nanite1018 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 8 05:10:07 UTC 2010
On Feb 7, 2010, at 4:13 PM, Spencer Campbell wrote:
> Solution: No one needs to be punished. In theory, the only
> justification for legal punishment right now is to modify future
> behavior on a societal scale. There are far more effective and less
> draconian methods of doing this...
While I agree that the point of a justice system is to prevent the violation of people's rights, and whatever means are best for doing this are obviously to be preferred (such as, I suppose, open prisons, though I am wary of such a thing).
> A measurement of prosperity need make no reference to individuals or
> minds unless corporations, countries, and planets count as
> individuals... My argument against happiness is the same as my argument against
> punishment: it is valuable only as a tool for behavioral modification,
> heartless as that may sound. Look at how happiness evolved. It's just
> an arbitrary reward for survival. This is the attitude with which I
> regard my own happiness, and it doesn't seem to impair me in any way
> practical or philosophical.
Seeing as how the goal of all living organisms is to live (as any other goal leads to death and the end of all possible goals), and we are conscious entities (whatever that means in nolipsism, even if it is an imaginary thing in the imagination of an imaginary thing, haha) that need motivation to survive, and emotions, including happiness, are an important part of that. Sure, it is behavior modification, of a kind, but it is still important to human beings, at least for now (and I hope indefinitely).
> Finally: obviously "rights" don't go out the window at all! In fact,
> we would only have more of them. A brand-new car would have the right
> not to be crushed into a tiny cube, because such would be blatantly
> wasteful and wrong. Similarly, a brand-new human would have the same
> right, but a totaled junker or a corpse would not.
A car can't have rights because it isn't self-aware. It isn't even alive. It doesn't have choices, and nothing matters to it. It doesn't have the quality of being this weird self-referencing thing with a de se operator, it lacks the capacity of reason. And thus, it can't have any rights. A corpse isn't alive or rational or aware either. A brand-new human is, or at least will be in short order. Proliferating rights in the manner you suggest devalues the word and destroys its meaning, allowing evil people to appropriate it for their own ends, as they did in socialist countries all across the globe. The result? The deaths of tens of millions from starvation, disease, and brutal suppression of dissent.
Having rights that you suggest would likely lead to chaos and that would support the rise of oppressive regimes, just as the proliferation of "rights" to jobs, health care, income, education, etc. have caused problems by creating a "need" for ever more oppressive regulations. The result? More chaos, and more regulation. Networks of rational agents generate spontaneous order through rational self-interest. I don't see how you can have any such thing as rational agents, or self-interest, without some "thing" which is an agent and has an interest in its own existence.
Even if there is no such thing as a "self", there is a thing which employs a de se operator to describe "itself", whatever "it" is, and I'm not clear on what the difference is between such an entity and a "self". It obviously has memory, reasons, and is self-aware (i.e. aware of the the thing that is speaking, thinking, etc., whatever it is). Doesn't some "thing" have to exist to employ such an operator?
nanite1018 at gmail.com
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