This will be a response to Inmendham’s read-and-respond videos targeting some comments I left in his neck of the woods. My commenting in Inmendham's house warrants justification, apparently. It's an attempt to sway his regular viewers, with little-to-no hope of making a dent in Inmendham's own thought patterns. He should find this most complimentary; by sidestepping him and focusing on the potentially convincible, I give him the benefit of someone who isn't a wishy-washy, new-position-every-six-months-having prick. You know, the type who opens his mouth without sufficient certitude of his incontrovertible correctness. Beyond my comprehension is how someone of Inmendham's mindset continually manages to expect that anyone would engage him in VloggerDome style video exchanges “to the death” without seeing the non-starter that he himself imposes on any epistemic motive among potential opponents. Especially when he complains how, for some strange reason, no one is taking him up on the video challenges in the wake of his oft-admitted insusceptibility to persuasion.
Anyway, if the comments I posted amount to a trespass in Inmendham’s eyes, I’ll relocate them elsewhere from now on (like here).
For the record, I haven't seen anything Inmendham posted after "more BullshitMan part 1". That video, along with the "EatYourOwnBullshitMan" one already overloaded me with objections and I'd like to keep this shorter than my previous post. If Inmendham went on to make additional arguments after "BullshitMan Part 1", I'm yet to see them, but be assured that I'll cover them after I'm done with this entry.
05:00-05:30: Claims that my real argument is that blanket "Nihilists" are relevant to AntiNatalism because their futility "leaves them with an ought based on the fact that life has no function". I don't believe 'Nihilism' is integral to the repudiation of Natalism in any way. I'm not speaking in sweeping terms. The time I devoted to Nihilism in the last post explained why the overlap is possible, not inevitable. I did this because many in the AN camp believe it's not, and many in the Natalist camp believe it's mandatory. Inmendham essentially believes AN is superficial when interpreted by anyone who rejects his claims of value commoditization in the framework of an ethics discussion. I'm disagreeing because those claims bastardize the very definition of the word value as applied to ethics, and because they serve to corner every AntiNatalist into viewing ethical/unethical injunctions purely from the standpoint of net scaling where the total view always overrides the average view. That, coupled with an uninterruptedly
06:50-08:30: Answers my question about why he is yet to euthanize his cat. He offers a lucid explanation and we’re off to a good start, though he mistook the question as an attempt at a gotcha on my part. Looking at the entirety of that comment, I can see why it may have come off that way, but I was genuinely interested in how he reconciled what is, in his view, a dilemma entailing a concrete right vs. wrong outcome. That was the very last comment I left too, following the several arguments I already made prior to it, so it was just a curiosity factor, not a set-up.
12:00-13:00: The Jesus Deal, but for real this time. He'll take the Torture Chamber all to himself if it's a guaranteed net gain. All of this is rife with double-speak the moment we analyze his other videos. How many times have we heard Inmendham overtly say to the everyday breeder apologist "I hope you get exactly what you're willing to impose, because if there's any justice in the world, the worst should fall on you!". Considering that the world is filled with breeders and their apologists, why then, would Inmendham assume that the future would be devoid of breeders (not to mention their defenders) that exist as the majority now and that have existed as the majority throughout the past? These are the same people that Inmendham is likely to be saving from harm in the future, by stepping into the hypothetical torture chamber. Would it be selfish of him to decline the torture chamber deal? I contend that declining it boldly would be the natural outgrowth of a proper contempt, unless of course we're just supposed to take all of Inmendham's "It should fall on you!" claims with a grain of salt. I'm partial to such claims, because they're suitable once countering in the low caliber of character for which the net-doctrine would have us indiscriminately tortured for, even for a millennia if that's what it takes to "get the job done". I am referring to the low character of future adult breeders here, not their children. The nuts and bolts of this are explained in further detail in the previous post.
