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Author Topic: Hardcore libertarians: explain your anti-IP-rights position to me.  (Read 5538 times)
myrkul
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July 02, 2011, 01:28:52 AM
 #121

"You are not lying xor broken."

LOL. I'm going to start using eXclusive OR in regular speech from now on.

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July 02, 2011, 01:56:55 AM
 #122

I'm still not entirely convinced we're on the same page. When you say "change the environment, and the rights change", it is as if you're implying that rights are a characteristic of the real world, and humans look at it and interpret what the new correct set of rights are. It is as if there is some absolute right and wrong for any given situation, and unless you are "broken", you should be able to see it after giving it some thought. In other words, your ability to empathize gives you some new insight into outside world. I disagree. I think our ability to empathize and our protective instincts only drive us to make up rights that we convince our fellow humans to enforce, with no one set of rights being 'more correct' or closer to the 'real' set of rights. If humans had evolved without needing to protect themselves or their loved ones, there would be no empathy and consequently there would be no idea of rights.
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July 02, 2011, 02:45:00 AM
 #123

I'm still not entirely convinced we're on the same page. When you say "change the environment, and the rights change", it is as if you're implying that rights are a characteristic of the real world, and humans look at it and interpret what the new correct set of rights are. It is as if there is some absolute right and wrong for any given situation, and unless you are "broken", you should be able to see it after giving it some thought.
That's mostly correct. You can't see what color something is in a darkened room. There are many reasons you may not be able to see it, no matter how much you try.

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In other words, your ability to empathize gives you some new insight into outside world. I disagree. I think our ability to empathize and our protective instincts only drive us to make up rights that we convince our fellow humans to enforce, with no one set of rights being 'more correct' or closer to the 'real' set of rights. If humans had evolved without needing to protect themselves or their loved ones, there would be no empathy and consequently there would be no idea of rights.
And if humans had evolved without light, there would be no colors. We did what we did, and as a result we have what we have.

How do you explain the widespread agreement that children have the right not to be tortured for pleasure independent of anyone's thoughts or feelings on the issue? Is it a coincidence? Or is there something in the real world, a part of objective reality, that corresponds to this? If there's a third alternative, I don't know what it is.

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July 02, 2011, 03:02:27 AM
 #124

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How do you explain the widespread agreement that children have the right not to be tortured for pleasure independent of anyone's thoughts or feelings on the issue?

My point is that there is no widespread agreement that children should have that right independent of anyone's thoughts or feelings. There is widespread agreement ONLY BECAUSE most people have thoughts and feelings on the issue.
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July 02, 2011, 03:08:17 AM
 #125

My point is that there is no widespread agreement that children should have that right independent of anyone's thoughts or feelings.
How do you know? Before we understood what colors were, you could have argued that there was no green outside of someone's perception of green.

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There is widespread agreement ONLY BECAUSE most people have thoughts and feelings on the issue.
Of course. But imagine if you could somehow wipe everyone's thoughts and feelings about this issue away. If they started thinking about the issue, those thoughts and feelings would return and the widespread agreement would re-emerge. So something other than the thoughts and feelings must account for the thoughts and feelings.

If nobody ever looked at the grass, the sensation of green and the agreement that the grass looks green goes away. But the grass is still green, and as soon as someone looks at it, they will see that it is green. The greenness of the grass is what explains why it looks green when people look at it, not the sensation they get when they look at it.

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July 02, 2011, 03:15:22 AM
 #126

My point is that there is no widespread agreement that children should have that right independent of anyone's thoughts or feelings.
How do you know? Before we understood what colors were, you could have argued that there was no green outside of someone's perception of green.

Correct. "green" is the experience you associate with electromagnetic radiation with a certain frequency. The electromagnetic waves exist outside of your mind, the experience does not. There is nothing "green" about the EM waves. It is only their interaction with the brain that gives rise to the experience of green.

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Quote
There is widespread agreement ONLY BECAUSE most people have thoughts and feelings on the issue.
Of course. But imagine if you could somehow wipe everyone's thoughts and feelings about this issue away. If they started thinking about the issue, those thoughts and feelings would return and the widespread agreement would re-emerge. So something other than the thoughts and feelings must account for the thoughts and feelings.

