Author Topic: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio  (Read 5219 times)

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Anarchist

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The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« on: October 22, 2012, 11:38:07 AM »
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Stefan has argued that there aren't two kinds of people such that you could choose one of them to run the state even though the other kind is corrupt.

Yet, that forms the basis of his arguments.

You see, people who are fine with the state are interested in money. But everyone else is so very interested in morality.

For instance, in a thread baselessly attacking what FDRers merely imagined the reasoning of Steven Pinker to be (which notably doesn't include ignoring levels of state violence), he says:
Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
FYI, Pinker gets government grants, and is in a state-protected union, it's not too shocking that he's a big fan of statism...
example

Then he says things like:
Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
Simply put, the argument from morality is the most powerful approach to changing society because all major social decisions are made on the basis of ethics. If a population believes that a certain program is moral – i.e. war, welfare, social security and so on – then they may grumble, but they will also roll up their sleeves, get to work and support it no matter what their personal cost. Men will go off to war, mothers will turn their kids over to nannies, people will surrender massive portions of their income and freedom with nary a protest – all in the name of what is good.

Now, this completely contradicts his "child abuse causes everything" theories in which people go to war because they're afraid of receiving white feathers for cowardice in England. Which turns the moral apologies for the war into a mere soothing away of moral objections in order to avoid feeling the pain of the subjugation that actually led you to sacrifice...not a wholeheartedly supported reason that people were willing to sacrifice for. In other words, they don't go to war because of morality, they go because of coercion while their actual moral sense is reduced by stupid arguments that merely sound reasonable (which is the definition of morality I believe he's taken to heart).

Since Stefan promotes this idea wholeheartedly, that means that he was making claims for morality he believed to be false.

So which is it?

Well, we can tell pretty clearly because he makes a projection for one of his business ventures backed up by no real evidence:
Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
If we take a rational and scientific approach to the challenges of moral theories, we shall start to get real traction in the world of ideas, and elevate ourselves about the yammering hordes of debaters who pound tables and bellow that their opinions are just somehow more correct than everyone else’s.

Now, he claims to have succeeded in that project with UPB. Hoppe also claims to have succeeded with his argumentation ethics. Yet years after these, they've gained no traction in the world of ideas at all. However, even though the very proposal calls upon the principles of science, he hasn't bowed to the evidence and repealed those claims when they were clearly demonstrated to be false.

I have the idea that Stefan would have continued to be a statist if he'd been able to gain employment outside of hawking wild conspiracy theories contradicted by the other conspiracy theories he hawks more privately. But since that's where he gains his income, that's what he'll support. He has an insufficient moral sense to stop himself from doing this, which is a trait he projects onto people like Steven Pinker and so on.

Elucidated

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 12:28:32 PM »
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Stefan has argued that there aren't two kinds of people such that you could choose one of them to run the state even though the other kind is corrupt.

Yet, that forms the basis of his arguments.

You see, people who are fine with the state are interested in money. But everyone else is so very interested in morality.

For instance, in a thread baselessly attacking what FDRers merely imagined the reasoning of Steven Pinker to be (which notably doesn't include ignoring levels of state violence), he says:
Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
FYI, Pinker gets government grants, and is in a state-protected union, it's not too shocking that he's a big fan of statism...
example

Then he says things like:
Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
Simply put, the argument from morality is the most powerful approach to changing society because all major social decisions are made on the basis of ethics. If a population believes that a certain program is moral – i.e. war, welfare, social security and so on – then they may grumble, but they will also roll up their sleeves, get to work and support it no matter what their personal cost. Men will go off to war, mothers will turn their kids over to nannies, people will surrender massive portions of their income and freedom with nary a protest – all in the name of what is good.

Now, this completely contradicts his "child abuse causes everything" theories in which people go to war because they're afraid of receiving white feathers for cowardice in England. Which turns the moral apologies for the war into a mere soothing away of moral objections in order to avoid feeling the pain of the subjugation that actually led you to sacrifice...not a wholeheartedly supported reason that people were willing to sacrifice for. In other words, they don't go to war because of morality, they go because of coercion while their actual moral sense is reduced by stupid arguments that merely sound reasonable (which is the definition of morality I believe he's taken to heart).

Since Stefan promotes this idea wholeheartedly, that means that he was making claims for morality he believed to be false.

So which is it?

Well, we can tell pretty clearly because he makes a projection for one of his business ventures backed up by no real evidence:
Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
If we take a rational and scientific approach to the challenges of moral theories, we shall start to get real traction in the world of ideas, and elevate ourselves about the yammering hordes of debaters who pound tables and bellow that their opinions are just somehow more correct than everyone else’s.

Now, he claims to have succeeded in that project with UPB. Hoppe also claims to have succeeded with his argumentation ethics. Yet years after these, they've gained no traction in the world of ideas at all. However, even though the very proposal calls upon the principles of science, he hasn't bowed to the evidence and repealed those claims when they were clearly demonstrated to be false.

