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Conservatism Vs. Progressivism
in Politics

By Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 1565 Pts
A lot of people who I talk to, both in everyday conversation and online get a little confused by a lot of my stances on some issues, partly because a lot of my views deviate from the norm, and partly because they are often quite complex.

It seems like in the current political climate that either you are a conservative or a progressive, and nothing but complete alignment with one of the two major parties which tout only one of these ideas is possible.

Each of these ideas carries with it a lot of baggage, and both sides see the other as being evil.

Conservatives see progressives as a bunch of overly sensitive losers who want to turn the country into a third-world wasteland, and progressives see conservatives as a bunch of know-nothing greedy fat-cats who want nothing but to hold us back so they can profit.

However, my stance is that these ideas kind of need each other for everything to work out. If we stayed conservative, then that would mean that eventually society would be vulnerable to emerging threats.

If we were completely progressive, we would undoubtedly lose our humanity and most likely fall into a depressed dystopian state.

Therefore, there must be a balance between these two things, we must take action to get better and improve in every way, but not so fast that we let go of the important things. When there is a new idea or potential way of doing things, there is always a possibility that it will contain something better, but also the chance it will contain something worse. It is important that progressivism and conservatism counteract to make sure that society is constantly evolving in an upward direction, and making life better for everyone carefully and deliberately.
At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
All of that so we can argue about nothing.



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Arguments

  • Centrism is useless, pick a real ideology.
    Happy_Killbot
  • @Ampersand What makes you think this view is centrist?

    Isn't it more radical because it isn't forcing compromise?
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    edited March 16
    Conservatism is just opposition to radical fast-paced change; conservative people see a high value in traditions, in stability, in conservation of the current values, and they see rapid change as creating a lot of chaos and adaptability issues.

    Progressivism is favoring radical fast-paced change; progressive people typically largely discard traditions and maintenance of the status-quo, and they revel in the chaos and unpredictability that change induces.

    There is also regressivism, which in some ways is similar to progressivism, except the change such people advocate is based on the idea that things were really good at some point in the past and some attributes of that past should be our ultimate destination. It is similar to conservatism in that people resist walking into the unknown territory, but different from it as people still want to change the current state of affairs significantly.

    Progressivism is associated with optimism (we can make the world a better place), conservatism is associated with kind of a pessimistic pragmatism (what we have has worked for us well enough, while change might ruin it; if it ain't broke, why change it?), and regressivism is associated with a strong pessimistic outlook of the world (we have tried so many things and nothing worked; let us go back to how things in the past - however bad they were, we are unable to make anything better than that, apparently).

    I do not buy the idea that humans are somehow deeply flawed and unable to find a mode of coexistence that works for everyone. Regressivism is giving up, and conservatism is stagnation. We should move forward, but we need to make sure that we are actually moving forward, rather than rebranding old ideas that have not worked in the past, but, we think, are going to magically start working now.

    I do not see how embracing progress can in itself lead us to a dystopian state; if anything, compared to the modern world, the world, say, a thousand years ago was very dystopian. Our quality of life improves, our means of communicating with each other do as well. I do not buy this whole idea that technology is destroying our humanity; it is just that it allowed us to easily observe the social issues that have actually always existed.
    Of course, embracing idealistic progress can. Dystopias really occur not because something randomly goes wrong, but because people can be so devoted to some idealistic goal that they are blind to everything else. That goal may be achieved, but at a great cost, having to sacrifice everything else. That is not the way the progress should go: it should be based on pragmatic considerations, rather than teenage idealism and binary thinking.

    I so wish people used the terminology correctly... All these terms have been misused so many times, barely anyone understands what they mean any more. We now have such things as "Republican" and "conservative" being used interchangeably in the US, for example, which makes no sense and turns any debate into a newspeak contest.
    Happy_KillbotPlaffelvohfen
  • @MayCaesar There is an argument against technology being used to destroy humanity, but I don't think it gets a whole lot of press because of its association with terrorism.

    To summarize (since I can't give many specifics anyways) the argument is that technology leads to new capabilities and seems to grant new freedoms, however these technologies must then be met with social limitations which end up greatly limiting freedom overall. There must be balance between technology and society in order to prevent the world from falling into chaos, thus technology can present at best a net zero gain in freedom. At worst technology, can end up in the hands of only a few people, granting them special privileges that others do not have creating a disparity between freedoms and an implicit lack of equality.