If Inmendham is willing to torture himself for any measure of a collectivized future gain, this means that he wouldn't hesitate to force others into the same Torture Chamber predicament, when the future gain ratio remains the same. When I say "force others", keep in mind that I am also referring to purely innocent bystanders (Vegans, Pacifists, Jains). He believes that not forcing any of them in the chamber can't be justified thoughtfully, only psychologically. Whereas if I were presented with a chance to insert Inmendham in the chamber for this same purpose, I would decline on what I consider to be non-psychological grounds. I find Inmendham's character undeserving of such torture relative to the future Average-Joe's character, or lack thereof, experiencing it. This is only reinforced once we acknowledge that the future allotment of all the suffering Inmendham thinks he's obligated to endure, all on his lonesome, would be manifesting itself in millions, if not billions, of different individuals. Most of these individuals will likely find the statement "I'd rather not have been" just as off-putting as the majority in the present finds it. In light of this, Inmendham can be said to be wholly undeserving of the chamber, or the cross reserved for Jesus, or any other staple of hypothetical martyrdom.
I'm not saying that Inmendham is blessed with a flawless personality (far from it). I'm just pointing out that Joe six-pack sets the character bar so low to the point where it more than justifies Inmendham staying out of the chamber, even if the consequence of him staying out of the chamber is a net incline in harm. If Inmendham wants to say that Determinism throws a wrench in my "Deserve's got something to do with it" injections, that's an issue we can certainly debate (I reject Hard Determinism). Whether one believes in free-will's existence or absence; the matter is a diversion when looking at the meat of the issue, and the senseless reallocation of the all forthcoming harm so that it falls squarely on one man's (innocent) shoulders.
Emphasis needs to be placed on the fact that most future people will not be risk averse. They will voluntarily sign themselves up for a myriad of risky endeavors, yet we are to obnoxiously believe that they must be spared at the expense of the suffering of 1 person who exists at the moment; an individual we can confirm is hyper-sensitive to suffering? We can actually confirm that Inmendham is risk-averse. We cannot confirm this with any future population. Why deny that these facts have a seat at the table when it comes to this debate? This is why the net-principle ultimately runs into a reductionist brick wall. In reality, no one person is obligated to endure the bulk of, a fraction of, or even a smidgen of all that forthcoming suffering, first hand.
Inmendham believes that the mere knowledge of the net-gain being a sure-thing rationally obligates every last one of us to sign-up and pay the price, regardless of how brutal the price may be, and regardless of how tiny the net gain measure may be. But any notion of an obligation or responsibility, with no concrete party in sight for us to actually account to, amounts to a latent flirtation with the metaphysical.
Perhaps this is why the 1951 adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" with Alastair Sim appeals to Inmendham so much. It evokes the metaphysical as a translucent Marley appears with unforgiving chains bound to him. Marley, having had the audacity to be a man of business in life, must bring about recompense for such shysterism post-mortem.
"I wear the chain I forged in life!"
This caters to our sensibilities, as evidenced by the popularity of religion throughout history and even as of my writing this. Marely's portrayal is the ultimate masturbatory fantasy to misplaced notions of Obligationism. This is actually one of my favorite films as well, albeit for different reasons (I also find the George C. Scott adaptation to be far superior). It's a great story, but it shouldn't leave us utterly bamboozled so as to mistake its lesson for a philosophic authoritarianism that would have even the most stereotypical Randian telling us to maybe tone it down a notch.
Let's get something straight once and for all: If Inmendham says, as he keeps saying, that euthanizing the cat is technically “the right thing to do”, then calling straw-man as he reads my "Shouldn't you apply the same thinking to the rest of the present?" remarks amounts to boy-cries-wolf tactics. He takes issue with what he interprets to be me telling him that he must kill the present, but this is not literally what I'm doing. I am simply pointing out that he has stated on numerous occasions (including the very video I'm covering now) that this Commoditized Theory of Value has him believing that it's technically correct to discontinue the present, effective immediately, without regard for consent. Maybe phrasing it this way, without using the word "killing", will make him concede that he's fully on board with what I'm getting at. I am aware that he hasn't made a habit out of advocating the immediate discontinuation of all present life. We need to make a distinction between theory and practice. Theoretically, Inmendham’s belief in The Net Commandment, coupled with his zero-sum recognition, logically points to no other conclusion than the immediate nuking of sentience, be it an educated adult or a worm, just as long as he has the nukes handy. Not to mention the fact that he’s spoken about it being applied in practice on countless occasions in Stickam and in the odd DNG site video (typically in a walk&talk where he’s overly frustrated). Not only does he not bring it up during other arguments, but he outright contradicts it. A typical example of this would be any instance where daft Natalists accuse him of wanting to murder people, in the name of AntiNatalism no less, and he typically replies with something along these lines: I don't give a damn what you lunatics do with your sadistic insane selves, just keep me and the people who share my views on life, out of your cesspool. Quit procreating so that 1 out of every 10 Frankensteins who hates it here is no longer created and no longer has to clean up your mess by getting themselves outta here!.