I have the idea that Stefan would have continued to be a statist if he'd been able to gain employment outside of hawking wild conspiracy theories contradicted by the other conspiracy theories he hawks more privately. But since that's where he gains his income, that's what he'll support. He has an insufficient moral sense to stop himself from doing this, which is a trait he projects onto people like Steven Pinker and so on.


Exactly, its crazy how he's not called out more often.

In that Pinker thread he uses the ad hominem fallacy, completely overlooked by others who argue the OP is using argument from authority.

Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
FYI, Pinker gets government grants, and is in a state-protected union, it's not too shocking that he's a big fan of statism...

If we use the same argument, that Pinker gets money off the state and is therefore tows the state line, on Stefan; does getting your income off of people on the basis of your great thinking not give rise to you not admitting your thinking might be flawed when you find it so?

Anarchist

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 12:56:15 PM »
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In that Pinker thread he uses the ad hominem fallacy, completely overlooked by others who argue the OP is using argument from authority.
Yeah, and the strange thing is that he wasn't saying that the guy was correct due to his authority (that's reserved for Stefan and the benefit of the doubt we must place in Him). He was saying that he took the argument seriously and was looking to analyze it rather than rejecting it without analysis (like some unthinking FDR member or something who might make assumptions about it that don't apply and then reject it out of prejudice).

TruthAlwaysTold

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 09:09:16 PM »
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I have the idea that Stefan would have continued to be a statist if he'd been able to gain employment outside of hawking wild conspiracy theories contradicted by the other conspiracy theories he hawks more privately. But since that's where he gains his income, that's what he'll support. He has an insufficient moral sense to stop himself from doing this, which is a trait he projects onto people like Steven Pinker and so on.

Exactly.

It should be noted that his spouse and household is part of a fully gov't protected, fascist, licenced industry where her funds are coming directly from tax dollars. Their household income is from the taxes our household pays. That's why he could care less about secession. By their deeds you shall know them.

Anyone who 'really' hates the gov't as evil talks about secession or takes interest in it at least.

He doesn't have morals. He doesn't have faith. He's about filling his belly and will hurt anyone to get what he wants. This is an age old psychopath, con artist.

0bject1ve

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 05:14:18 AM »
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I also found it very interesting when Stef mentioned once or perhaps a few times that he might have gone into politics because, in part, of his skills as a debater, and in part if it were not for UPB! 

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2012, 03:34:52 PM »
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Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
FYI, Pinker gets government grants, and is in a state-protected union, it's not too shocking that he's a big fan of statism...
example



Speaking of that:

Quote from: GregG
If you have concerns about the methodologies used in any of the studies that made these statistics possible, by all means, bring that up.

But questioning the source of the funding does not, in any way, disprove the content of the study. Environmentalists love to employ this technique as well: "Oh, that study doesn't prove second-hand smoking is not harmful, because it was funded by a front organization for the tobacco companies!" The proper critique in that case, also, would have been  to look at the conditions of the study. Size and quality of the sample, data gathering techniques, assumptions made about, and interpretations drawn from the gathered data, and so on.

The source of the funding for the research is of no relevance to any of these questions. So, if you have a legitimate beef with the way one of these stats was produced, please do bring it forward, because I'm sure we'd all really like to be as empirical as possible. Otherwise, there is no good reason to doubt them.

Isn't it interesting then that Stefan employs this very technique when talking about environmentalism....

0bject1ve

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 07:54:23 AM »
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Quote from: GregG
But questioning the source of the funding does not, in any way, disprove the content of the study.

Greg G with another spellbinding realization!

Proof is subjective. That's the whole point. What's proof to you is a lie to your neighbour. 'Prove' is a verb. In science there are only rational or irrational explanations. Apparently in Stefbot's stupid version of "empiricism" you can say something that's "true" (by that they mean, "don't question me, bozo!") and then update this supposed "truth" (dogma) a week later because it was a lie in the first place. That's "science" apparently.

Anarchist

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 10:42:59 AM »
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Proof is subjective. That's the whole point. What's proof to you is a lie to your neighbour. 'Prove' is a verb. In science there are only rational or irrational explanations. Apparently in Stefbot's stupid version of "empiricism" you can say something that's "true" (by that they mean, "don't question me, bozo!") and then update this supposed "truth" (dogma) a week later because it was a lie in the first place. That's "science" apparently.

Yeah, that's quite true. However, he tries to pretend his proofs meet logical and empirical standards (because a lot of people at least want to think that they go by those), but any scientist or logician or mathematician who was being anything close to strict about either one of those would reject just about everything he says.

0bject1ve

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 11:20:46 AM »
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Yeah, that's quite true.

Had to giggle at that! (Intended pun or not).

But actually, seriously for one sec, what I said either makes sense (is rationally explained) or doesn't. This is the way rational people engage with each other.