    I'm not very interested in playing devil's advocate here since I strongly disagree, but these are the basic arguments.
    MayCaesarPlaffelvohfen
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @Happy_Killbot

    It's centrism because it's pretty much the picture perfect definition of centrism, defining yourself as in the middle of a progressive and conservative spectrum (e.g. in the centre) with no strong ideals or positions of your own besides "maybe the truth is in the middle".

    It isn't the most radical position because in relation to politics the definition of radical is "advocating or based on thorough or complete political or social change; representing or supporting an extreme or progressive section of a political party" which is the exact opposite of what you are doing so obviously no, it's not radical.

    There isn't much more criticism i can give at this point because the entire rest of your argument is baseless claims. I mean I can pull out individual points and highlight how when you said "If we were completely progressive, we would undoubtedly lose our humanity and most likely fall into a depressed dystopian state" you provided absolutely no reasoning or evidence or anything to back that up, but that's already covered by "the entire rest of your argument is baseless claims" so it doesn't add much.
  • @Ampersand This isn't in the middle of anything, technically it is everywhere.

    Think about it, in a communist world this would represent an ideology that is slightly better than communism, in a neo-liberal world it is a position that is slightly better than neo-liberalism.

    It is all of the strong ideals, it changes depending on what is best for the given situation. This is fluid when flexible is entirely to rigid, and strong when weakness is unacceptable.

    This is change, this is evolution. Centrism is about maintaining the status quo, and only staying within accepted though, this is the opposite of that.

    To demonstrate the point I am making when I say "If we were completely progressive, we would undoubtedly lose our humanity and most likely fall into a depressed dystopian state." All I need to ask is what would happen if you woke up every day not knowing what would happen except that everything would be different from yesterday. Being completely progressive means that there is no conservation from one day to the next, so how long until some nutcase is in charge who decides that the best thing to do is to exterminate humanity and hits the big red button? Some things have to stay the same in order for society to maintain stability. As a society matures, it will naturally become more conservative because more and more people will want things to be maintained. As people age, they should tend to become more conservative, hence the quote by  Jules Claretie

    "If you are not a liberal by 25, you have no heart. If you are not a conservative at 35 you have no brain"
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @Happy_Killbot

    That assumes that a) the ideology you are moving away from is inherent;y bad and that b) the appropriate reaction is to still take on board a lot of that ideology. Those are both nonsense claims. for instance Communism in the classical anarchistic Marxist sense is a socio-economic set-up I'd be very glad to try. Similarly I would want to move away from fascism, theocracies, absolute monarchism, etc as fast as possible and maintaining many of their outlooks simply to subscribe to your weird policy seems useless and actively harmful.

    Also no-one defines progressivism as some dadaesque chaos where the goal is to change everything as fast as possible with no rhyme reason or logic so your complaint about progressivism is ridiculous and can be rejected. Nothing about having a schizophrenic leader who may decide to launch all nukes at his own country is progressive.

    Lastly societies do not become more conservative as they mature, or at least that's something I've never heard claimed or seen any evidence for previously. Individuals do trend towards being more conservative as they get older, but obviously older people also die off and are replaced by more progressive younger people so that's not a factor in any overall trends of society.
  • @Ampersand ;
    That assumes that a) the ideology you are moving away from is inherent;y bad and that b) the appropriate reaction is to still take on board a lot of that ideology. Those are both nonsense claims. for instance Communism in the classical anarchistic Marxist sense is a socio-economic set-up I'd be very glad to try. Similarly I would want to move away from fascism, theocracies, absolute monarchism, etc as fast as possible and maintaining many of their outlooks simply to subscribe to your weird policy seems useless and actively harmful.
    What you are going to have to explain is why you think the first two ideas are nonsense and then say things that very much qualifies them. If we were in a fascist dystopia, and no one liked it, the only logical thing is to try something else or in other words to be more progressive. Similarly, if we are in a system that made people happy, it would only make sense to stay there or to be conservative.
    Also no-one defines progressivism as some dadaesque chaos where the goal is to change everything as fast as possible with no rhyme reason or logic so your complaint about progressivism is ridiculous and can be rejected. Nothing about having a schizophrenic leader who may decide to launch all nukes at his own country is progressive.
    I agree, that isn't how I define it. You should read about Posadism if you don't already know what that is. The point is that a society that never stays the same is going to be very chaotic.
    Lastly societies do not become more conservative as they mature, or at least that's something I've never heard claimed or seen any evidence for previously. Individuals do trend towards being more conservative as they get older, but obviously older people also die off and are replaced by more progressive younger people so that's not a factor in any overall trends of society.
    Probably the strongest evidence to suggest this is the trend toward neo-liberalism in the US an in particular among US Democrats in the past few decades. What this suggests is that society is becoming economically less progressive than in previous years. This is particularly apparent in the political compass graph of all US candidates for the 2020 election.
    https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2020
    What is important to note here is that the center is a fixed point, which is important because this is how we can qualify change over time.