A fine point, if I may say so myself, but unfortunately a point that totally flies in the face of his initial commitment to net-equation derived value efficiency. If Inmendham genuinely believes that the only way real value can be maximized, is through the undertaking of a net scaled reduction, by any means necessary, then he's just paying lip service whenever he tells Natalist apologists about his apathy towards the prospect of fully grown adults enamoring themselves with risky business, at their own volition, and that his only concern is the likelihood of those adults procreating. If Inmendham doesn't value the freedom (don't nitpick the word freedom on account of determinism) of adults to do with themselves as they please, as his net-equation formula pledge mandates, he needs to come right out and plainly assert, during debates with Natalist apologists, that it makes no difference to him whether the increase of suffering comes in the form of the creation of a new life, or in the form of some fully grown adult. Let’s say it’s an adult who happens to be an adrenaline junkie and is about to square off in an octagon against a Lesnar type behemoth. The adult ends up getting his arms and legs broken during the bout, but would not trade the experience for the world, even in retrospect. The adult doesn't know anyone who will be emotionally traumatized by seeing him in a state of paraplegia. The adult does not live in the type of society that would cover his medical expenses at the cost of any other citizen. Once all this is taken into account, it becomes crystal clear that the subject's actions have negatively impacted only himself. Consequently, this impact will bring about a net decline, but not in the form of a domino-effect chain ranging from one individual to another, nor with elements of coercion at play, as the individual who signed up for the fight did so through pure volition and went on to have no regrets following his defeat. Telling me that an individual like this is a rare breed in no way defeats the purpose of the scenario. All a hypothetical has to be is feasible, because Inmendham's goal posts entail a belief that the optimal method with which to reduce harm is always one that sees the largest quantity of harm reduced, irrespective of criteria variables. In other words, ethics is about the reduction of suffering and nothing else. Having had this principle ingrained as the core of his belief system, Inmendham has become kind of like the guy who's assumed the role of your average lofty Anti-War peacenik who at times shows signs of understanding that it would have been absurd for the Allies to practice pacifism in the wake of Axis Powers breathing down their necks, but still manages to somehow believe that waging war is always wrong. So I must repeatedly remind him that unless one's arguments rule out waging war in all conceivable cases, one doesn't have a categorical argument against waging war. So too with any other moral code. Or let's say, as I pointed out on the first video of Inmendham's, that the subject whose suffering ought to be indiscriminately prevented happens to be an educated vegan adult who lives on a deserted island. Being human, he is plagued by a reoccurring hunger throughout his entire life, never to be satiated in the long-term. Both of these scenarios will only lead to a net minus, and seeing as how the measure of net success doesn't take individual consent into question, the optimally moral thing to do would be to instantly and painlessly kill the subject. So why does Inmendham pay mushy notions of “Freedom for adults to torture themselves” any lip-service during debates with Natalist apologists? PR?
I don't do it for PR. I genuinely draw a line of distinction between minors and adults, irrespective of the net scale impact. This is the crucial difference between Inmendham and AntiNatalists like myself. I don't pay lip service to anything. If sane/educated adults wish to torture themselves for sport, they can have at it. It's none of my business. My business, as an AntiNatalist, lies with defenseless minors whose brains are developing, who are too young and vulnerable to be able to fend for themselves intellectually, ideologically and financially, and who thus become subject to the delusional yet authoritarian whims of any ignorant couple that spawned them. Any mission statement that steps above this, amounts to control-freak behavior. No different than how most parents tend to be control freaks around their children, whom they view as their possessions. It is a most contemptible trait, on both ends of the spectrum.
