Forum:Lumenos vs Rand vs Jefferson

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Jack writes, "I've never met anyone who seems to really comprehend my philosophy - I'd be surprised if you ever do. Jack Hughes (talk) 10:37, 11 August 2010 (UTC)"

I guess y'all don't want to understand my "unique" philosophical ideas, all that much. If you did, you would ask questions. Most of "my" philosophy seems popular. I was delighted to find that many of "my" ideas have been developed far beyond what I would be capable of on my own, in the following Wikipedia articles: metaethics, normative ethical theories. However, they don't seem to address certain issues:
One neglected issue I call "ethical ambiguity". An example is that the moral realism article claims that Ayn Rand is a moral realist. Rand is an ethical egoist. Thomas Jefferson denies that ethical egoism is a form of morality, therefore by Jefferson's definition of morality, Rand would be a moral nihilist.
Another neglected issue I call "ethical favoritism". Rand's objectivism may be appealing in that it seems to avoid the "favoritism" for altruistic morality. "Is my neighbor more important than I, that I should want to serve their interest rather than my own?" But it may make the opposite mistake and (implicitly) claim there is some "metaphysical reason" we should want to act in "self-interest" instead of "altruistically". Is it because we are incapable of true altruism and thus altruistic acts are necessarily "irrational"? (That is the only reason that comes to mind.) Consequism is more cautious in that it avoids "presuming" that altruism is impossible, irrational, or immoral.
I make big joek about such systems and parody them when I refer to a number of "useless" lumenati philosophies, as "truthisms". Any parts of the Bible which are literally wrong, must be metaphors, and when they cannot be metaphors they are Man's mistakes, not God's. (We receive the Word directly from the mouth of God, so we are qualified to correct the Bible.) Therefore Lumenosity is the truthism, by definition. Rand's objectivism can be truthism also, so far as it only makes metaphysical claims. But if Rand claims that "true altruism" is not possible, it moves into gray areas between metaphysics and psychology, and may therefore be invalidated. Consequism may be pure, unsullied, subjective truthism, and therefore it cannot be invalidated.
Now we are back to the problem of ambiguity. I contend that consequism is a "value theory" and not necessarily a "moral" system, because it does not fit Jefferson's implicit definition of a "moral" system (and I think Jefferson's definition is more popular than Rand's definition). But consequism may be an argument against "moral nihilism". Life can have meanings without having a "moral" purpose (in terms of Jefferson's "definition" which assumes morality is altruistic). Is consequism (broad morality) a form of "morality" by your definition? If it is, this means I am a moral realist. If it is not, then I am a moral nihilist.
Perhaps this explains why I often can't use conventional terms. I can't call myself a "moral realist" or a "moral skeptic" because these terms are polluted with ambiguity (in my mind, at least). ~ Lumenos 02:04, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Errrrr, yeah. What Lumenos said......AceX-102 02:11, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
At last, a disciple! ~ Lumenos 19:25, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

My attempt to parse the above[edit]

To be honest I can't understand the majority of it - between the made-up words and the links I have almost no idea what you are talking about. But I will attempt to critique the parts that I understood.

Most of "my" philosophy seems popular. I was delighted to find that many of "my" ideas have been developed far beyond what I would be capable of on my own. Maybe, but first we would have to understand what your ideas actually mean.

Rand's objectivism may be appealing in that it seems to avoid the "favoritism" for altruistic morality. "Is my neighbor more important than I, that I should want to serve their interest rather than my own?" But it may make the opposite mistake and (implicitly) claim there is some "metaphysical reason" we should want to act in "self-interest" instead of "altruistically". Is it because we are incapable of true altruism and thus altruistic acts are necessarily "irrational"? No. Nowhere in Rand's works does it say that altruism is impossible because of the way human beings work; her hatred of altruism is based upon the pseudo-logical train of thought that she follows from "existence exists" to "capitalism is good." This problem with this, as I'm sure you're aware, is that this ignores the philosophical problems raised by virtually every philosopher ever (but particularly Hume and Kant), which mostly invalidates Rand's line of reasoning.

