Book 2 - Text Updates 047

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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby Oberon » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:40 pm

CaptC wrote:I grant you that Charlie's bounty MIGHT be a red herring, but if so, there's a lot of buildup that will be wasted. Charlie's been rather mean-spirited and vengeful about losing archons this whole book, starting with Haggar.
Highly doubtful. Charlie's entire business model depends upon his word being trusted, even if he'll stick you with a screw-job contract at any opportunity.
CaptC wrote:Standing up and telling your superior that you won't let him do what he wants to do is always a power play. Whether or not it's Caesar's aim to replace Don King is almost moot, because Don King has no choice but to treat it as an incipient coup. Caesar's reasons let us readers define Caesar as patriotic hero or selfish power-grabber, but at the end of the day, a gauntlet has been thrown down. Caesar is in a struggle for survival on the political battlefield now. He can't afford to be wrong.
Agreed.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby ryanroyce » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:43 am

CaptC wrote:
MichaelR138 wrote:I do not believe Caesar is trying to displace Don King at all, else he could have done it during that confrontation. All Caesar seems to want is for Don King to worry more about the eminent demise of TV then building up FAQ or the (in Caesar's mind) inevitable demise of JS.


Standing up and telling your superior that you won't let him do what he wants to do is always a power play. Whether or not it's Caesar's aim to replace Don King is almost moot, because Don King has no choice but to treat it as an incipient coup. Caesar's reasons let us readers define Caesar as patriotic hero or selfish power-grabber, but at the end of the day, a gauntlet has been thrown down. Caesar is in a struggle for survival on the political battlefield now. He can't afford to be wrong.

(Hmmmm.... Would Caesar be able to betray Jetstone in any significant way? He now has a reason to actively want Jetstone to fall.)


On the contrary, if Jetstone survives without the Loan, it is a good thing for Caesar, since JS obviously didn't really need it in the first place and TV still has those funds to deploy against Carpool. The bad thing for Caesar would be if JS gets a loan from Charlie and survives the fight because of it. JS falling to GK doesn't leave either Don or Caesar as a clear 'winner'.

Also, Caesar isn't making a power play for the throne or anything like that, but Don (having already faced at least one such coup attempt before) is perceiving it as such. As a result, Caesar is now involved in a power play for the throne that he doesn't actually want any part of.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby Sieggy » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:07 am

I don't see that JS has time to do ANYTHING at this point - Trem's on his way to extract Slately, Sylvia's about to slag the tower, Parson's about to trip over his cloak going through the trap (though he may be delayed by the reception committee at the JS portal), and Slately is about to be distracted and dejected when he gets the call from the Don giving him the bad news. I don't see any room for working out a deal with Charley, especially when Trem is more concerned with saving his father's life. It's literally down to seconds, now. Or a half dozen updates . . .
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:10 am

Sieggy wrote:Sylvia's about to slag the tower


:lol: Considering the 2nd definition of that verb, I now fully expect the Purples to start dissin' on that tower and calling it names.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby CaptC » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:19 am

ryanroyce wrote: On the contrary, if Jetstone survives without the Loan, it is a good thing for Caesar, since JS obviously didn't really need it in the first place and TV still has those funds to deploy against Carpool. The bad thing for Caesar would be if JS gets a loan from Charlie and survives the fight because of it. JS falling to GK doesn't leave either Don or Caesar as a clear 'winner'.


My contrary to your contrary is that if Jetstone survives without the loan, Caesar just gave up an excellent opportunity to make money. Caesar's big objection was that he didn't expect Jetstone to be able to pay the loan back. But Don King negotiated very dear terms on the loan, which would have helped Transylvito's cash situation if Jetstone did pay up.

That fact that you get a chip to call in with Trammenis, Jetstone's new leader, is just icing on the cake.

But as I say, too early to spend too much time on this. Jetstone still needs it's miracle.

ryanroyce wrote: Also, Caesar isn't making a power play for the throne or anything like that, but Don (having already faced at least one such coup attempt before) is perceiving it as such. As a result, Caesar is now involved in a power play for the throne that he doesn't actually want any part of.