Inmendham dislikes it when the word "Kill" is placed anywhere near him, in practice, and on a public forum with lots of traffic. It reminds me how fervently Natalists run from the word imposition. As exemplified on YouTube, Inmendham says that me pointing out how discontinuation of the present can easily be applied in practice, leads to me straw-maning him. His eagerness to distance himself from what this implies in practice, is a good thing in my view, as it indicates that he, on some level, does recognize that consent-in-relation-to-adults has a place at the ethics discourse table. Of course, when he's pressed on the net-principle, he'll outright deny that consent is at all relevant and pin any valuing of it on psychological impediments getting in the way of real value. Consent is to be dismissed as social-contract mush, just as anything else that stands to budge The Net Commandment, is to be dismissed on the same grounds.
In this way, Inmendham is actually 6 times the Nihilist that I ostensibly am, because I can apply the very same breed of informal criteria that Inmendham applies to determine what passes for blanket "Nihilism" and thereby give myself carte blanche to engage in the following summation of Inmendham's take on ethics, ultimately showing Inmendham himself to be a:
(1) Social-Contract Nihilist
(2) Justice Nihilist
(3) Consent Nihilist
(4) Character Nihilist
(5) Individuality Nihilist
(6) Truth Nihilist
He's made it patently clear that none of these standards mean anything, unless they compliment the net product. Don't confuse # 6 with the idea that I'm charging him with Epistemological Nihilism. He knows we're capable of discovering truth. Number 6 is just meant to point out that he only values truth as a means to an end. If a given truth discovery doesn't reduce an ouchy-ouch domino-effect somewhere, then any seekers of such a truth are to be viewed as seekers of mush, so long as they know ahead of time that this truth they're after won't reduce any suffering, yet still go on to seek it. If he wants to claim that this is also a straw-man, then he has nowhere to turn except straight towards an admission of valuing truth for truth's own sake; independent of any Value with a capital V talking-points. I sincerely hope that he does admit this, so that we can, if nothing else, add "The Truth Commandment" next to the Net one. If he's ever going to budge on any other non-net derived value, I predict that it's going to be truth-for-truth's-sake. Anything else would suggest that he's a closeted propagandist, if the cause is right. I seriously doubt that he is, because it seems that he does value truth for the sake of it (unless pressed on a given Truth/Net irreconcilability). From there, perhaps we can even establish a valuing of character-for-character's-sake. But in all likelihood, it'll be none of the above, and he'll just revert back to calling me a Nihilistic asshole for talking about these distractions.
The overarching point in all this is that we can accuse just about everyone on earth of being a blanket "Nihilist" so long as our own self-appointed Nihilism Criterion is as narrow as Gary's respective one seemed to be when he casually declared me to be a "Nihilist" in his video.
Whether or not my outlook passes for something that earns me the title of a formal Nihilist of any form, is a matter which requires an explanation too arduous and too off-subject for this post. (Hint: It all depends on how we use certain terms under the modern Zeitgeist relative to the past). I can confirm one thing: Regardless of the terminology we're using, I don't qualify for anything remotely close to Epistemological Nihilism. The rest gets convoluted, because Moral Agnosticism does not (depending on the surrounding verbiage used) necessarily amount to Moral Nihilism. But thanks Gary, for asking, instead of just presuming. Oh wait, you didn't ask and just presumed. Nevermind.
He keeps trying to discredit blanket schist "Nihilism" by making arguments against callow selfishness. These arguments are, and have always been, perfectly meritorious in terms of their own standing. The only problem here, is one of contextualization: The arguments are directed at people who aren't blinded by personal desires. Gary is hell bent on assuming that blanket "Nihilists" are incapable of grasping the fact that other sentient creatures are vulnerable to feeling the exact same horrors that the Nihilist feels. This is Gary misconstruing the meat of the "Nihilist" position. As for whether he does this deliberately or not, I remain uncertain. No one he's arguing with has denied that other sentient creatures feel, or that the universe exists independent of human perception, or that there's an experiential difference between a state of harm and a state of neutrality. I have zero issues pointing out that suffering can be said to have "gravity weight" if we want to get a bit creative with language. A recognition of these things, however, is still not proof of the factuality of the net-principle. So quit pointing to them, when addressing me.