    I think you are a little confused about what exactly I mean when I say "progressive" and "conservative" Many people wrongly assume that conservative = right and progressive = left which is very wrong.

    The definitions according to Oxford Dictionary:
    Conservative: n. "a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics.."
    Progressive: n. "a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas."

    The confusion comes from the fact that the Republican party has historically held more conservative views as a whole, valuing tradition and classical values, where the Democratic party has on the whole valued other things. Consider that if we were living in an anarchic society, it would be very progressive to move to a theocracy, even though that is economically right. conversely, a communist regime that implements a new collective distribution policy is very conservative even though it is economically very left.

    To oversimplify here, you might think about everyone's ideas as a cloud of higher dimensional points, with each idea representing a stance on each axis. Conservatism is the strategy: "maintain average the same" and progressivism is " move from average" my stance is "beat last average" if that makes any sense to you.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • RickeyDRickeyD 540 Pts
    Conservatism v. Progressivism is the difference between Light v. Darkness; Truth v. the Lie; Heaven v. Hell; Faithfulness v. Deceit; Hope v. Hopelessness.


  • @RickeyD Thanks for proving my point by being the most stereotypical example of what I am reveling against. Your inability to comprehend anything beyond what you already know is once again your downfall.
    Plaffelvohfen
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • RickeyDRickeyD 540 Pts
    @Happy_Killbot ;  Progressivism, initiated by John Dewey in 1900 and followed-up by socialistic fools like Wilson, Roosevelt, is an ideology of death in hopelessness for the naive.

    Happy_Killbot
  • @RickeyD That isn't what I mean when I talk about progressivism.

    Conservative: n. "a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics.."
    Progressive: n. "a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas."

    There is a crucial difference between the set ideology of John Dewey and what I am talking about here, namely that would be that the progressive stance of yesterday is the conservative stance of today.
    Plaffelvohfen
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @Happy_Killbot


    What you are going to have to explain is why you think the first two ideas are nonsense and then say things that very much qualifies them. If we were in a fascist dystopia, and no one liked it, the only logical thing is to try something else or in other words to be more progressive. Similarly, if we are in a system that made people happy, it would only make sense to stay there or to be conservative.
    They are nonsense because they are random far-reaching assumptions that you have made with 0 supporting evidence. Fundamentally your argument has the same character as RickeyD's, the dude who constantly makes all those religious arguments in the forum that are completely meaningless because he always starts off from the assumption that Christianity is automatically right so therefore just quoting the bible at people means he wins. You can't just base your argument of random unproven assumptions, no matter how much you believe in them personally. You need to actually offer a rationale for why they're valid.


    I agree, that isn't how I define it. You should read about Posadism if you don't already know what that is. The point is that a society that never stays the same is going to be very chaotic.
    You have presented progressivism as a situation where "you woke up every day not knowing what would happen except that everything would be different from yesterday" and "Being completely progressive means that there is no conservation from one day to the next". This idea of how progressivism works seems to be entirely concocted in your head, if for instance you look up the dictionary definition of progressivism or go to the wikipedia page on progressivism or look up articles about people talking about progressivism you'll note none of them hold the idea that progressivism means a complete disregard for any gradual progression of rules and law; in fact showing the very opposite!


    Probably the strongest evidence to suggest this is the trend toward neo-liberalism in the US an in particular among US Democrats in the past few decades. What this suggests is that society is becoming economically less progressive than in previous years. This is particularly apparent in the political compass graph of all US candidates for the 2020 election.
    https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2020
    What is important to note here is that the center is a fixed point, which is important because this is how we can qualify change over time.
    If you want to look at trends, you don't look at a single cherry picked example. That should go without saying. i'm not even goign to bother poking all the obvious holes in this argument (e.g. literally every single time a coutnry has gotten more progressive) because it simply isn't worth it.

    Also the centre is only a fixed point in this one political quiz. How we define the centre can, has and will change over time.