As I've stated earlier, publicly telling your boss he can't do what he wants is always a power play. Caesar willingly, consciously and publicly organized a group to tell Don King he couldn't send a gem to jetstone. If Caesar doesn't understand the implications of starting this power play, and isn't prepared to follow through on those implications, then Caesar is a politically naive fool. He may be a patriotic, loyal fool who is going to get a dramatic, tragic end - but a fool nonetheless.

I personally think Caesar is a survivor, so he's going to fight this political battle to the end. If Don King invites Caesar to a little fishing trip, Caesar's not going to meekly put on those cement galoshes.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby MichaelR138 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:33 am

CaptC wrote:
ryanroyce wrote: On the contrary, if Jetstone survives without the Loan, it is a good thing for Caesar, since JS obviously didn't really need it in the first place and TV still has those funds to deploy against Carpool. The bad thing for Caesar would be if JS gets a loan from Charlie and survives the fight because of it. JS falling to GK doesn't leave either Don or Caesar as a clear 'winner'.


My contrary to your contrary is that if Jetstone survives without the loan, Caesar just gave up an excellent opportunity to make money. Caesar's big objection was that he didn't expect Jetstone to be able to pay the loan back. But Don King negotiated very dear terms on the loan, which would have helped Transylvito's cash situation if Jetstone did pay up.

That fact that you get a chip to call in with Trammenis, Jetstone's new leader, is just icing on the cake.

But as I say, too early to spend too much time on this. Jetstone still needs it's miracle.

ryanroyce wrote: Also, Caesar isn't making a power play for the throne or anything like that, but Don (having already faced at least one such coup attempt before) is perceiving it as such. As a result, Caesar is now involved in a power play for the throne that he doesn't actually want any part of.


As I've stated earlier, publicly telling your boss he can't do what he wants is always a power play. Caesar willingly, consciously and publicly organized a group to tell Don King he couldn't send a gem to jetstone. If Caesar doesn't understand the implications of starting this power play, and isn't prepared to follow through on those implications, then Caesar is a politically naive fool. He may be a patriotic, loyal fool who is going to get a dramatic, tragic end - but a fool nonetheless.

I personally think Caesar is a survivor, so he's going to fight this political battle to the end. If Don King invites Caesar to a little fishing trip, Caesar's not going to meekly put on those cement galoshes.


But Jetstone has to survive 9 turns, not just one, and repaying the loan would have been such a huge burden that would have made it VERY unlikely they in fact could survive. They already cannot pay all their upkeep, how much worse will it be once they lose Spacerock? The loan was a bad idea for both sides, and we are not even sure that the first two turns payments would have kept TV out of bankruptcy with all the other poor management decisions Don King has been making lately.

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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby kagato23 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:49 am

CaptC wrote:
As I've stated earlier, publicly telling your boss he can't do what he wants is always a power play. Caesar willingly, consciously and publicly organized a group to tell Don King he couldn't send a gem to jetstone. If Caesar doesn't understand the implications of starting this power play, and isn't prepared to follow through on those implications, then Caesar is a politically naive fool. He may be a patriotic, loyal fool who is going to get a dramatic, tragic end - but a fool nonetheless.

I personally think Caesar is a survivor, so he's going to fight this political battle to the end. If Don King invites Caesar to a little fishing trip, Caesar's not going to meekly put on those cement galoshes.


I agree with you for the most part, but I'm not so sure as to how far Caesar is willing to take this. At least not yet. I do agree with you Loyal or not, wanting to or not, Caesar made a power play. I'm not sure if he fully contemplated the implications though.

A lot of people thought this action was going to end with Caesar disbanded. Ben thought so. Caesar probably thought so, at least before everybody let him know they were with him, and probably still then. Having everybody's support, expecting death, and being the only guy in the kingdom who could actually make a play for the throne, that was time to make that play. If he wasn't going to do it then, he just didn't want it.