It would be no different than me arguing that Inmendham, by being a (1) Social-Contract Nihilist (2) Justice Nihilist (3) Consent Nihilist (4) Character Nihilist (5) Individuality Nihilist (6) Truth Nihilist, fails to grasp the positive traits of these 6 value multipliers simply because he values The Net Commandment above all 6 of them combined. But I'm sure that Gary can - when he really wants to - apprehend the virtue of these 6 values, just like he should know that I can grasp exactly where he's coming from when he makes the case for The Net Commandment. I know it all too well because I myself subscribed to the net formula 4 years ago, and it took almost a year of being bombarded with contrasting theories of Value Code Absolutism (most of which were quite bizarre and hostile to welfarist theories, yet each backed up by its own usurped form of philosophic authoritarianism) before I was ready to concede the intellectual precariousness ingrained in presupposing the net-principle's isolated benchmark. No one can factually demonstrate that any of the other 6 multipliers are to be relegated to artificial status, in order for the Net approach to reign supreme. Once this is established, we can see how Inmendham's routine targeting of selfishness and conceit, ends up being a non-sequitur. By analyzing the actual context, we begin to understand that haphazardly interlacing the claim "Harm exists" (factual statement) with the claim "Harm must be minimized in accordance to the net-principle" (non-factual statement) leads directly to question begging. The same is true of Molyneux's UPB rubbish as a benchmark, shown here.
If Inmendham is still reading this, I'm guessing that the only thing he took away from the above paragraph is that I was a wishy-washy mind-changer at one point. I'll plead guilty as charged without hesitation when asked to admit that I didn't have it all figured out by the time I was 6. Or 16. Or 36. Or 66.
Good thing for me that there may very well be nothing to figure out, aside from material truths.
He said I make for a crappy AntiNatalist because I wrote the statement "railing against procreation". So "railing" implies... what exactly? That I might covertly believe ANs should leave breeders alone? This was very much a stretch. To rail against something is to bitterly and vehemently complain about it. I've applied the same word to myself. There's nothing wrong with the word, because we live in a world which offers us valid reasons to be bitter and to vehemently oppose things. I also use the word "ragging" all the time and apply it to myself when I'm complaining about stuff. At this point I think Gary is just looking for any contrivance he can find to cast aspersions here.
He charged me with being "kind of an elitist". Anyone can take a look at my video catalog for copious amounts of evidence to the contrary: All the middle-class style unapologetic shouting, all the commoner-esque rants, the rambly BTWs, the absence of mannerisms suited for the average aspiring academic, the lack of regard for College/Uni as the only means of gleaning widespread knowledge, the lack of regard for institutions in general, the fluctuations in my tone of delivery unflattering to he whose aim is to pass himself off as an authority, the back-and-forth pacing while doing vids on my feet, etc.
Point me to one elitist who conducts himself this way, or especially one who records himself doing any of these things and then deliberately uploads it on the net, subject to increasingly elitist environments. I may be lots of things, but elitist ain't one of them. Bitch.
Lots of personal shots at me all around, at this point in his video. Some funny. Some stale. All untrue. (I likez my dick skin).
He said I showed up on his video with disrespectful rhetoric. No, he just misconstrues dissent, when it comes in the form of boldness and confidence, as a disrespectful "fuck you" of sorts. This can actually be verified if anyone is willing to sit through tiny-chat recordings and find the part where he recently said that he, as a male, is doing this YouTube thing partly because he gets off on the competitiveness of it. I already have to find one Stickam recording to insert as a link here, so I'm too strapped for time to look for a 2nd one. If he wants to press me on it though, I will look for it.
While we're on the subject, those Stickam recordings contain some of the best evidence for why Inmendham doesn't just insult the living shit out of people who make snide remarks as they drink tea with their pinkies out. No, he insults anyone who makes any argument that happens to annoy him, no matter their suppliance. I'm not even saying that this would be a problem, if he just fessed up to it, instead of playing the "I'm never the one who starts it!" card. Yes. Yes you are. For fuck's sake, listen to 10 minutes of any of your Stickam recordings. You're addicted to starting it.
