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About Othesemo

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    Core Member


  • MBTI
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  • Global 5/SLOAN


  • Location
    Albuquerque, NM
  • Occupation
    Jazz Pianist
  • Interests
    Philosophy, Comp Sci., Music
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  • Personal Text
    Time turns the old days to derision, Our loves into corpses or wives; And marriage and death and division Make barren our lives

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  1. I'm happy to cede this point. I do think the philosopher referred to in the OP goes a bit far in claiming that all of our beliefs must have sufficient evidence, rather than just the ones which stand to cause some negative effect.
  2. Well, yes. The point I was trying to make is that things like paying attention to a lecture, educating oneself, and so forth - things that basically determine what we think and believe - are themselves actions and thus ethical under your definition. It seems odd to me to maintain that acquiring and shaping beliefs is ethical, but holding beliefs is not. I want to say that somebody driving a bulldozer with an inadequate understanding of how to avoid accidentally killing bystanders is commiting a moral wrong. Assuming that the driver gets lucky and doesn't actually cause any harm, can your system find them to be morally at fault? How does the act of 'driving with inadequate training' differ from the act of 'driving with adequate training', except in the knowledge and beliefs of the driver?
  3. For instance, the act of education would carry ethical value? As might the act of sleeping through a lecture on safety? It's not clear to me that there's actually a meaningful distinction to be made between what we know and what we do. Surely the one follows very closely from the other?
  4. I believe in epistemic responsibility generally, but the specific example you offer doesn't particularly resonate with me. There are a lot of valid reasons to hold a belief beyond 'sufficient evidence' (which is itself a very vague and unhelpful criteria). For example, I might believe that my favorite sports team has a good chance of taking the title this year. Whether or not that belief is analytically justified, it does me a lot of good. I feel great when I imagine them lifting the cup. I can have passionate and enjoyable conversations with other fans of the team where we talk about the hot new rookie and the strong form of the veterans. Later, I can have equally passionate and enjoyable conversations where we bitch about the team's terrible luck and recount all the ways that the universe conspired against their success. I don't think there's anything wrong with people holding that sort of belief. However, I do believe that somebody e.g. operating dangerous machinery without any training is commiting a moral wrong, even if by luck they manage to avoid harming anyone. Making a decision that has meaningful potential to harm other people without a reasonable understanding of the consequences (or without reasonable steps to protect against those consequences) is blameworthy. 'Reasonable' being key, since some accidents might be wildly unlikely or impossible to predict. In that sense I suppose I would fall more in line with James - if people are getting good value out of their religious beliefs, I think everything is fine. If their religion prompted them to do terrible things (such as not vaccinating their children), that would be a problem, but really, that would be a problem whatever their motivations. I strongly disagree that beliefs are necessarily public, or that it would even theoretically be possible to empircally verify every belief we hold to help us through life.
  5. I've always enjoyed acting (and performance in general, really). Reading from a script to a distant audience is much easier and less taxing than staying engaged with somebody in front of you. No social cues to follow, no dynamic facial expressions to stay in tune with - just your own artistic vision as revealed through the lens of the production. So, I guess I wouldn't assume that being introverted would be any great downside for an actor. On the flip side, however, it's not clear to me why it would be an advantage.
  6. I get that. Often when I'm stressed or nervous about something, I'll have the urge to cry. It never really happens, but in the moment I really want it to. I don't know if it's an issue as such, unless you feel like you're unable to find any sort of outlet for your emotions. For me, the feeling usually passes fairly quickly.
  7. I can recall my dreams soon after waking up, but forget them soon after if I don't make a point of remembering. I usually get around 8 hours a night.
  8. It seems to me that you think the world in itself (what is in fact the case) matters. I do not. You appear to think that language is based on or in some way connected to the world in itself. I do not. That, to me, seems to be the nature of our disagreement. I would probably say 'that is wrong' in all of those situations, yes. Do you find that strange? Is it out of line with what you expect a competent user of our language to do?