    I think you are a little confused about what exactly I mean when I say "progressive" and "conservative" Many people wrongly assume that conservative = right and progressive = left which is very wrong.

    The definitions according to Oxford Dictionary:
    Conservative: n. "a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics.."
    Progressive: n. "a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas."

    The confusion comes from the fact that the Republican party has historically held more conservative views as a whole, valuing tradition and classical values, where the Democratic party has on the whole valued other things. Consider that if we were living in an anarchic society, it would be very progressive to move to a theocracy, even though that is economically right. conversely, a communist regime that implements a new collective distribution policy is very conservative even though it is economically very left.


    I think you're confused about your own arguments and are just wildly making claims without having any idea of what central point you are trying to make or even what definitions you use. Your own definition you use here does not support your earlier argument which relies not only on progressives advocating for social reform and new liberal ideas, but also that they specifically must do so wildly with no process or reasoning so that no-one knows what laws or ideas will hold true from one day to the next. 

    That is after all what you are arguing when you explain that progressivism is when "you woke up every day not knowing what would happen except that everything would be different from yesterday" and "Being completely progressive means that there is no conservation from one day to the next".
    Plaffelvohfen
  • @Ampersand
    They are nonsense because they are random far-reaching assumptions that you have made with 0 supporting evidence. Fundamentally your argument has the same character as RickeyD's, the dude who constantly makes all those religious arguments in the forum that are completely meaningless because he always starts off from the assumption that Christianity is automatically right so therefore just quoting the bible at people means he wins. You can't just base your argument of random unproven assumptions, no matter how much you believe in them personally. You need to actually offer a rationale for why they're valid.
    They are political ideas, none of them have any evidence to support them. Technically they can't because they are not a physical part of reality, but rather abstract constructs that only exist inside the human mind. If you need evidence that this is a valid position to have, then I just need to tell you that this is my position. The rational being this is how things have worked for basically all of US history. Either things are staying the same, or they are changing, what is so hard to understand about that?
    You have presented progressivism as a situation where "you woke up every day not knowing what would happen except that everything would be different from yesterday" and "Being completely progressive means that there is no conservation from one day to the next". This idea of how progressivism works seems to be entirely concocted in your head, if for instance you look up the dictionary definition of progressivism or go to the wikipedia page on progressivism or look up articles about people talking about progressivism you'll note none of them hold the idea that progressivism means a complete disregard for any gradual progression of rules and law; in fact showing the very opposite!
    Notice how the idea of what progressivism means has changed over time, even according to the Wikipedia page.

    "Progressive stances have evolved over time. Imperialism was a controversial issue within progressivism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in the United States where some progressives supported American imperialism while others opposed it.[22]"

    This further supports my position. What you have to understand is that this is based on a completely progressive scenario, which means no conservatism at all.
    If you want to look at trends, you don't look at a single cherry picked example. That should go without saying. i'm not even goign to bother poking all the obvious holes in this argument (e.g. literally every single time a coutnry has gotten more progressive) because it simply isn't worth it.

    Also the centre is only a fixed point in this one political quiz. How we define the centre can, has and will change over time.
    Technically I have shown 2 examples because when the test was first invented the center was, well, the center. If we recalculated the center it would be moved up and to the right of where it currently is. This isn't a single cherry picked example, it has been a trend over the course of US history.
    I think you're confused about your own arguments and are just wildly making claims without having any idea of what central point you are trying to make or even what definitions you use. Your own definition you use here does not support your earlier argument which relies not only on progressives advocating for social reform and new liberal ideas, but also that they specifically must do so wildly with no process or reasoning so that no-one knows what laws or ideas will hold true from one day to the next. 

    That is after all what you are arguing when you explain that progressivism is when "you woke up every day not knowing what would happen except that everything would be different from yesterday" and "Being completely progressive means that there is no conservation from one day to the next".
    First off, progressive ideas don't have to be liberal, they could be anything as long as they are not in line with what we are already doing. It isn't that those ideas have to be without reason, it is just that when everything is happening at once then nothing is happening at all. If there was conservation from day to day, then laws would be the same, or "conserved" the ultimate progressive idea is that everything is wrong and has to change.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.