I still frequent the DNG site enough to know that Gary has been dwelling on Value Absolutism with far more frequency over the last few months. I’d not have initiated anything in the comments had the bulk of his videos nowadays still been about condemnations of particular behaviors, rather than about Value with a big V. In the past I’ve expressed a lack of tolerance for anyone (be they a Moral Realist, Moral Relativist, Moral Nihilist) who makes a habit of blending any specific argument tailored to right/wrong behavior, with red-herrings like:
(1) Ought statements are subjective/mind-dependent so there’s no point in arguing over them.
(2) Ought Statements are subjective/mind-dependent so if you argue them you better humble yourself as you would if you were arguing for your favorite ice cream flavor.
(3) Every ought statement always has an ultimate right outcome tied to it, or an ultimate wrong outcome tied to it, so people who disagree with my ethics are denying cold-hard facts.
(4) Every ought statement always has a correct non-consequentialist intention behind it, or an incorrect non-consequentialist intention behind it, hence people who disagree with my ethics are denying cold-hard facts.
Inmendham is routinely guilty of # 3, resulting in videos like this one being made by people who are under the quaint impression that they’ve just checkmated AntiNatalism. I am sick of seeing this, and Gary is the number one cause of it, because he often takes the bait by arguing the ethics part, instead of simply explaining to the video makers that they are engaging in a cop-out by making it about ethics in general, rather than just sticking to procreation. This is why it's called AntiNatalism, and not ValueAsACommodityIsm.
Had Inmendham never been exposed to legitimate critiques of his axioms, I’d probably just look the other way and focus in on supporting him within the areas where a coalition stands to be built. But it’s clear now that Inmendham wants nothing to do with any blanket slate “Nihilist” (I’d still like to know the specific form of Nihilism he's referring to, but that's apparently asking too much) regardless of the common ground shared, because it’s just that damn important to view ought-statements as being interwoven with cold-hard facts, and to therefore view anyone who circumstantially strays from seeing them this way as somebody who is “just jerking off on the internet”.
The truly peculiar thing here is that Inmendham is the guy who in 2008 started entirely separate channels for every individual topic he immersed himself in, because he understood that a growing subscriber base comes with their own hot-button topics, which stands to stagnate support all across the board. In light of this, he decided to open up additional avenues where people who might hate his Virtual Reality arguments but like his IRV arguments, could continue to support him on IRV without being subjected to any of his Virtual Reality talk. This didn’t take off, but the intent was solid. Why then, can’t this same approach be applied to the issue (non-issue, in my view) of Value with a Capital V vs. lower-case value? Why allow a phobia of lower-case value to own you this way? And it does own him. How else are we to explain his loathing of stand-up AntiNatalists like Tranquil87?
Why not take the Sam Harris approach? Harris knows to completely segregate his arguments for metaethical realism from all his other ones, just as relativists shouldn’t appeal to relativism when confronted with applied-ethics arguments, the way they already know not to do when dealing with the moral dilemma of whether or not it’s justifiable to imprison Ted Bundy, or when it comes to any other 99% majority-backed issue.
The “Value = Commodity” talk, in all its normative glory, would not be a deal-breaker for me if Inmendham didn’t insist on shoving it down everyone's gulls in most of his videos over the last 6 months or so.
I have repeatedly gone over reasons for why a steadfast honoring of the net-equation, assumed to be the only viable pathway to attaining “true value”, leads to routine contradictions during other debates. Most people contradict themselves, but few take it to these heights. Inmendham's attempts to discredit all this sees him pointing out that he’s perfectly aware of the fact that he’s a flawed psychology. Most of this entry highlights why this is a diversion. If Inmendham wishes to argue from here on out, instead of just reciting the same old unnuanced tripe, I will gladly listen with an open mind, as I've always done with his videos.
I see now that the length of this post has far surpassed what I aimed for initially (as it always does) so I'm ending it here. If anyone believes I missed any other argument made by Inmendham in the two videos I linked at the start, please let me know in the comments below and I will address those arguments.
Edit: He just uploaded "BullshitMan part 2". I'm yet to see it. I'll watch it after I find and insert the links I need for this post, and after I typo-check this post. Might take 24 hours for me to reply to it.