is alright).
I’m distinguishing between creating future lives and making future people (who, according to B-theories of time, exist right now) happy. I place more of a weight on the former, and the latter. 

I think there’s many good arguments for why we should value future people equally, including:
  • Thought experiments. My favorite one, adapted from Derek Parfit, is: if I drop a glass bottle in a woods, that would be irresponsible regardless of whether a child that injures themselves on it gets the injury  tomorrow, 100 years, or 500 years from now. Similarly, having a positive rate of pure time preference would mean -- at some point in the future -- the survival of humanity ends up less important than, say, me enjoying a pizza right now. 
  • According to B theories of time, people in the future do exist right now, because time is just an extension of space -- which is likely true if you take special relativity seriously. In that sense, treating future generations worse is morally equivalent to treating people who’re far away from you worse, and I don’t find that a just conclusion. 
  • It seems like it’s discrimination against an immutable characteristic. I don’t think you should be disadvantaged just because of when you were born, a characteristic you don’t choose, in decisions made by people in the past. 

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I’m distinguishing between creating future lives and making future people (who, according to B-theories of time, exist right now) happy. I place more of a weight on the former, and the latter. 

I think there’s many good arguments for why we should value future people equally, including:
  • Thought experiments. My favorite one, adapted from Derek Parfit, is: if I drop a glass bottle in a woods, that would be irresponsible regardless of whether a child that injures themselves on it gets the injury  tomorrow, 100 years, or 500 years from now. Similarly, having a positive rate of pure time preference would mean -- at some point in the future -- the survival of humanity ends up less important than, say, me enjoying a pizza right now. 
  • According to B theories of time, people in the future do exist right now, because time is just an extension of space -- which is likely true if you take special relativity seriously. In that sense, treating future generations worse is morally equivalent to treating people who’re far away from you worse, and I don’t find that a just conclusion. 
  • It seems like it’s discrimination against an immutable characteristic. I don’t think you should be disadvantaged just because of when you were born, a characteristic you don’t choose, in decisions made by people in the past. 
Hard to understand why  you gave up Hinduism to entertain B Theories.
All your questions and doubts can be answered by Karma. 

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Hard to understand why  you gave up Hinduism to entertain B Theories.
All your questions and doubts can be answered by Karma. 
lmao
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Hard to understand why  you gave up Hinduism to entertain B Theories.
All your questions and doubts can be answered by Karma. 
lmao
Laughing from the other end is a shifting of your Karma. To laughter the proper way you need to do head stands.

19 days later

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Pretty solid stuff. A couple objections. 

"Unproductive" as a challenge to nihilism/skepticism always seems to miss the boat for me, because that's not what it's trying to do. Nihilism doesn't envision a better world, that's almost a contradiction in terms. And obviously nihilism does not care about whether it's considered productive or unproductive. But I think it's useful for strengthening the grounds of our epistemology, and for getting people to consider uncomfortable conclusions. 

I don't see why preference utilitarianism implies that creating new people is good. It seems to me that preference utilitarianism might have a strong argument for the conclusion that once there is a person, we should try to satisfy their deeper desires, but not that we ought to create people just to satisfy their desires. 

78 days later

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Few months late, but I never got pinged that you responded, though I guess that I also don't come to debateart often either.