  • They are political ideas, none of them have any evidence to support them. Technically they can't because they are not a physical part of reality, but rather abstract constructs that only exist inside the human mind. If you need evidence that this is a valid position to have, then I just need to tell you that this is my position. The rational being this is how things have worked for basically all of US history. Either things are staying the same, or they are changing, what is so hard to understand about that?
    if you're talking about the definitions of ideas, you need to use common definitions. If you make up your own wacky nonsense meaning of what a progressive or a conservative is that bears no relation to how anyone else views progressives and conservatives, then your entire argument is useless.

    Notice how the idea of what progressivism means has changed over time, even according to the Wikipedia page.


    And notice in how not a single one of those positions does it match your claims.

    Technically I have shown 2 examples because when the test was first invented the center was, well, the center. If we recalculated the center it would be moved up and to the right of where it currently is. This isn't a single cherry picked example, it has been a trend over the course of US history.

    Lie, they explicitly say in their FAQ that the centre isn't based on popularity or how opinions change over time.

    Also if the USA is trending rightward constantly, please explain how come women can vote when they couldn't previously? And slavery is disallowed? And the massive welfare state expansions of the New Deal and the LBJ era? And all the other huge progressive changes?

    And as your theory is that countries will drift rightward the older they get, please explain how the USA is significantly further to the right than countries like the UK or France which are far older and as per your theory should be far more conservative and be becoming increasingly so.

    Your claims have no basis in reality.

    First off, progressive ideas don't have to be liberal, they could be anything as long as they are not in line with what we are already doing. It isn't that those ideas have to be without reason, it is just that when everything is happening at once then nothing is happening at all. If there was conservation from day to day, then laws would be the same, or "conserved" the ultimate progressive idea is that everything is wrong and has to change.
    You are making up meaningless definitions. Please refer to the multiple examples of what progressivism actually means that have already been provided.

  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    @Happy_Killbot

    Sorry Happy. It pains me to say this, but RickeyD is right. Woodrow Wilson was a progressive. In terms of party affiliation, and of ideology.      
  • @Ampersand
    if you're talking about the definitions of ideas, you need to use common definitions. If you make up your own wacky nonsense meaning of what a progressive or a conservative is that bears no relation to how anyone else views progressives and conservatives, then your entire argument is useless.
    Did you read MayCaesar's post? Seems there are two of us who have a shared view of what a progressive and a conservative are, and he even adds regressive to the mix. Perhaps I should have added some definitions in the OP to alleviate confusion, and for that I apologize, but that doesn't change the logical content of my argument. I really don't like arguing semantics because it produces nothing but losers.
    And notice in how not a single one of those positions does it match your claims.
    Why should it? My position isn't progressivism, so my positions should not be included by it.
     
    Lie, they explicitly say in their FAQ that the centre isn't based on popularity or how opinions change over time.

    Also if the USA is trending rightward constantly, please explain how come women can vote when they couldn't previously? And slavery is disallowed? And the massive welfare state expansions of the New Deal and the LBJ era? And all the other huge progressive changes?

    And as your theory is that countries will drift rightward the older they get, please explain how the USA is significantly further to the right than countries like the UK or France which are far older and as per your theory should be far more conservative and be becoming increasingly so.

    Your claims have no basis in reality.
    Ummm.... my argument was based on the center not changing. If what the center is doesn't change, then it counts as a data point. Where the axis cross should be fixed, if it was not and rather was centered around the average, then no matter what everyone would be close to the center, which isn't very useful.

    Right on the graph is economic right. It has nothing to do with women's suffrage and slavery. As for state expansion, we have seen massive expansion of the state and government spending since 911. After the great depression and WWII a lot of government programs were cut and the inflated government returned to a lower rate until recently. Hence the movement up and to the right.

    I am not arguing that countries will drift rightward as they get older, that is a straw man argument. What I am arguing is that they will become more conservative, meaning they will undergo less social change as they age, or in other words that change will happen at a slower rate.

    You are making up meaningless definitions. Please refer to the multiple examples of what progressivism actually means that have already been provided.
    Progressivism =/= progressive.

    progressivism is an ideology, progressive is a quality.

    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @piloteer I'm not arguing against that.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    @Happy_Killbot

    Okie dokie. Dually noted 
  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    edited March 19
    @Happy_Killbot

    I see no need for a balance between the two. Progress is inevitable. Those who do not embrace progress are doomed to be victims of it. If we do not stay involved with ever changing technological advances, then the thing that conservatives fear most will happen. Technology will be used against us. If we play a part in the development of technology, we will have a say in how it is used.       
  • @piloteer But what happens if we fully embrace progress, and kiss everything else goodbye?

