The Evil of Disregarding Climate Science

The MOQ is a beautiful intellectual framework. As an intellectual framework, it uniquely shows that it’s both immoral and illogical to not change our behaviour in response to global warming. Traditionally, the argument to change our behaviour goes something like this:

“We are running a dangerous experiment to see how much CO2 we can pump into our atmosphere. At its worst, global warming threatens the existence of mankind. The right thing to do is to heed the dire warnings of climate scientists. They speak of rising water levels and increasing global temperatures. With these increasing temperatures and rising water levels, mankind may be no longer able to survive. So we should, we must change our behaviour.”

This argument has many opponents however. From those in power who like things the way they are to those co-opted by power with bogus arguments about the validity of the science.

That’s because, without the MOQ, climate change opponents and even proponents are easily able to question the validity of truth and scientific fact. They are also easily able to immorally question the content of those facts for their own monetary gain.

With the MOQ however, we can make the argument for change much stronger. With it – the issue of climate change becomes not only a matter of fact but as a matter of quality. It does this by showing that not only is it moral to change our behaviour, but it’s evil not to. An MOQ argument for changing our behaviour follows:

“If we don’t value the biological quality of the life in our oceans and allow inorganic particles of CO2 to fill our planet. Then allowing this lower level to subsume the higher level is immoral. If we allow the social values of money and power to trump the intellectual truths of scientists explaining the threat. Then this is immoral. The threat of CO2 winning in the fight against life on earth is very dire. Biological quality is necessary for the social and intellectual quality of human beings to exist. Without it, the existence of these two levels is at risk. The moral thing to do then is to act to no longer allow CO2 to win its fight against biological quality. The moral thing to do is to follow what makes sense intellectually and not succumb to social greed. The moral thing to do is to change our behaviour in response to Global Warming.”

This is the unique thing about the MOQ. With the MOQ we can reject excuses of cultural relativism or scepticism about the existence of truth. We can call out paid arguments for the non-existence of global warming as the evil that they are. And we can logically say that responding to global warming is moral. This is true not just for some people in some such a place and time, but for all people -everywhere. And that’s very powerful.

The Metaphysics Of Quality supports Bernie Sanders

With polls showing Hillary Clinton as the likely Democratic nominee it is important to note at this point in history that Bernie Sanders is the candidate most supported by the Metaphysics Of Quality.

Compared to his opponents Bernie has consistently stood on the side of what made sense intellectually despite what was culturally expedient. While intellectual stubbornness is not always a clear sign of intellectual correctness, since he was a young academic protesting against the civil rights movement, Bernie has continually been on the right side of history.

This consistency is perfectly demonstrated in his rhetoric around income inequality. As he said in the 1970’s:

“A handful of people own almost everything … and almost everybody owns nothing. A handful of people make the decisions and the vast majority of people have virtually no control over their lives.. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and the vast majority in the middle are having a harder and harder time,”

And on his 2016 campaign website:

“America now has more wealth and income inequality than any major developed country on earth, and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is wider than at any time since the 1920s.. There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.”

The time is right for the United States to make some difficult, drastic, changes with so many problems facing the nation in this new century. Rightly, or wrongly, the way that change works in western democracies is a revolution of freedom against old rituals – and boy are some of the problems facing the United States old. Problems which include a crumbling infrastructure, student debt that’s skyrocketing, bad money influencing elections, a failed war on drugs, unsustainable wages, changing demographics, race inequality, expensive healthcare, and an unstable middle east.

Bernie has consistently spoken about each of these issues and how he will fix them. His logical consistency and correctness is supported by intellectual morality. Many of his new policies are dramatic enough that they would drastically change the country toward a better direction.

The right thing to do then, metaphysically, is to support Bernie in his 2016 campaign to become president.

The Diagnosed Threat Of Artificial Intelligence

With Elon Musk having recently said he will be giving away a Billion USD to fund research into AI to ensure risks are minimised – I wonder if there’s not already a free solution to the unique problem presented by AI in the codes of a moral philosophy we know.

