What's better. A Metaphysics which has a glaring fault at its core, or one which has a beautiful foundation?
A fundamental assumption of our current Metaphysics is that it’s possible to be unbiased. Want to find the truth of a matter? Well then you need to be dispassionate, logical and unbiased. But what does that even mean? Is that even possible? Can we really have no bias? It might be uncomfortable to consider but thinking about this further; unless we can be dispassionate ’objective’ view-from-God all knowing beings then it quickly becomes apparent that indeed it’s not possible.
This is the insight provided by Psychologist and Cognitive Scientist Paul Bloom. In the video above Bloom points out how impossible it is to be unbiased and gives a few reasons why this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
For starters, in a typical ‘scientific’ Subject-Object Metaphysics way - Bloom links the importance of biases to our general survival.
“If we weren’t able to make guesses(prejudices) about new instances that we encounter we wouldn’t survive.” Paul Bloom
But then he takes the value of them a couple of steps further - firstly pointing out how our biases and emotional prejudices allow us to care for others. And then secondly how it's best if we use our intellect to expand our care for others, in a reasonable way, to those whom we may have never met.
In Bloom's writing, we can see lots of harmony with the Metaphysics of Quality. Bloom not only provides insight on the mistake of an over-reliance on biological emotions but rightly emphasizes the value of intellect in moral decision making.
What Bloom misses however, is that his statement about bias actually undercuts the philosophical foundations of our current Metaphysics. It would be a cruel irony indeed that in order for us to understand the truth of anything, we must be dispassionate, logical and unbiased when those biases are written into who we are as people.
But of course we do not have to suffer this irony. Rather than using a metaphysics which sees bias undercutting every human judgment, a better metaphysics to use is one which replaces bias with value. Taking this change in perspective changes no data but improves our understanding so that it's infinitely better.
It might seem strange - but this is actually why The Metaphysics of Quality supports Bloom's scholarship better than our current Metaphysics. Rather than cut into the foundation of our current metaphysics it is supporting the foundations of a value based metaphysics. In modern day language - it shows that our values are a feature, not a bug.
But all that said - does this mean that there is no such thing as a negative bias? No, low-quality biases and prejudices still exist. But within a Metaphysics of Quality - the source of those biases is correctly shown to be low-quality values that need to be questioned and not simply an objective 'mistake' to be corrected.
Just saw a documentary on Netflix and there were quite a few things closely aligned with the Metaphysics of Quality. First and foremost - the underlying message I took away was 'Quality over quantity'. But I may just be projecting. Check it out and tell me what you think.
"We've been told we need those things by our society. It's been this slow little thing that has just kind of trickled in and suddenly becomes the thing you do.
It really does come down to a value based ideal. You want to do the most amount of good, and the most amount of value, with exactly what you need. Having too little is not going to give you that, and having too much is not going to give you that. Having that balance, having enough, that's what you're looking for."
Patrick Rhone in Minimalism : A Documentary About the Important Things
Human behavior creating global warming is metaphysically immoral and veganism is a moral solution.
In the previous post we established that not changing our behavior in response global warming is immoral. In line with this, according to a report by two World Bank advisers the animal agriculture industry surprisingly contributes to around fifty-one percent of all global emissions. From this study we can conclude that consuming less meat would dramatically reduce our harmful impact on the planet. But why haven’t we heard of this before?
To answer this, the video above shows some of the statistics found in a documentary called Cowspiracy, and it explores why this might not be as well a known cause as the direct burning of fossil fuels. Reasons provided are the reluctance of charities to confront the public about such a large change in behavior, and the power of the animal agriculture industry in stamping out dissent.
But in addition to morally valuing biological life on earth by not suffocating it with inorganic CO2 there is another benefit of not consuming animal meat. This benefit is the correct valuing of biologically more evolved animals over that of their less evolved counterparts – plants and grains. As Robert Pirsig writes in Lila:
An evolutionary morality,.. would say [eating meat is] scientifically immoral for everyone because animals are at a higher level of evolution, that is, more Dynamic, than are grains and fruits and vegetables.. It would add, also, that this moral principle holds only where there is an abundance of grains and fruits and vegetables. It would be immoral for Hindus not to eat their cows in a time of famine, since they would then be killing human beings in favor of a lower organism.
Thirdly, that’s not to mention the growing list of health benefits that can be found in reducing the amount of meat in your diet and improving the overall biological quality of the people on the planet.
Therefore these three key reasons make veganism moral on many levels and supported by the evolutionary hierarchy of the Metaphysics of Quality.