I think Caesar wants things to go back the way they were more than anything. When Don cared more about getting it done then having a title in front of your name and they got along great. Don and Caesar will never be what they were again after this, but I don't think Caesar will push it if things do start to straighten out. Though I couldn't think of how Caesar would make a play at this point if he didn't already and you did just point it out: Survivor's instincts. If Don tries to actually croak him instead of just disband him more blatantly, the fighter in Caesar will almost certainly win out over the loyalty.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby ryanroyce » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:35 pm

CaptC wrote:
ryanroyce wrote: On the contrary, if Jetstone survives without the Loan, it is a good thing for Caesar, since JS obviously didn't really need it in the first place and TV still has those funds to deploy against Carpool. The bad thing for Caesar would be if JS gets a loan from Charlie and survives the fight because of it. JS falling to GK doesn't leave either Don or Caesar as a clear 'winner'.


My contrary to your contrary is that if Jetstone survives without the loan, Caesar just gave up an excellent opportunity to make money. Caesar's big objection was that he didn't expect Jetstone to be able to pay the loan back. But Don King negotiated very dear terms on the loan, which would have helped Transylvito's cash situation if Jetstone did pay up.

That fact that you get a chip to call in with Trammenis, Jetstone's new leader, is just icing on the cake.


TV could make some money in such a scenario, true, but I could make some money by betting all my assets on a spin of roulette, too. Strictly speaking, betting the entire Side on a game of chance with horrible odds of success is exactly what Don is doing. Caesar, Benny, and the rest are reacting just as they should in response to such foolish behavior. If JS survives, great... but it doesn't make Don's choice any less risky.

CaptC wrote:
ryanroyce wrote: Also, Caesar isn't making a power play for the throne or anything like that, but Don (having already faced at least one such coup attempt before) is perceiving it as such. As a result, Caesar is now involved in a power play for the throne that he doesn't actually want any part of.


As I've stated earlier, publicly telling your boss he can't do what he wants is always a power play. Caesar willingly, consciously and publicly organized a group to tell Don King he couldn't send a gem to jetstone. If Caesar doesn't understand the implications of starting this power play, and isn't prepared to follow through on those implications, then Caesar is a politically naive fool. He may be a patriotic, loyal fool who is going to get a dramatic, tragic end - but a fool nonetheless.

I personally think Caesar is a survivor, so he's going to fight this political battle to the end. If Don King invites Caesar to a little fishing trip, Caesar's not going to meekly put on those cement galoshes.


The operative part of the phrase being "for the throne", I stand by my statement. Caesar doesn't care about becoming TV's new Overlord, he just wants to keep his Side alive. If he has to force an intervention in order to do accomplish that, then so be it. Caesar only wants Don, a man he once admired, to come back to his senses. The problem is that Don, like Oberon, erroneously perceives Caesar's actions as a selfish coup attempt and will likely take steps to counter something that isn't there. Will Caesar respond accordinly and fight back in the upcoming political battle? Probably, so long as Don's actions keep endangering the Side.

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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby ftl » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:35 pm

CaptC wrote:As I've stated earlier, publicly telling your boss he can't do what he wants is always a power play. Caesar willingly, consciously and publicly organized a group to tell Don King he couldn't send a gem to jetstone. If Caesar doesn't understand the implications of starting this power play, and isn't prepared to follow through on those implications, then Caesar is a politically naive fool. He may be a patriotic, loyal fool who is going to get a dramatic, tragic end - but a fool nonetheless.


And that's probably true. Remember what Don said about Caesar? He's a good Warlord, but with no subtlety.

So my interpretation is that he really is not thinking about any political implications of all this, because he doesn't care about all that politics crap, he just wants TV to live long and prosper. He did what he set out to do - make Don not give away any more money to Jetstone. So as far as he's concerned, they're done here.

Don does play the politics game, and so he'll have different views on all this, of course.

