Re: What exactly is "panpsychism"?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Jan 12 2004 - 03:54:37 MST

On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 20:50:07 -0500
"Mark Waser" <> wrote:

> Samantha said> So your position is that all forms of diversity are good just
> because they are diverse? Then all forms of utterly painful and
> reprehensible conditions would also be part of the good as they are
> different from (diverse) relative to even a state of the universe chock full
> of diverse "happier" circumstances.
> The former is my position but I don't believe that your then follows (Now
> let's see if I can clearly explain why . . . . :-)
> Either the universe is going to be composed of ALL possible conditions or
> it's going to be composed of some subset of all possible conditions.
> The case of the universe being composed of ALL possible conditions is
> uninteresting and I'm not going to address it because morality really has no
> inherent meaning if everything is going to exist anyways.

How so? That everything is going to exist anyway doesn't say that it pointless for your or I to have a morality that guides what *we* choose to do. Is such a guide pointless unless universally adhered to unfailingly? Since your primary basis for morality was diversity without specifying anything else about what kinds of "diversity" are acceptable, the question had to be asked. If there are criteria for what kinds of "diversity" is acceptable then it seems to me that "diversity" cannot be your primary moral criteria.

> If the universe is only composed of a subset of all possible conditions AND
> is continually moving towards a larger number of more diverse conditions,
> then I would argue that in general painful and reprehensible conditions
> ALWAYS lead to less of an increase in diversity than do happier
> circumstances. Or, in other words, the present value of increased diversity
> by including painful and reprehensible conditions is HEAVILY outweighed by a
> vastly reduced future value.
> <am I making sense?>

Well, you aren't being very convincing. :-)

You are begging the question as you are positing that the greatest diversity always comes from what you would consider happy or morally correct conditions. But since your measure of these happy condtions was "diversity" we go round in circles. The greatest diversity comes from that which leads to the greatest diversity.


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