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Anti Theory

Morality is more important than any other concerns. It should come first in our thinking. It should come last in our thinking. And it should dominate over our thinking.

(To avoid confusion, for many issues, like doing science, morality usually just says to use true epistemology and do a good job, or something rather minimal.)

Many people oppose the war. And virtually all of them do not temper this opposition with morality. First, the war is wrong and will be opposed. Then maybe later we can talk about little detailed bits of morality that pale in comparison to The Cause. This leads to the anti-war folk saying anything they can to oppose war, moral or not. And thus they say false things. And dishonest things. And meaningless things. And things that sound catchy. And things they don't understand. And demonstrate no intellectual integrity.

Of course, most of them deny morality exists, and few value anything. Many would claim morality is a matter of opinion, or that it's just a religious idea (as if the source of an idea could make it wrong). Why do I say they value nothing? Well, we know they don't value peace, happiness, liberty, non-violence, or getting their facts right. (Those tortures taking place in Iraq right now sure are peaceful...) They defend the unsuccessful, but I don't think they actually value failure. It's just an easy way to pretend.

Morality first applies to perfectly good people to, in realistically useful ways. Like I want hits. And if that was primary, I might be tempted to lie, or spam, or ... well I don't know, but if I was a bad person I'm sure I'd think of something. And throwing these out because of self-interest (well, if I spam, maybe that will annoy people and I'll get less hits) is not the way to go. Even if that calculation, in the limit, gets the same answers, it'd be wrong to waste that much computing resources on it.

Elliot Temple on February 20, 2003

Comments (5)

now that i've read this post, i think i got some stuff right in the last few posts about anti-theory.

it's a case of somebody being opposed to something, not because they have some reasoning, but instead.. well i don't really understand what they're doing.

it's like they decide what's right (because their religion says so, or because "that's what all my friends think", etc.), **and then** they wildly stab in the dark (making arguments for their view or arguments against another person's view). oftentimes they will contradict themselves, sometimes within the same breath.

Anonymous at 5:16 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4619
> Morality is more important than any other concerns. It should come first in our thinking. It should come last in our thinking. And it should *dominate* over our thinking.

(emphasis added by me)

what did you mean here?

the best interpretation that i can give is this:

before you take an action, *check* it for mistakes. this is how morality comes "first in our thinking".

then after you take action, you should review so that you can convert the mistakes into lessons-learned. this is how morality comes "last in our thinking".

morality should "dominate" over our thinking in the sense that one should avoid acting against what he knows to be true, i.e. doing what you know to be wrong.

Anonymous at 5:28 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4620
It means: do the right thing. That's more important than other concerns.

Seems like you basically don't know what morality is. Your reply could be written the same if it were some other word instead of "morality".

Anonymous at 5:47 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4624
> Seems like you basically don't know what morality is. Your reply could be written the same if it were some other word instead of "morality".

i'm confused by this.

i said:

> before you take an action, *check* it for mistakes. this is how morality comes "first in our thinking".

note the "take an action". that is moral thing.

so i don't know what you mean by "Your reply could be written the same if it were some other word instead of "morality"."

Anonymous at 11:11 AM on February 3, 2016 | #4810
people talk about actions all the time without talking about morality.

Anonymous at 11:28 AM on February 5, 2016 | #4857

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)