I’d be curious what you think the strongest arguments for polytheism are!
This really depends on if the context is 'monotheist vs polytheist' or 'atheist vs polytheist'.
If the former, then there are quite a few arguments out there.
  1. Diversity of Religious Experience (Greer's feline analogy from his book A World full of Gods is great) is one that many monotheists will likely struggle with without relying on special pleading.
  2. Edward Butler has an argument that polycentrism is more fundamental than monocentrism, and using this to argue for polytheism.
  3. I created an argument about the impossibility of a single, unified theory of everything suggesting that there isn't a single rational being that everything is contingent upon.
  4. And a friend of mine on Reddit, Willdam20, created a great argument for polytheism from mathematical platonism.
These are the four main arguments that I typically use in debates/discussions with monotheists (which makes up most of my debates/discussions on religion).
As for arguments for theism specifically:
  1. I actually have become convinced that Religious Experience arguments work when used for polytheism (though fail when used for monotheism). This is especially when you combine Swinburne's argument from Reid's Principle of Credulity, Dumsday's argument from Evidentially Compelling Religious Experiences (though his examples in his paper suck), and Greer's cat analogy.
  2. I also Pruss's 'design' argument that the low entropy of the early universe is more probably under theism than naturalism is quite good (much better than the fine-tuning argument).
  3. I also am convinced on the New Kalam, the argument for God(s) via causal finitism. I was actually convinced of causal finitism before being convinced that it worked as an argument for God(s).
  4. While less an argument for theism, I have found that polytheism is able to actually avoid numerous arguments used to prove philosophical atheism (the POE fails, Divine Hiddenness doesn't work that well, etc.)
I don't think any single argument works, it is moreso that they balance the scales in a certain way that ultimately ends up with polytheism on top (imo). If you take a pluralistic attitude towards polytheism, and adopt some more platonic ideas, it seems as if things fall into place. I do have to say, however, that abandoning materialism was also probably a big factor in this. I just felt as though a combination of qualia, when it comes to mind and body, the ontology of holes, and the indispensability argument for mathematical platonism made it harder and harder to reject immaterial things as nonexistent.

I’d say something closer to libertarian free will. 
Same, actually. Rare to find other people that hold to free will views that are more libertarian than compatibilist.

Thought experiments. My favorite one, adapted from Derek Parfit, is: if I drop a glass bottle in a woods, that would be irresponsible regardless of whether a child that injures themselves on it gets the injury  tomorrow, 100 years, or 500 years from now.
I think that the issue with this thought experiment is that the act that makes it irresponsible is a future occurrence, thus the future is already in mind when judging the act and so the status of if the person is a future person or not isn't as relevant.
My favorite thought experiment is 'the execution game'.
You are in a position where your only choice is to push a button. An executioner is scheduled to kill an innocent person in 10 minutes, but you can stop it by pressing the button in front of you. If you push that button, however, then a random innocent person will die in 3 years instead. Do you push the button? Most people seem to have an intuition of pushing the button being the better choice, though this should be an impossible one if both people have equal moral value.
I think that giving moral value to future people, but not equal moral value to current people, is more intuitive and also seems to better fit how we understand group dynamics.
It is similar to the idea that you can feed the starving person in front of you or let them starve to feed a starving person on the other side of the world instead. Proximity does matter to some extent. You have a greater moral duty to your neighbor than to someone on the other side of the world, and I think this principle can be applied temporally as well.

According to B theories of time, people in the future do exist right now, because time is just an extension of space -- which is likely true if you take special relativity seriously.
I actually have adopted the A-Theory of Time, though that is also a long discussion and not one I am as ready to discuss without preparation.
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Time is a concept relative to the perceivability of event and duration.

Perceivability is reliant upon a perceiver.

Therefore, without a perceiver there is nothing to consider.

18 days later

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I agree with you that polytheism is more logically consistent than monotheism however it still isn’t perfect, it intuitively seems to be less of a singular source of explanation for the nature of the universe and where we all come from and what meaning we have if everything is split into different parts. You’d still have people asking what created the gods even greek mythology has this issue where Zeus Hades and Poseidon were originally the children of higher beings like Kronos. Additionally you still have the problem of good which is a separate issue from the problem of evil. The problem of good asks if something is good because the gods love it or do the gods love it because it is good?

But there is still another way. Id argue pantheism is even easier to defend because no one can really ever claim it isn’t the case with certainty it intuitively makes some sense and it makes you part of that being even if you don’t realize it so the problem of evil and good is no longer relevant because any harm you experience is only god interacting with themselves. For example  If I choose to eat something spicy it may hurt my tongue but I still enjoy the taste as a whole,  is it morally wrong for me to subject my tastebuds to the stinging bite of    capsaicin? What about drinking a bitter medicine? Probably not most people would see that merely as a matter of preference, in a pantheistic world view any evil or suffering can be explained as a preference of how that being prefers to exist or even a necessity for how that being needs to be its best self. Evil and good would only be a matter of perspective and all perspectives are contained in one singular entity. 