  9. See, I find it very hard to believe that you exclusively use the term 'wrong' in situations where you definitely know the facts. Excluding the possibility that you claim to have infallabile knowledge (which is a whole 'nother conversation), you probably judge stuff to be wrong on the basis of things like "that contradicts what very knowledgable people have told me", or "that's internally inconsistent", or "that's far less likely than XYZ alternative". I'm just as capable of making those judgements are you, regardless of my metaphysics. Not really. I think most of what we think and say is instrumental, and should be evaluated on that basis. I've got buddies who go real hard on the 'everything is relative' thing, and it honestly bugs me a bit. It's not just a matter of blithely choosing "oh, this is true for me." A wrong-headed idea will produce poor results for you no matter how firmly you believe it. What I reject is the idea of 'truth' as some sort of metaphysical thing that's actually *there*, like a tether holding together the sounds we make and the noumenal realm of objective facts.
  10. You live in the world of humanity's perception (your perception, specifically). It's trivial that nothing existing outside of humanity's perception can exist within your world. Thus, whenever you make a judgement about something being wrong, you're doing it without the help of objective, external reality. So, I think you're already quite familiar with what it would mean to be wrong in such a world. Fair question. I mean something like 'what is the case, independent of any observer'. In principle it could have nothing to do with the experiences we have (brain in a jar, etcetera), so we can't reverse engineer it from our experiences with any certainty.
  11. Yep. Now, for example. You seem to believe that, if objective facts don't exist, then there would be no basis for a belief being incorrect (i.e. every belief would be correct). (Please, please correct me if I'm wrong about that, because I don't want to waste our time.) However, I assume (again, please say if I'm missing the mark here) that there are ocassions on which you think people are incorrect. I further assume that you do not have access to objective facts independent of humanity's perception. Therefore, I conclude that one doesn't need to reference objective facts etc. to conclude that someone is incorrect. In other words, the sense which you're giving to the word incorrect (disagreeing with the true nature of things) is clearly not the sense in which people actually use it (since people by definition do not have access to anything independent of humanity's perception, and thus would be utterly incapable of judging something to be correct or incorrect in the sense you seem to be using). Or, to put it shortly - the problem of 'how could we say people are wrong if we don't accept objective facts?' doesn't actually exist, and we don't need to accept objective facts to solve it.
  12. Ok, that's a great example of a situation where you aren't judging someone to be incorrect. However, I'm curious about the situations where you think people *are* incorrect. For example, you seem to disagree with me on this issue - am I correct in my assumption that you formed that judgement *without* looking at independent facts etcetera? I want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly, because if that's the case, then it's very clearly possible to think that someone is incorrect without being privy to any sort of objective reality. In which case it's not clear to me that your metaphysics is a required solution to the problem of 'how can we say people are wrong?'
  13. When you judge something to be incorrect, do you do it by comparing it to those objective facts that exist outside of humanity's perception?
  14. You're totally misunderstanding me, I'm afraid :( You suggest that there is something independent of humanity's perception. Every experience we could possibly have is compatible with that theory, just as every experience we could possibly have is compatible with the theory that there isn't anything independent on humanity's perception. Thus, there isn't any clear way to decide between the two theories, or even a clear indication that they really differ. It's '2+2' instead of '8-4' - the formulations are different, but the results are the same. It's sort of similar to talking about a multiverse, in a way. If there isn't a way for two separate universes to interact with one another, than the existence of other universes is really just the same as the non-existence of other universes, for our purposes. If I wanted to state as a positive theory, maybe I'd go with something like 'perception (in the sense of being perceived) is what makes things things.' That seems likely to me, at least - I don't think there's any sort of differentiating principle inherent in the universe. Multiplicity, distinguishing qualities, names and so forth would all arise out of the purposes of some observer. But I probably need to think about it more to come up with a tight formulation.
  15. It's a bit awkward that it's a priori impossible the affirm the antecedent in that syllogism, yeah? Since knowledge you had on the topic would necessarily fall under the scope of humanity's perception. That in mind, I submit that there's actually no difference between the two possibilities you suggest. Both hypotheses are equally consistent with literally everything we could experience.