diminuendo

diminuendo


— diminuendo Report User
Linkuigi 7 comments
diminuendo · 13 hours ago
That's fine. Which server are you in? I'm in NA (UID is 601461909)
Linkuigi 7 comments
diminuendo · 1 day ago
Awh lol, what's your AR (I'm at 36 rn)? I'd be willing to play with you but I play pretty slowly.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
For now I think I'll preemptively say that this isn't an argument worth continuing. We're not getting anywhere, that much is clear to me, and I don't think we'll be able to given that we seem to be working with vastly different philosophical approaches.
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This discussion has been quite fun. Have a nice day/night!
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
From my point of view, your arguments take a very large leap. It goes beyond just terminology. There is a specific thought process that makes you assert that violence is an expression of power. I would believe that you then believe that violence requires power, which you seem to affirm. So from there, my objective is to show that power as a concept cannot be a requirement for violence, particularly considering that we can come up with examples that counter a variety of conceptualizations of power. I took a semantics approach, particularly since using definitions and common-use connotations is the most straightforward manner of deciding what a term should mean in the broadest use of it. If we can't conceptualize power in a way that will work in every instance of violence, then we can't claim that power is absolutely a requirement for violence.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
Yes, reality is often much more mysterious and nuanced that I take in my examples. We haven't modeled the world perfectly, that we know based on the fact that we have an entire field of study dedicated to estimating the possible variance between our perfect-world calculations and what could happen in the real world. But that is quite beside the point when we model real-world behaviors. Our models provide a framework, and from there we have something to investigate. My objective is to aim for the model. If we can't prove that something works on a basic level, we can't prove it always works for specific cases.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
I don't think you're being deliberately willful, but you haven't addressed my examples straightforwardly. You added factors I had already dismissed for the sake of the argument, such as rare incidents and blindness, which I take to mean either damage to the nerves or photoreceptors in the eyes. While I do dismiss a lot of things in my example, the point of it is to show why we can't just dismiss abilities from an armchair point of view. And from there, without being able to dismiss abilities based on whether they are expressed, we can't claim that power is a necessary requirement to do violence.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
Whether or not an ability is intrinsic or environment-dependent is irrelevant to whether it is expressible. Any ability that is not merely theoretical is expressible, even if it's left unexpressed. Every person with two arms and two hands have the ability to clap them together. But if they never clap their hands in their life, despite showing amazing dexterity, can we say that that ability to clap is a mere theory? They clearly have the motor functions and range of motion to clap their hands together in front, back, and to the side of them. That potential is not just theoretical-- we can prove that it is real, but left unexpressed. After all, all we need to show is that their motion range allows their palms to press against each other.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
We call the "theory of gravity" a theory because we can't unconditionally prove that it is an innate property of everything. We can inductively assume so-- every object within our solar system seems to exhibit the same attraction properties that we see objects have to Earth, so we can retroactively say that at least every object within the solar system exhibit this concept we call gravity. We haven't come across a counterexample yet, so the inductive logic still applies. We can, on the other hand, prove that sharp teeth and strong jaws unconditionally lead to torn flesh on a human. Beyond mere inductive reasoning, we can use physics to demonstrate that the force of the jaws closing, combined with the teeth, will result in torn flesh. Since such a thing will cause bleeding and will lead to death by blood loss or infection, we can consider this dangerous beyond a theory.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
For better or for worse, when we refer to potential, we must not consider it as merely theoretical when we don't directly observe an effect. The potential to be dangerous is still quite dangerous. But what we can do is justify why we don't consider that potential to be threatening in specific circumstances-- a pet dog typically will never be dangerous to its human companion, because the human formed a sufficient emotional bond to make it consider them inviolable. But the dog can still yet hurt an intruder if it believes that the intruder can violate its inviolable human companion. That potential is not theoretical up until that point. We cannot justify that, because that would necessarily imply that we can't directly prove that the dog can be dangerous. Their teeth and jaw strength alone are sufficient proof of the dog's potential to harm (as long as neither are damaged beyond usability).
