Comments on “Nobility”

The road less traveled

Demko 2021-03-14

This topic seems to have a lot of potential for getting your point across. I would expect that most people are extremely familiar with both the “special”and “ordinary” stances, but for some reason I’m not aware of really sophisticated ideas in the public consciousness on this topic, the way there are for ethics and purpose.

So with fewer established ideas jumping to mind, maybe people will face less resistance in considering your thinking from this point of view?

Heping structures to develop their potential.

dreieck 2021-12-29

This sentence:

Nobility is using whatever abilities we have in service of others.

about nobility somehow reminds my of a way out of nihilism I found:

Meaning is (only) relative, and for the sake of things you can do: Meaningful actions are such that help structures to develop/accomplish/act out/… the potential they have within themselves.

Re: Nobility

JJPK 2022-09-10

I’m confused by the distinction between specialness and nobility. I associate “nobility” with the concept of “noblesse oblige,”responsibility implied by circumstance of birth. When I think of the special “Chosen One” in mythology, I see it as a metaphor for how ones life circumstances are not chosen by oneself but must be dealt with by oneself, through the cultivation of potential abilities which are not of ones own selection. Everyone is “chosen” in this sense. The idea of being “Unique, just like everybody else!” gets made fun off, but I don’t think it’s actually illogical. Uniqueness in the sense of being within ones own life context and possessing ones specific qualities or potential qualities is a form of uniqueness which exists in abundance.

However, this might be too obscure of a way of understanding “specialness” and not what people really mean intuitively when they say they long to be “special” or that something was meaningful because it was “special”.

Ok. But why?

Abravenewcheese 2023-11-15

Having stumbled deep down the nihilism rabbit hole but having pre-emptively evaded the stumbling block of “meaning must be objective”, I am left a little baffled by the suggestion of Nietzschesque self-actualization that is to serve the people around you.

It is generally a great idea. There seems to be a universal consensus on us caring about the communities that surround us, lending it some objective value. There are evolutionary arguments to be made in favour of it, but just because it’s natural does not mean it’s rational. At least not from an individual’s perspective.

Truth is that it is unnecessary for us to constantly think of the greater good. And there are plenty of sociopaths who don’t, but rather game those around them while driving their own interests. And that, in my view at least, seems perfectly rational, even if it is cruel.

So then there is this, your proposal. The opposite of what I just described as rational. Perhaps a stronger argument will have to be made in favour of it, especially since you seem to have hyping up anti-eternalism in your other chapters as the intellectualist move. I understand it is a work-in-progress: but it is an elephant that will need to be addressed.

What's rationality got to do with it?

David Chapman 2023-11-15

Hi… I’m not sure what you are looking for here… it sounds like you want an argument that nobility (or some alternative) is the objectively, rationally, provably correct way to be?

There can’t be any such argument—for nobility or any other alternative. There is no objective standard according to which one can assess ways of being.

One could choose a standard. For example, one could choose the standard of maximizing personal utility. That would be rational according to the particular narrow conception of rationality in decision theory. Nobility is not rational according to that standard. But there is nothing objectively correct about choosing to maximize one’s personal utility. It’s something one could choose—or more likely back oneself into—but the choice is not objectively justifiable.

One can choose nobility as a way of being, or at least as an aspiration; a standard one tries to live up to. That can’t be justified objectively either.

Why choose nobility over Brand X? I find it attractive and inspiring. So do some other people. Many people may find it unrealistic, or insufficiently self-benefiting.

What is it, though, in explicit and actionable terms?

SS 2024-05-05

How do you know if you are actually acting in accord with it though? What can one do right now to leap into its most “scary” aspect (which is something I do not understand where it even is, as to me if there’s anything “scary” it is doing something NOT noble, NOT ethical, NOT just).

How do you get "extraordinary" goodness RIGHT NOW?

SS 2024-05-05

You say it is possible to choose it in the moment right now, but what does that mean?

And also, isn’t “extraordinary”, itself, a relative term? If 100% of people practiced this right now, or even 95%, then would it not become “ordinary”? But why should its relative commonality, matter? That seems to me to be the same issue as with “specialness”.