I personally think Caesar is a survivor, so he's going to fight this political battle to the end.
[/quote]

And this I disagree with, because I don't think Caesar's gonna be fighting any political battle, because he's not thinking about the political battle. He'll fight individual decisions of Don if he thinks they're ruining the side, and that MAY turn out to be a big fight if he perceives that Don is continuing to try to throw away TV in favor of GK; but if Don decided "hey, we're gonna start a campaign tomorrow to beat up Carpool", I don't think we'd hear any more from Caesar.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby Oberon » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:35 pm

ryanroyce wrote:Also, Caesar isn't making a power play for the throne or anything like that, but Don (having already faced at least one such coup attempt before) is perceiving it as such. As a result, Caesar is now involved in a power play for the throne that he doesn't actually want any part of.
[...]
The operative part of the phrase being "for the throne", I stand by my statement. Caesar doesn't care about becoming TV's new Overlord, he just wants to keep his Side alive. If he has to force an intervention in order to do accomplish that, then so be it. Caesar only wants Don, a man he once admired, to come back to his senses. The problem is that Don, like Oberon, erroneously perceives Caesar's actions as a selfish coup attempt and will likely take steps to counter something that isn't there. Will Caesar respond accordinly and fight back in the upcoming political battle? Probably, so long as Don's actions keep endangering the Side.
Meh, please don't bother to try to characterize my position if you're going to get it wrong. I do NOT see "Caesar's actions as a selfish coup attempt", I see them as a misguided, short-sighted, and politically brain-dead attempt to change policy. Don has a plan, we don't know why he hasn't shared it with his leadership, but these are the facts. I find it to be a singular idiocy in a character who otherwise appears to be a "gangster savant", for lack of a better label. (I'll avoid speculations on the validity of this characterization until it plays out. If Don's plan and his reasons for not sharing it with his commanders are not explained in the future and found to logically support his plan, at that point I may cry "WTF?") One can safely assume that Don's plan intends to see TV safely through the current strife. Right, wrong, or indifferent, I cannot believe otherwise.

Ironically, Don and Caesar have a lot in common. Don has a plan, and the best chance for a plan to succeed is if everyone knows it, believes in it, and works together as a team to make it happen. But Don hasn't shared his plan, and this there is no unified effort, only Don giving orders and expecting things to work out. Caesar has a different plan, but he also isn't building a consensus for his plan, instead he is focused on tearing down Don's plan. Neither Don nor Caesar is doing the right thing, which would be sharing their own plan and getting everyone behind it for the big win.

Don is instead keeping his plan to himself. Caesar is instead simply opposing Don's plan in the hopes of making Don change his mind, but instead of accomplishing that he has managed to erode Don's ability to lead to the point where his orders are being refused by committee. Damaging your leader's capability to lead when your side is in a bad position isn't smart or productive. Caesar would do better to actually make the coup attempt, and if he succeeds to implement his own policies and let time decide if he was right or wrong, rather than working at downgrading the loyalty of the TV commander cadre.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby Smoker » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:43 am

Oberon wrote:Caesar would do better to actually make the coup attempt, and if he succeeds to implement his own policies and let time decide if he was right or wrong, rather than working at downgrading the loyalty of the TV commander cadre.


I like this. People can say all they want that Caesar doesn't want to take down Don, but every word he speaks against him is chipping away at Don's popularity. With TV in such a seemingly difficult situation, with such a seemingly inane ruler, how hard would it really be to turn a Warlord?

So yeah, Caesar isn't trying to take over the company, he's just giving all the management excellent justification for leaving. This clearly isn't his primary objective, but its a clear and predictable side effect of his actions.

Taking a step back, its an excellent way for the Plot to get Caesar on the throne without the readership hating him :P
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby Althernai » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:03 am

Oberon wrote:Don has a plan, and the best chance for a plan to succeed is if everyone knows it, believes in it, and works together as a team to make it happen. But Don hasn't shared his plan, and this there is no unified effort, only Don giving orders and expecting things to work out.