    Suppose someone makes a technology that allows them to get whatever they want whenever, and only they can use it. What do you think would happen?
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    @Happy_Killbot

    To make an assumption as to what would happen if somebody created the technology to do that would only be an assumption. 
  • @piloteer What would you do if you had this technology?

    Lets say its a super intelligent computer, with a processing capacity several times that of every person on earth. Basically a genie in a box.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    edited March 19
    @Happy_Killbot

    Would that genie be able to dispense emotions, or only physical things? If it can give you any material possessions we would want at any time, it would only be useful in making our desires for material possessions more efficient in that we can already get anything we want already. We just need the money and the time to get those things. 

    If that genie were able to dispense emotions, I think I, like most people would just choose endless happiness.   
  • @piloteer Yes, it can do more than that, if you want it can everyone on the planet happy, just maybe not how you might expect.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    edited March 19
    @Happy_Killbot

    Woop, whoa, what do you mean happiness in a way I wouldn't expect? This sounds like something from that Cameron Diaz movie about a box that gives you what you want, but somebody will die when you get it.  If it is anything I want, and I stipulate that I do not want anything I don't expect, and it delivers that, then it functions correctly. If it gives me something I don't expect, then I want to talk to the customer service department. If what you're saying is I don't actually understand what really makes me happy, or I don't actually understand what happiness is, I'm willing to found out. It nice to learn things about ourselves.     
  • @piloteer So this kind of follows a thought experiment about AI, which has many different forms and facets, but yes the catch is that what makes us happy isn't exactly defined very well, and a super intelligent computer might decide that it is based on electrical impulses in the brain happening in a specific way, and that the best and cheapest way to ensure that everyone is happy is to put everyone's brain in a jar and stimulate it with chemicals.

    The point is, what we want and what we think we want are sometimes two very different things. Unless we have some way of accounting for what we already have as a way to anchor our wants and needs it is impossible to move to a better world. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    edited March 19
    @Happy_Killbot

    My apologies if I'm bogging this discussion down in semantics, but it's worth mentioning that virtual reality could one day give us the possibility of getting whatever we may want without needing to create any physical stuff. I have no qualms with living in the machine and our children's children's children someday have computer code in their DNA. I'm a hyper-progressive. I accept the chemical bath for my brain if it actually works. 
  • @piloteer Has it occurred to you that this same technology could be used to create a sort of living hell? Where people were tortured in VR to the satisfaction of some sadist?

    When in the title I talk about loss of humanity being an end result of being overly progressive this is what I am talking about.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    edited March 19
    @Happy_Killbot

    Ok. Now I get what you're saying. If we only have happiness, then it would become mundane and redundant if we have no emotional compass as a spectrum to gauge our emotions. I actually had a discussion about this very thing on here. A simple program could get pass the hurdle of the mundane. Maybe a more dynamic happiness program could overcome that, or a memory inhibitor that erases your memory so that it always feels like you've only been in the happiness generator for only a few moments. Just so we're clear here, I want decadent, undeserved happiness, without having to care about the immoral aspects of such a thing.     
  • @Happy_Killbot

    Okay, let's run with your ridiculous semantic argument. You don't like progressivism because to your mind it means absolute chaos with no rules that aren't constantly at threat of being overturned. That sounds bad.

    Unfortunately even putting aside the dictionary definition and the like, no actual real life progressives define "progressive" like you so your argument has absolutely no applications. It doesn't apply to real life and no progressives can even debate you because according to your definition they won't be progressives. It renders this entire topic completely pointless.

    Enjoy.

    I'd just add as a final comment that argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy and when you try and make an arumentum as populum argument and your "populum" is two people you look especially ridiculous.
  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    @Happy_Killbot

    If somebody were creating a computer that's able to create a virtual reality of hell for us, I'd want to know, instead of just ignoring it. If we were to ignore it, it would be developed without anything getting in it's way. If we become a part of the development of the product, we can help shape how it is used and what functions it would have. 
    Happy_Killbot
  • @piloteer I guess what would happen would depend on you specifically as a person, and I think it is fair to assume that such a system would know exactly what that was, which I do not and you might not even know yourself, but whatever it is, you get it just like that. Suppose this comes with some suffering to others, which you will be either unaware of or will not care about (the system wouldn't risk that if it thinks it might make you sad).