True in this context just means we agree, which is fine obviously. I do find the phrase "quite true" interesting generally because they use that at FDR sometimes and then turn around a moment later and say something is either "absolutely" true, or utterly false. It's one or the other, a binary distinction. Something can't be a gradient of truth... but then it can.

Rationality, as I define it, only deals strictly with what's possible or impossible. Nothing else. Not truth, not belief, not evidence, not absolutes, none of that. 

And we take things each in their proper contexts, on a case by case basis. And so on. This is not how things go down at FDR any more unfortunately.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 11:30:20 AM by El Dude »

Conrad

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 12:50:12 PM »
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Quote from: Stefan Molyneux
FYI, Pinker gets government grants, and is in a state-protected union, it's not too shocking that he's a big fan of statism...
example



Speaking of that:

Quote from: GregG
If you have concerns about the methodologies used in any of the studies that made these statistics possible, by all means, bring that up.

But questioning the source of the funding does not, in any way, disprove the content of the study. Environmentalists love to employ this technique as well: "Oh, that study doesn't prove second-hand smoking is not harmful, because it was funded by a front organization for the tobacco companies!" The proper critique in that case, also, would have been  to look at the conditions of the study. Size and quality of the sample, data gathering techniques, assumptions made about, and interpretations drawn from the gathered data, and so on.

The source of the funding for the research is of no relevance to any of these questions. So, if you have a legitimate beef with the way one of these stats was produced, please do bring it forward, because I'm sure we'd all really like to be as empirical as possible. Otherwise, there is no good reason to doubt them.

Isn't it interesting then that Stefan employs this very technique when talking about environmentalism....

You're making it seem as if Stefan is inconsistent or hypocritical about the use of such arguments, but his stance on this is consistent and has never changed. It goes like this: Such arguments are fine and good and valid if they are used by Stefan, and false and invalid when used against Stefan.

Anarchist

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 01:23:48 PM »
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You're making it seem as if Stefan is inconsistent or hypocritical about the use of such arguments, but his stance on this is consistent and has never changed. It goes like this: Such arguments are fine and good and valid if they are used by Stefan, and false and invalid when used against Stefan.
Hahahaha. You had me going there.

Anarchist

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 02:05:03 PM »
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Yeah, that's quite true.
Had to giggle at that! (Intended pun or not).
Ahh, I missed that :) Haha.
But actually, seriously for one sec, what I said either makes sense (is rationally explained) or doesn't. This is the way rational people engage with each other.

True in this context just means we agree, which is fine obviously. I do find the phrase "quite true" interesting generally because they use that at FDR sometimes and then turn around a moment later and say something is either "absolutely" true, or utterly false. It's one or the other, a binary distinction. Something can't be a gradient of truth... but then it can.

Rationality, as I define it, only deals strictly with what's possible or impossible. Nothing else. Not truth, not belief, not evidence, not absolutes, none of that.
I have a different sort of view. I think it's called pragmatism. Basically, you form models in your head of how things work, you get them as accurate as you can, and you see if they properly predict things.

It's not that this is required or anything. It's just a very useful technique. Also, in this case, truth isn't so important. Effectiveness and potential effectiveness are the main things you'd care about.

Physics equations that we apply to large objects aren't true so to speak. In truth, there's a bunch of particles acting weirdly due to quantum mechanics. But the physics equations simplify things enough while maintaining enough accuracy that you can be effective in engineering or explaining important natural events.

Also with this, ideas like the Cartesian demon that threaten Stef's hold on reality so much (as he put it in the invisible apple dinner table metaphor) are merely interesting curiosities.

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2012, 06:56:54 AM »
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Here's one unsavoury manipulation (of many) FDR converters use. They'll hook victimised people in by saying that in order not only to verbally correct someone, but to even FEEL hurt by your parents or friends or those who've hurt you, you need to "have" morality. In fact, it's already implicit in what you're doing! And of course, morality is UPB. And no-one understands UPB, but everyone is "using" it. It doesn't make sense, but don't worry because the opposite of A is notA, or something, and the opposite of theft is giving... no wait, not theft, no wait... well it's not important right now; you need to get in therapy and of course donate to FDR to prove to us your virtue.

Just one to watch out for. Hope it's of use for some.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 06:58:49 AM by El Dude »

0bject1ve

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Re: The irrelevancy of morality at Freedomain Radio
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2012, 07:52:38 AM »
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Also it's an absurd and laughable contradiction in terms to say that an individual can ever "demonstrate" universally preferable behaviour. An individual at best "demonstrates" (performs) a single, specific behaviour, or behaviours, based on a specific preference – or a set of preferences.

Also, I can choose to prefer theft. Are we talking about the action (theft) or the preference for it? The two are constantly swapped around whenever it suits the argument.

Is it possible that everyone could NOT murder all the time? [Important]. Well, they don't even get a pass there (universally possible behaviour). All of history shows our species cannot live without at least some conflict, usually we're in perpetual conflict. So we don't know and it seems absurd to think our species can. Maybe we can, maybe we can't. Is UPB a prediction then?! Good luck with that.