Are you sure Don has a plan? I've seen a lot of speculation on these forums, but very little evidence in the comic. In fact, it is entirely possible that his judgement has been clouded by the death of Bea and he is no longer acting in the best interest of Transylvito.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby ryanroyce » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:19 am

Althernai wrote:
Oberon wrote:Don has a plan, and the best chance for a plan to succeed is if everyone knows it, believes in it, and works together as a team to make it happen. But Don hasn't shared his plan, and this there is no unified effort, only Don giving orders and expecting things to work out.

Are you sure Don has a plan? I've seen a lot of speculation on these forums, but very little evidence in the comic. In fact, it is entirely possible that his judgement has been clouded by the death of Bea and he is no longer acting in the best interest of Transylvito.


Indeed, Don was only making the loan because he'd been persuaded by Slately's sob story, not because of any plan or strategy. I suspect that Oberon gives Don far too much credit.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby teratorn » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:47 pm

Poor Ossomer, here he is facing death and yet people prefer to discuss Caesar's fate, Caesar that isn't even mentioned in the update. Really a minor character.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby drachefly » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:34 pm

LOL. So true, so true.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby Beeskee » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:22 pm

Ossomer, by ignoring the impending attack, is basically tying a string around his wrist, dangling it over the railing, and saying, "Oh no, I hope no one captures me. All they'd have to do is grab that string right there. Yep, I sure hope that doesn't happen."

I mean, he was a royal, he is a warlord, and he is a native unit of Erfworld so he understands this stuff inherently. Not taking any action is pretty much inviting capture. All under the guise of the "will of the Titans" of course.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby Jinren » Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:52 pm

Beeskee wrote:Ossomer, by ignoring the impending attack, is basically tying a string around his wrist, dangling it over the railing, and saying, "Oh no, I hope no one captures me. All they'd have to do is grab that string right there. Yep, I sure hope that doesn't happen."

I mean, he was a royal, he is a warlord, and he is a native unit of Erfworld so he understands this stuff inherently. Not taking any action is pretty much inviting capture. All under the guise of the "will of the Titans" of course.


That's exactly the kind of mental gymnastics people go trhough when they're in the process of a shift in their loyalties and core assumptions, though. Whether it's a big thing like a religious or political conversion, or a small thing like brand loyalty, the brief period of cognitive dissonance is always full of internal excuses, first one way and then the other (e.g. "Macwinux is stupid. I'm just testing it so I can say from experience how awful it is").

I'm pretty sure we're supposed to recognise this feeling, although hopefully on a very much smaller scale.
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Digression into la-la land grade mathematical philosophy

Postby abb3w » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:37 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Ominous wrote:If you couldn't tell, I'm a moral relativist/subjectivist. Any attempt to argue for an objective, absolute moral system is laughable to me, so, if you hold a differing world view, we might as well stop now, as we're not going to be convincing one another of anything.

In that case, you might be interested in this: Science can answer moral questions.

Harris makes a fairly basic mistake; he doesn't pay enough attention to Hume's is-ought divide. Admittedly, "pain is bad" is a pretty simple is-ought bridge; nonetheless, technically it's introducing a premise without justification from philosophical priors. He confuses the fact that science can infer what IS the common element of all human "ought" assessments (with the same constraints as on any other IS inference), but presumes it follows we OUGHT to use that as the primary bridge across the "is-ought" divide. (He also neglects to consider whether his chosen algorithm is an exact expression or merely an approximation, and whether it might be a particular case of a more general problem; but those problems are largely irrelevant here.)