Omnipotence is also easier to establish because if god is everything then god can do anything within themselves. same with omniscience if god knows everything about themselves then they can know anything.

The paradoxes only arise when we expand omnipotence and omniscience beyond what is contained by the pantheistic god. A pantheistic god doesn’t need to create and so it couldn’t create a stone so heavy it cannot lift, and a pantheistic god still likely cannot answer the question of philosophical nihilism but neither ca monotheistic or polytheistic god and to ask these questions is to step outside the established boundaries of the concept and thus are likely to be dismissed as irrelevant. 

Now often in practice pantheism also has certain other religious beliefs attached to it such as karma and reincarnation both of which can be argued against and refuted but karma and reincarnation are not fundamentally necessary to the nature of a pantheistic entity. As a matter of fact I believe Hegel touched on a purer form of pantheism when talking about history as a process of integration. Hegelian pantheism is interesting and doesn’t have the burden of karma or reincarnation attached to it. 

This being said it ultimately becomes something that wether its true or not doesn’t really matter because it won’t change how we live our lives if anything it comes down again to a matter of preference. Do you find comfort believing that everything is part of a larger whole or are you content living from the perspective of a single person. I consider myself generally to be an atheist but I do still sometimes indulge in such thought experiments as this while admiring the vastness of our universe 
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• Epistemic nihilism is false. I’m not sure its truth can actually be evaluated, but at minimum, it’s useless and unproductive
• I actually disagree partially with this point, I don’t think this philosophy is useless rather we don’t know how to use it yet, but I don’t think we should give up on trying there may be an answer we’ve yet to come up with that will solve this or it may be by its very nature unprovable but even if that’s the case it can still teach us a lot about how we come to believe things and where we fall short. Its better to be aware of where our understanding is flawed so we can work around it than it is to pretend like no flaws exist. My approach is not to dismiss epistemic nihilism outright but to acknowledge that epistemic nihilism also applies to itself. If nothing can be known then we can’t know if we can’t know anything so we should still try to find a way that is most likely to attain knowledge IF such knowledge is possible. I acknowledge nothing is certain and attempt to narrow down what possibilities are more likely than others using various different epistemic perspectives. For example I start with a mild bit of pragmatism using a sort of variation of pascal’s wager to determine it is better to pursue knowledge in all circumstances than it is to give up on it, from there I find that Foundationalism and Coherentism are useful approaches and I don’t think either one is fully enough to stand on its own so I tend to use both, when one fails I reinforce it with the other. I also use pragmatism to bridge the gap from epistemic nihilism into positivism and constructivism and all this combined is in my opinion one of the most well rounded epistemologies. It recognizes the merits of each epistemic approach and uses them without falling into most of their pitfalls. I find people often get confused by how this works and like to poke and prod at it a bit but I have yet to find a question that cannot be reasonably answered by one of these epistemologies and I am always open to discussion on this just in case anyone has any objections I might not be aware of.

• God almost certainly doesn’t exist.
Highly uncertain about this, but free will probably exists.
• I agree especially when using the terminology of “almost certainly” there’s probably no way to be certain of anything but the concept of a monotheistic god specifically is too logically inconsistent and so does not seem likely to be true.

• Moral realism is probably true, though highly uncertain.
• I don’t think moral realism is logically consistent either when morality fundamentally relies on subjective perceivers to exist. For example if the universe had absolutely no life in it and never would produce it, would murder still be wrong? What about theft? These moral concepts of murder and theft wouldn’t even make sense in this context because we understand these terms to be things that sentient creatures do to other sentient creatures and we interpret these things as harmful based on how they make us feel, that’s entirely the Basis of subjectivity. If morality were objective it would exist as a truth independent of any sentient observer but it instead cannot exist in any context without this.

