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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Philosophy is a hard to describe term, but this mindmap defines this term as the study of living life optimally. We use this definition to ground meta-ethical frameworks in egoism, which gives meaning to perscriptive ethical statements (which this mindmap holds there is regularly no meaning to in the colloquial sense). This mindmap defines an ethical statement such as "it is wrong to do x" as a statement which says, "it maximizes utility for your own life if not x". Of course, because it is an emperically justified statement to say that most people act the same, this can ground commonly held moral beliefs. There are several possible refutations to this point of view, but this mindmap maintains that refutations to this point of view usually appeal to some feeling of wrongness rather than being definitionally inconsistent, which is again an instantiation of this point of view (to argue moral truths from a point of view of a feeling of wrongness is an instantiation or a confirmation of this point of view).

For instance, one possible counterargument that is brought up involves the fact that this theory equates preferences to moral statements. "I prefer red" and "x is morally right" indeed feel like two separate things. This mindmap maintains that they are two different things in many senses, but that the fundamental assertion of these two statements is the same. It is just a different kind of emotion, but there is no underlying fact of the matter that one can point to with regards to moral theory.

Note that there are several arguments that facts are treated on a separate footing to moral theory under such a framework. Indeed it is true that this mindmap will rest on some emperical facts, but this mindmap maintains that doing this is a perfectly internally consistent and descriptive standpoint. From here on, we will use ethical and moral statements as a description of people, rather than a description of some real moral fact.

Generally speaking, one can use logical deduction in order to reach conclusions from initial epistemological or metaphysical assertions in philosophy. People also apply the same reasoning to moral intuition, but as I explained above, I do not hold moral philosophy to be important.

2. Philosophy and Egoism

Egoism is a generally acceptable bootstrapping belief; it can get oneself into talking about moral facts (or the lack thereof) without many buy-ins, and it can describe a wide variety of other beliefs from within its own framework. The logical consequence of choosing egoism as an acceptable framework is that philosophy becomes the study of maximizing for the goals created by oneself; in esscence, egoism is the weak assertion that there is something in life to be optimized.

One can, in general, create an optimal life by doing two things:

  1. When a value is easier to get rid of than to satisfy, get rid of it.
  2. Derive as many current values from deeper, more fundamental values as possible, using logic.

Being attached to moral values is itself in contradiction to satisfying said moral values; you're creating more work for yourself, much of which one can't do. One should view values themselves as tools to achieve some optimal end, whatever that may mean to you, and deriving current values from deeper values using logic allows you to rule out values that you hold for no good reason. This metavalue system is efficient because it gets rid of values that do harm to the egoist goal.

For instance, some may care about climate change, and wish to do something about climate change because of some moral value that they hold. I hold that this is, in many cases, ill advised, because singular people cannot do anything about climate change. However, many still hold onto the belief that they are somehow important in the cause, when they just objectively aren't (it would be IEEDI syndrome), and hold that they should still do it for "moral reasons". If these "moral reasons" are just tools that you can bend given you convince yourself of something else, why would one subject themselves to doing something suboptimal?

The answer is that two things could be going on: either it is hard mentally for them to accept getting rid of their values, in which case they should keep their values, or they haven't thought about the fact that it isn't a good idea from an egoist standpoint. I think this is common.

Very few modern ideas that people would consider "moral things to do" are built into the human condition. As long as you can escape those ideas easily, you'd have more time and energy to allocate towards doing something that satisfies goals that are more tangible (you can't fix climate change on your own, but you can fix your own life). Give up on things that don't give you an advantage, or gives you a disadvantage (advantage and disadvantage being with respect to values that are hard to give up on, such as having friends, eating food, drinking water, etc…).

3. Isn't This Value Itself A Tool?

Yes, and I could've described this in many different ways using many different metaframeworks, as they all probably have the same perscriptive power. However, I hold that this would "work better" for most people who try it.

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