Essentially, any manner of morality (objective or relative) is an ordering relationship over a set of choices; generally a poset, although utilitarian economists and economic utilitarians often prefer restricting it to a linear ordering and to exclude infinite ordinal magnitudes (making the math simpler than I bother), and there are some some weird philosophers who don't mind having A>B>C>A cycles (which I consider bullshit, and will ignore). Given the usual tools of set theory, showing the abstract existence of orderings is mathematically trivial. (Relationships from C to C can be expressed as membership as a subset of C×C, the existence of which subset can be shown by application of the Axiom of Power Set (twice) to C; relations that are reflexive, antisymmetric, and transitive are posets; the set of posets can be shown non-empty for C≠Ø by the example of the relation where A≥B if A=B, and A||B if A≠B.) However, there is no basis from prior is-premises for indicating which one of these posets (or, more exactly, which general means of constructing a particular poset {≥,C} from a set C) must be the one referred to.

Contrariwise, once an definition is given for what is order relationship is the word "moral" refers to, it becomes objective and absolute. However, the use in English is ambiguous (deontological, consequential, theological, virtue, et cetera). This difficulty, however, is artificially correctable via an axiomatic definition. Once you have defined a bridge from is-to-ought, it is possible to make further inferences of "ought"; however, if a different axiomatic definition is used, a different sense of "ought" may result.

The differences resulting, however, do not make the resulting inferences about morality non-objective any more than the differences between Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry make all geometry non-objective. It's merely important to be clear at the linguistic/semantic level.

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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby Oberon » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:48 pm

Althernai wrote:
Oberon wrote:Don has a plan, and the best chance for a plan to succeed is if everyone knows it, believes in it, and works together as a team to make it happen. But Don hasn't shared his plan, and this there is no unified effort, only Don giving orders and expecting things to work out.

Are you sure Don has a plan? I've seen a lot of speculation on these forums, but very little evidence in the comic. In fact, it is entirely possible that his judgement has been clouded by the death of Bea and he is no longer acting in the best interest of Transylvito.
If you read my post above, you'll see that I also said that we haven't seen Don's plan, and that I found this to be rather stupid of Don. I believe that he has a plan, because he is otherwise characterized as being an intelligent person and a long range thinker. Setting up FAQ was thinking well outside the box, and besides being unorthodox it was very long term planning. His relationship with Jetstone, his avoidance of GK, and his involvement in both the RCC and the RCCII have also appeared to have been the result of long term planning. I hope that we find that Don has both a plan for the future of TV and a justification for withholding his plan from his leadership cadre. If it is not revealed I'll be very disappointed. If it turns out to be a trivial reason, such as "you wouldn't have understood", I'll be VERY disappointed, since not revealing it is also clearly not being understood, so there would be no logic in such an explanation. I'm waiting with faith, since the author has been writing a good story so far.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 047

Postby Sylvan » Sun May 01, 2011 12:04 am

To be completely honest, I am slightly baffled by your post, abb3w. The first thing I thought of when I read it was a quote from a book I read recently (The Wise Man's Fear, one of the most excellent pieces of fantasy I have read in years, including Erfworld) that said "he writes as though he is afraid someone reading will actually understand him".

I think part of the root of your argument is that "pain is bad and therefore ought to be avoided" does not mean "we ought to use avoiding pain as a justification for providing answers to 'moral' questions".

Personally speaking, I don't see the flaw in Harris' argument that you do. What I'd like to ask is what you perceived his 'ought' to be. I heard it as Harris saying "Reality is objective, therefore we ought to base our morality on objective standards." Well, that and "Traditionally our morality is defined by the suffering of intelligent things, therefore our objective measurements ought to be based on what causes something to suffer/prosper".

I'll take it as a given that "tradition" has nothing to do with objective morality, but I think Harris makes a lot of sense when he describes how we have different standards of morality concerning things like rocks, plants, insects, animals, and then fellow primates/human beings. Maybe the issue here is a matter of semantics with regards to the words "absolute morality"?

I don't think he claimed that we are as of yet capable of ordering these measurements into any form of orderly or partially ordered set, only that starting by making those comparisons was a step in the right direction.

My apologies if this post is simply a lack of imagination/cognition on my part, I just honestly don't get what you are trying to say and don't see any illogical leap from "this is how it is" to "this is how it ought to be" present in the video linked.
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