Any parts of the Bible which are literally wrong, must be metaphors, and when they cannot be metaphors they are Man's mistakes, not God's. (We receive the Word directly from the mouth of God, so we are qualified to correct the Bible.) If you meant to criticize Biblical literalism with this statement, then I agree.

But if Rand claims that "true altruism" is not possible, it moves into gray areas between metaphysics and psychology, and may therefore be invalidated. Sure, I can agree with that. But I think this is phrased in a terrible way. I would have written it as: "Rand claims that "true altruism" is impossible, but she bases this claim upon her knowledge of metaphysics and psychology, making it vulnerable to falsification."

I have almost no idea what you are talking about in the bottom section, probably because half of the words you are using are made up. I understand that terms like "moral realist" are indeed "polluted with ambiguity," but can't you use plain language instead? Then we would actually be able to debate this instead of starting blankly at it. Tetronian you're clueless 13:37, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Quoted reply to Tetronian 13:37, 29 August 2010[edit]

To be honest I can't understand the majority of it - between the made-up words and the links I have almost no idea what you are talking about. But I will attempt to critique the parts that I understood. Tetronian 13:37, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

That is the recommended way and you don't have to limit yourself to what is posted in this forum. You could ask questions about that which you didn't understand. ~ Lumenos (talk) 18:32, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I have almost no idea what you are talking about in the bottom section, probably because half of the words you are using are made up. I understand that terms like "moral realist" are indeed "polluted with ambiguity," but can't you use plain language instead? Tetronian 13:37, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Imagine if I had substituted the definitions for the neologisms. Do you think it would be any clearer? I don't think so. If you want to read plain language, read the definition of the neologism and discuss that instead. I can't discuss abstract philosophical matters while predicting how it will appear to you. I could call myself a "consequentialist" instead of a consequist, but I don't agree with everything that is "consequentialism". Do you know what a consequentialist is? Does it have an unambigious definition? Do you know of an ethical term that is not "polluted with ambiguity"? How do we disambiguate these? To me it seems all these words are defined relative to one another. Furthermore, if someone considers a "moral theory" to be true, they usually have a different "definition" than someone who thinks it is false. Do these Wikipedia articles make sense to you: metaethics, normative ethical theories? Can you describe your own "philosophical values" using one "normative theory" and one "meta-ethical theory"? I could not and "ambiguity" isn't the only problem. None of those words describe my ideas well. ~ Lumenos (talk) 18:32, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Imagine if I had substituted the definitions for the neologisms. Do you think it would be any clearer? Yes. It's much easier to deal with concrete definitions on one page than to follow links through your wiki that go in circles in some like some postmodernist nightmare. Incidentally, I do know what consequentialism is (based upon reading the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article), but even after reading through your wiki I have honestly no idea what consequentism is. I agree that consequentialism doesn't have a totally ambiguous definition, but at least then I would have some idea what you meant. Again, I agree that ethical terms are polluted with ambiguity, but (to me, at least) making up your own terms is even more confusing than taking the time to carefully define your position in simple language. Forgive me if this sounds harsh, I did not intend it to sound that way.
Do these Wikipedia articles make sense to you: metaethics, normative ethical theories? Can you describe your own "philosophical values" using one "normative theory" and one "meta-ethical theory"? The articles mostly make sense to me, but no, I could not explain my own values using one normative theory and one meta-ethical one, namely because I don't believe I've studied enough to decisively commit to one ethical theory. Tetronian you're clueless 18:42, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I said, the problem is not simply ambiguity, but now I see that we have seen different definitions of consequentialism. I'm not sure the term "consequentialism" is ambiguous enough to mean "consequism". Consequism is similar to consequentialism but it makes "propositions" about "benefits" instead of making propositions about "morals". I see now that your source does say, "Consequentialism, as its name suggests, is the view that normative properties depend only on consequences. This general approach can be applied at different levels to different normative properties of different kinds of things, but the most prominent example is consequentialism about the moral rightness of acts[...]"[1]. By that definition, consequentialism could include consequism. But the rest of the article doesn't seem to include anything like consequism. (I didn't read it all.) The following source does not allow anything but a "moral" definition of consequentialism: "Consequentialism is the view that morality is all about producing the right kinds of overall consequences."[2]
Are you certain that WP has correctly listed all possible "ethical theories"? It seems to me that consequism is a "functional" "value system" that doesn't necessarily fit into any of those categories.
There must be one or more "philosophies" (or "psychological reasons"), behind choices you make. Will/can you describe them? ~ Lumenos (talk) 04:26, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Rand's objectivism may be appealing in that it seems to avoid the "favoritism" for altruistic morality. "Is my neighbor more important than I, that I should want to serve their interest rather than my own?" But it may make the opposite mistake and (implicitly) claim there is some "metaphysical reason" we should want to act in "self-interest" instead of "altruistically". Is it because we are incapable of true altruism and thus altruistic acts are necessarily "irrational"? No. Nowhere in Rand's works does it say that altruism is impossible because of the way human beings work; her hatred of altruism is based upon the pseudo-logical train of thought that she follows from "existence exists" to "capitalism is good." This problem with this, as I'm sure you're aware, is that this ignores the philosophical problems raised by virtually every philosopher ever (but particularly Hume and Kant), which mostly invalidates Rand's line of reasoning. Tetronian 13:37, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm doubtful of your objectivity when you summarize Rand's logic but rather than discuss that, I'll ask you to describe the "philosophical problems" raised by "virtually every philosopher". ~ Lumenos (talk) 18:32, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
The most prominent is Hume's is-ought problem, of course. There is no logical step between Rand's assertion that human beings have free will (which in itself is a disputed statement) and her proclamation that self-interest is the only rational choice. She writes, "the fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do," but this flies right in the face of Hume without a satisfactory rejection. Her modern critics are summarized pretty well here. Tetronian you're clueless 18:47, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I "solve" the is-ought problem this way: Benefits and detriments exist. (Benefits are "measured" according to feeling (pleasure, happiness, etc) or intention (freedom).) The choice that produces only detriment for everyone, is irrational and therefore "evil". Believing in false religion is "evil" when people make detrimental choices believing it is the will of God, when it is not. We may also call things "evil" if the only things that benefit are like infectious microorganisms or a few tyrants. The infections and tyrants cause suffering/restriction/detriment to the vast majority of people and therefore it is "true" enough for "we the people" to agree they are "evil". Many similar "moral" principles could be made on this ground. This isn't morality by Jefferson's definition, but it is a rational basis for many decisions, and it is an argument against "nihilism" which solves the is-ought problem without the apparent "deontological fallacy" of most forms of consequentialism. Benefit/detriment is the bridge that allows us to make objective statements about what we should do. ~ Lumenos (talk) 04:26, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