    Would this imply that you are now essentially a god among men, because whatever you want, even abstract things, can be yours in a heart beat? In other words, what kind of equality do we have in a world where such technology exists?
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @Ampersand I don't really have an opinion either way on progressivism, except that like everything else, it should not be unfettered and absolute.

    At the moment, progressives are progressive, but that is changing very rapidly, because women's voting and social equity are becoming things of the past. Once they become the norm, then these issues are no longer progressive, but rather they become conservative. The struggle of yesterday becomes the status quo.
    I'd just add as a final comment that argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy and when you try and make an arumentum as populum argument and your "populum" is two people you look especially ridiculous.
    Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

    Hate to get technical here, but I am not making an argument ad populum by establishing that there is shared discourse here, that would be like arguing that because several people speak the same language that there arguments must be fallacious.

    Technically, by asserting that no actual real life progressives define progressive the way I do, you are committing this fallacy yourself.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • @piloteer

    piloteer said:
    @Happy_Killbot

    If somebody were creating a computer that's able to create a virtual reality of hell for us, I'd want to know, instead of just ignoring it. If we were to ignore it, it would be developed without anything getting in it's way. If we become a part of the development of the product, we can help shape how it is used and what functions it would have. 
    That is a critical component of my argument here, rather than running full throttle into progress while screaming "Leroy Jenkins" we need to take things slow enough that we can account for what we already have, lest we lose it.

    While we would all like to believe that our personal political plan is the best and will make everything awesome forever, the reality is that we are just opening a random door and we have no idea what is on the other side. What will happen from a particular policy or ideology is not predictable. We must therefore not move so fast that we can not adjust, so that we do not lose what we have worked so hard to gain.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    @Happy_Killbot

    You are correct that what will happen because of a particular policy or ideology is not predictable, and that is actually true for conservatism also. No matter what policy we choose, it will not give us the ability to predict the future. Conservatism is not a safety net for the anxieties that come from unexpected outcomes. 

    My argument is not so much that when we become involved in the development of new technologies we should act as some kind of road block to its development, but we should be involved in a manner that its development is beneficial to us, or at the very least, not harmful or unsatisfactory to us.      

  • @piloteer In the US, conservatism is fundamentally based on policies which have worked in the past, or been shown to be desirable. A conservative stance in general focuses on tradition, stability, and unity. We don't have to predict what it will do, because we have already put it to the test.

    In recent years there has been a rapid increase in the rate of technological development. Some of these technologies will need to be countered by new policies and societal norms which allow them to be used safely and without loss of the characteristic which our nation was founded on.

    The average citizen can barely keep up, let alone culture, or politics. The end result is that technology is used in ways that are rather immoral or that run contrary to our founding principals. One good example of this would be the NSA, which is reading this as we speak and invading your privacy be reading your emails and tracking all your movements, and Cambridge analytica which used it's knowledge of demographics to sent targeted adds to influence several elections. These represent a situation where technology is not being used in a fair way, but rather in an inherently biased and unfair way. In other words, there is no conservation of our principals and that is pushing us towards dystopia.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • If you walk backwards you will eventually fall over and hurt yourself. If you walk forwards the chance of you falling decreases and even if you do fall you can recover much better. Walking forwards makes you see new things and experience different places while if you walk backwards or just sitting still you won't see much.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    @Noam_Chunkzy

    Consider though that walking forward still does not specify the geographical direction. You can turn to the east and walk forward; you can turn to the west and walk forward; you can close your eyes and walk forward not knowing the direction... You can also turn around and walk forward, yet move backwards compared to your prior direction.

    If you are near an edge of a cliff on one side and a mountain ridge on another, then there are four possibilities: if you walk towards the cliff, you will fall down and die; if you walk towards the ridge, you will hit it with your head and get a headache that will pass eventually; and if you walk in one of the two directions in between the edge and the ridge, then you will get somewhere else.

    What I am trying to say here is that progress can go in many different directions, and some of them actually strongly resemble regress, if not outright equate it.
  • @Noam_Chunkzy

    I'm going to assume that is supposed to be metaphorical, and I think @MayCaesar does a good job showing why it is incomplete. If all you are trying to say is that we shouldn't stare at the past i would almost agree, except that we can't predict the future very well, thus we are permanently stuck staring backwards.

    For this reason, it is important to not run backwards but rather to take it in slow steps so you don't fall off a cliff.
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation, Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root and developed into the human race, who conquered fire, built societies and developed technology .
    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
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