If nobody ever looked at the grass, the sensation of green and the agreement that the grass looks green goes away. But the grass is still green, and as soon as someone looks at it, they will see that it is green. The greenness of the grass is what explains why it looks green when people look at it, not the sensation they get when they look at it.

The grass is still green only in the sense that because our brain would still function the same way, when we would see the same frequency of EM waves we would experience the same sensation.

When you say 'wipe everyone's brains', I can think of two different things you could mean:

1) We also wipe everyone's ability to empathize and our protective instinct we have for kids. In this case, we would not suddenly conjure up the idea that kids should not be tortured.
2) We wipe everyone's memories and past opinions, but our evolution-given instinct to empathize and protect kids remains. In this case, we would think up the idea that kids should have the right to not be tortured.

Edit: word order
JoelKatz
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July 02, 2011, 03:19:51 AM
 #127

Correct. "green" is the experience you associate with electromagnetic radiation with a certain frequency. The electromagnetic waves exist outside of your mind, the experience does not. There is nothing "green" about the EM waves. It is only their interaction with the brain that gives rise to the experience of green.
Right. And it took a complex understanding of the physics of color to know that. And there are some interesting subtleties. Physically, mix of yellow and blue light is nothing like green light. But it looks just like green light to us. That's because of the quirks of how we perceive color. Our perception of colors results from a mix of the physics of color, the actual colors of the objects we look at, and the way our perceptual 'hardware' works. And we needed to understand the science of how light works and how our eyes work to sort that out.

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The grass is still green only in the sense that because our brain would still function the same way, when we would see the same frequency of EM waves we would experience the same sensation.
Precisely.

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When you say 'wipe everyone's brains', I can think of two different things you could mean:

1) We also wipe everyone's ability to empathize and our protective instinct we have for kids. In this case, we would not suddenly conjure up the idea that kids should not be tortured.
Of course. Poke out our eyes and we wouldn't know that grass has certain physical characteristics that cause it to look green.

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2) We wipe everyone's memories and past opinions, but our evolution-given instinct to empathize and protect kids remains. In this case, we would think up the idea that kids should have the right to not be tortured.
Exactly. As long as we have eyes, we will see that the grass really is green. However, we may not quite know what's coming from the grass, what's coming from our eyes, and what's coming from the laws of physics. But the grass really is green -- it has real properties of the grass itself that make it look the color we call green.

For very good reasons, in ordinary cases, we simply say "the grass is green" as if this was a property purely inherent in the grass. We don't say "most grass looks the color we call green to people with ordinary color vision under typical lighting conditions". Why? Because when we say "is green", that's already what we mean -- that it looks green to people with ordinary vision under typical conditions. We should do the same things with rights, and we do. Most people just never realize they're doing that, just as they don't for colors, sounds, and so on.

We save these arguments for philosophy. When someone says "how do you know grass looks green to other people" and "how do you know colors aren't just in your head" and all that. But we all know these arguments are nonsense. It just takes us a bit of head scratching to explain why we were right all along, just as we knew for sure we were. You can try to call my perception of rights into question, but I know how to answer the objections. You cannot prove to me that I do not see what I know I see because I'm actually seeing it.

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July 02, 2011, 03:37:25 AM
 #128

Alright, so we are on the same page. I misinterpreted some of what you were saying at first. Why I pressed the issue so hard is that some people I have been debating with lately are trying to convince me that conscious beings have intrinsic rights that exist outside of human perception - as if grass doesn't just reflect EM waves of a frequency we associate with green, but that the grass has an ethereal "greenness" that it radiates out for us to see. I wanted to know if there was some way to justify such a view of natural rights that didn't use religious or supernatural explanations of consciousness.
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July 02, 2011, 04:51:57 AM
 #129

I would like to follow this discussion.  I could just use the notify function, but this is just my fourth post and I need a post count to break out of the newbie ghetto.

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