Now an argument could be made that while the experience of harm is subjective the path to avoiding it might be objective, essentially an objective truth about subjective states of being. And in this regard I am uncertain, It seems that the preference of people between what they deem as harmful, pleasurable, or acceptable, varies wildly from person to person and so it seems unlikely that a full consensus can be reached on what is good or bad. It would seem the only objective claim about morality would be to claim it is subjective but subjectively we want to believe morality  is objective.

• Common sense morality is, all things considered, a pretty good metric.
• I mean it depends on who is using it, common sense isn’t all that common. 

We can break this up into a few different  variations on the golden rule which is supposed to be one of the most intuitive moral beliefs there is and you’ll see how many people might differ from each other in what they think is common sense.

The platinum rule: Treat others as they want to be treated

The golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated 

The silver rule: Treat others as they treat you

The bronze rule: Treat others as you are told 

The tarnished rule: Treat others as you want to treat them 

Even though each of these perspectives we can intuitively understand we each have a preference for a particular rule over the others and none of them are perfect in every situation by any means.  We can understand the moral actions of someone using the silver rule even if we disagree with their approach and they might think the golden or platinum rule just allows people to take advantage of you. A person with a preference to the golden rule would see the platinum rule as requiring too much information in most situations and a platinum preference person would see the golden rule as too presumptuous as to what other people would prefer. There’s a lot of nuance in morality and just going by common sense is not the best we can come up with, but it’s effective enough that society doesn’t collapse

• The best approximation of a good moral theory that I can think of is preference utilitarianism, albeit somewhat skittish, accounting for moral uncertainty with either expected choice-worthiness or a parliamentary model, and incorporating some unusually strong common sense intuitions.
• I agree only in part though, I think utilitarianism itself is a good  starting point from there you can move into preference utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism, but deontology is an equally valid moral theory and so I think utilitarianism actually works best within a deontological framework by  Assessing the impact an action would have on the various rights everyone has. And once we figure out how to navigate conflicts between rights using these utilitarian methods we can begin to establish specific virtues that serve as shortcuts to the most moral behaviors leading to fewer conflicts of rights.

There’s actually seemingly a whole triangular cycle of moral analysis that occurs between the three major branches of ethics in this way. Virtue ethics, Deontology, and Utilitarianism. Deontology needs a baseline to determine what a person’s rights should be and so ascribes a value to certain virtues that everyone should have. Utilitarianism assesses the impact actions have but requires an understanding of why some things are harmful and others are beneficial, so deontological rights are useful in gauging this conflict and why things are harmful or beneficial, in turn once all this is sorted out we can, as stated before, begin to establish virtues that seek to balance as many different moral situations as possible bringing us full circle.

This is another reason I don’t think morality is objective because our three best theories on it are ultimately circular and need one another to fully function properly.

• Creating new happy lives is a good thing, though not as good as making existing people happy. Creating new bad lives is a bad thing (though not as bad, other things equal, as inflicting suffering on existing people).
• I agree with the first half but disagree with the second. It is indeed better to fix what is already wrong than to introduce something else that is not broken, but Creating more problems to solve is not better than making existing problems worse.

• Countries don’t have very large special obligations to their own citizens. They should prioritize their citizens a bit more than non-citizens, for pragmatic reasons, but policy should, in general, focus a lot more on the rest of the world.
• why not both?

• Individuals have a moral obligation to assist those in need.
• within reason. The way I see it there’s a spectrum and if you fall too far to either end then you’re doing something wrong. On this spectrum there are four categories 

-Self-centered
-Selfish
-Slefless
-Self-sacrificial

Of these four categories the two in the middle and any space in between is morally acceptable. It is good to be selfish and take care of your needs so long as you try not to do so at the expense of others, and it is good to be selfless as long as you don’t neglect your own needs. But to be self-centered is bad because you neglect others to only serve yourself and being self sacrificial is bad because you neglect yourself to only serve others. 

The middle ground is the best approach here.

• We should care, morally, as much about future generations as the current one. Of course, for practical reasons, it often makes sense to prioritize the interests of people alive today, but the moral worth of someone 300 or 3000 years from now is no different than the moral worth of someone alive today.
• this I agree with in full