In the Metaphysics Of Quality the Law of the Jungle declares that biological quality should always prevail over inorganic quality. In this case – I propose a simple AI rule. If a machine, controlled by software, is capable of taking a life in its day to day operation – then the machine must be able to detect life and avoid killing or injuring it where possible, unless of course specifically designed to do so (weapons).

That’s it. Doing scientific research to solve what is fundamentally a philosophical issue seems a lot like declaring war on an international policy issue [The War on Terror] that is – lots of money spent and bad results. Unless, of course, the research improves the life detecting capabilities of machines to be more affordable. I live in hope.

There’s a great video on Youtube(above) called ‘The War on Science’ by ASAPScience which outlines an oft misunderstood conflict. That conflict is when:

“Science and society are often at odds”.

Putting the conflict in these terms clearly shows the wrong-headed thinking of those who are undercutting the intellectual values of science with the social values of society. Current social norms may be more convenient to defend and continue for society but it not intelligent to continue thinking the same thing when evidence shows otherwise.

In fact, rather than simply wrong-headed, such defence of social values in the face of intellectual values to the contrary, is immoral and not supported by the MOQ.

The historical risk though, is that without the Metaphysics of Quality the intellectual level can start to undercut the quality of society and defend biological values at the risk of social cohesion. This could well explain why many a political conflict throughout the world simply are between those who defend social values vs those who support intellectual ones.

The MOQ however, shows there is a more nuanced way to view social vs intellectual conflicts such as this. Within the structure of the MOQ is the ability to morally defend intellectual values while not risking social decay in the process. This is clearly shown with the MOQ’s ‘Codes of Morality’ and in the difference between ‘The Law’ and ‘Intellectual Morality’ the latter of which is not acknowledged with our current Metaphysics.

The Morality of Money

‘Money, in the MOQ, is a pure and simple index of social quality.’
Robert Pirsig

With money representing social quality, the direct link between a government’s budget and what it considers as valuable becomes immediately apparent. Looking at the budgets of the US, UK and Australia is therefore a great way to see what each culture deems valuable.

Budgets

A lot can be said about a culture by what it spends its money on. In fact it could be said that a culture is what it spends its money on, because a culture is what it values. I won’t get into the details of each budget and the morality of each according to the MOQ in this post but first I just want to spend some time discussing the limits of a budget, what they’re thought to be, and what they actually are.

Basically, current economic thinking claims that budgets are constrained by their deficit. A government’s budget is compared to a household budget and deficits are seen as some kind of a sin to be avoided and surpluses are seen as a good to be continued. However the problem with this thinking is that a government’s budget is not constrained as per a household due to the fact that a government, unlike a household, can produce its own money without constraint. How then, did we end up with this discrepancy?

Historically, the value of money had been pegged against the gold standard, and as there was a limited supply of gold, there was indeed a limit to how much money could be spent relative to the amount of gold available. However in 1971 President Nixon ended international convertibility of the U.S. Dollar to gold and floated the currency. Since then, standard economic thinking doesn’t appear to have adapted to the fact that there is no longer such a restriction in the amount of money a government can produce!

That’s not to say there aren’t constraints however. Simply speaking, the true constraint to an economy is inflation when ‘too much money chases too few goods’. This isn’t a risk though, when the output(goods) of an economy isn’t at a maximum as would be the case when there is unemployment. Because of this, a government backed Job Guarantee, would be not only obviously good for the individuals unemployed, but a great way to keep an otherwise unemployed workforce, skilled and available for the private sector when required.  

And this is the argument of Modern Monetary Theory(MMT), which supports not only a Job Guarantee but also government deficits. Deficits are seen as typical because the private sector, which would then be in surplus(graph above), values saving money for harder times. Such economic thinking, resulting in a great increase in the quality a society can produce, is strongly supported by the Metaphysics of Quality and why I’ve written about it here. MMT is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to the austerity being applied to many struggling economies around the world.

Major proponents of MMT are Stephanie Kelton who is presidential candidate Bernie Sanders chief economic advisor, as well as fellow Australian Bill Mitchell who coined the term ‘Modern Monetary Theory’ and who is currently pushing the UK Labour opposition party (under Jeremy Corbyn) to give MMT a go. You can follow them on Twitter via @stephaniekelton and @billmitchell.