[Dismissalisms][edit]

I think Lumenos is trying to be a funny troll. --Idiot number 58 (talk) 04:12, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Any of my joking in this forum should be distinct. The basic arguments about ambiguity and the fallacy of ethical favoritism, are my sincere beliefs, at this time. Are you interested in philosophy? ~ Lumenos 19:22, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Lumenos --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 19:47, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif 19:52, 13 August 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I do believe Theemperor has correctly identified the holobaramin for this specimen - David Gerard (talk) 20:02, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
"And they mocked and urled insults at em..." I've come to expect such behaviour from the rest of you, but ey too, #58?!? You were just asking for my hand in friendship and now this? Where I come from, friends try to understand each other. Sincere questions deserve sincere answers. Maybe I'm not seeing something the others are. That doesn't mean my opinion is worthless. I have tried to write clearly. I can't believe it would be impossible for any of you to understand, if you only tried. You don't criticize my ideas on their merit, you go around high-fiving each other for throwing a pie in my face.
Now this may seem butthurt and insincere. But perhaps it is also leading somewhere I want to go (after/before it goes somewhere I don't). This is the place where everybody loves each other, is happy (or genuinely suicidal), and shares. Cult leaders could be like the most valuable people. If you were making a cult, you would make one that were rational to you. Same here. ~ Lumenos 06:46, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
I am sure I have said it before, but it merits repeating: you are fucking weird, even for people around here. - π 13:58, 29 August 2010 (UTC)