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
I don't believe we can label potential as merely theoretical. A suspended piano has every potential to fall, but we don't write that potential off as merely theoretical. It is real, regardless of whether we take measures to stop it from falling. If the piano is just floating in the air with no other support helping it, we have a justifiable reason to say that the piano's potential to fall is theoretical. We don't know what's holding it up, or if it needs to be held up at all. But when we suspend the piano ourselves with ropes, cranes, and any other necessary equipment to stop its descent, we don't reduce its potential to fall to a mere theory. We know that its potential to fall is strikingly real, and failure to stop it from falling will result in a pretty bad outcome. In the best case scenario, we just get a pay cut.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
Ignoring the idea that there could be other agents in our room, what can we say about our person's visual abilities? If we assume that all of their organs are undamaged, then clearly their eyes are still trying to process any of the information they receive. But the information they need to construct an image-- light-- is the determining factor of whether we can claim that our person is able to see. But we can do a variety of observations on our person before they are given light, and we know (for the sake of the argument) that their eyes are capable of receiving light. What do we say about their potential ability to see, then? It is more than just theoretical-- it is real, but not demonstrated, in the same way that the destructive power of modern nuclear bombs is real, but never seen.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
I think I will say that ability is not always intrinsic. There are times when an ability is gained or lost due to the environment. If, for example, you placed a person in a completely dark room, we could say that they don't have the ability to see. Our vision relies on at least a little bit of light being present and reaching our eyes. Without that light, we can't perceive what is in front of us-- we don't have the ability to see what's in front of us. Place even the weakest candle in that room, and our person in the dark room will be able to see. Their ability to see has been gained, due to the presence of one other condition necessary for that ability.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
I realize that not everyone argues with a high focus on specifics, but I do not believe that your arguments held in every context. My hope was to show that by focusing on specific versions of power, I could show that the use of the term "power" to describe a condition to be able to do violence is contradictory on some level. It may not be a contradiction if we view power in a very specific lens, though my hope is that we don't also distort other terms around it without good reason. But so far, I will say that I do think that your arguments inflate power beyond mere ability. When you also consider circumstances and unknown factors, we go past saying "mere ability" or "mere power" (as is found in the dictionary). We enter an argument of conditionals and what-ifs, something I want to avoid since we can go into any variety of what-if scenarios. Descartes found that out very quickly with his "we cannot prove we are not in a dream" thought experiment.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
As for the majority of your other arguments-- perhaps the confusion lies in the fact that you're referring to power in various different contexts, and are (to me) conflating them into a mysterious catch-all concept. Power as energy is not synonymous with power as ability, and power as political authority is not synonymous with power as political ability (we usually consider most young children as politically inept, but in cases of absolute monarchies we see them ascend to positions of political authority). This is, perhaps, the main issue I take with your arguments so far. You use power in many different ways, each of which are intrinsically different. My arguments focus on very specific kinds of power, definitions that I hope are at least somewhat clear and cannot be confused for another.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
If you mean "invalid" as in "not expressed," then I think I would have to disagree with your choice of terms. Not only is it confusing, it is difficult to work with since "valid" and "invalid" necessarily imply some sort of truth value, while "expressed" and "unexpressed" only refer to states of being. While I can grant that expression and non-expression are dichotomous, this does not mean that we can simply label one as "true" and the other "false" (or in this case, "valid" and "invalid"). There must be something more to why you would label the expression of abilities as valid and the non-expression of abilities as necessarily invalid.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
I'm interested in your thought that an ability (as potential) is not valid unless expressed. It is my understanding that an ability is always valid, regardless of whether it is expressed. Take some infant, named Baby A, that is old enough to crawl, but hasn't yet. Do we say that Baby A's ability to crawl is invalid? Now take Baby B, another infant who has crawled at some point. Clearly Baby B has expressed their ability to crawl, but does that make that ability "valid"? What does "valid" mean in this sense? Does it mean "realized"? Or does it mean "existent"? If we take the latter ("existent"), then clearly Baby A's ability is also valid. It exists, but remains unexpressed. If we take the former ("realized"), then we get into a solipsistic argument about what it means to realize an ability.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
If we try to take the qualitative power, we get a redundancy. We may as well say "the ability to do violence" and mean precisely what we meant to say if we tried to use "the power to do violence" to mean "the ability to cause an effect that constitutes violence." We're talking in meaningless circles when we try to inflate what it means to be capable of violence, and then we muddy the waters when we attempt to introduce additional baggage to the word "power" when we previously did not add that baggage in our definitions.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
I believe that I can apply this same logic to violence. We are not always violent to other living organisms. We can be violent to nonliving objects, and we in fact include harm against nonliving objects in our everyday use of violence. We can do violence to a table, perhaps by taking an axe to it or using our fists to try to break it apart. Does that mean that the table has some innate ability that we are overshadowing with our own abilities? Of course not, we don't take that nonliving objects have abilities. Furthermore, quantitative power forces us to prove that at least some of our abilities overshadows *at least one* of the table's. If the table has no ability, how can we say that we have power over it? So quantitative power is not a requirement to do violence.
· Edited 3 weeks ago
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
Taking the broadest quantitative definition I proposed-- whose abilities are being overshadowed in order for our swimmer to have the power to swim? In most cases, there are none. So quantitative power is not viable to use as a condition to swim. With that out of the way, we're left with only "the ability to swim" as the condition for swimming.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
To make my point clearer-- we often say that one has the ability to swim, but not the power to swim. Why is that? The reason, I think, is clear. Ability is not power. They are necessarily different concepts, and therefore should be treated as so. The mere ability to swim is qualitative. We make no additional judgements whether or not one can swim in relation to others. But when we say "the power to swim," we must necessarily think of why we need a narrower understanding of ability. Swimming does cause an effect-- it propels your body forward when submerged in liquids and without ground to step on. But then the literal qualitative definition of power becomes a redundancy; we can say "the ability to swim" just fine and mean precisely the same thing. But if we consider the additional connotations of power, "the power to swim" becomes a vastly different statement.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
So then even this, the broadest quantifiable definition of power, fails in at least one case, and therefore cannot be considered the end-all condition for any act of violence. We can say that it fulfills a conditional definition of violence, if we intend on expanding or redefining violence to take on a couple of new connotations. But the matter of the fact is that violence in its most general understanding is merely harm done with intention. Intentional harm may require agency, but that agency does not require quantifiable power. And, as I have already stated before, the literal definition of qualitative power ("the ability to cause an effect") is trivial when used as a condition for violence. We can say equally "the ability" and "the power" to do harm, but each take on different connotations that change what it means to do violence.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
I believe we both have discussed situations in which this is the exact opposite. If we take a snake to necessarily be the predator and a mouse to be the prey, then the snake ought to have abilities that overshadows the mouse's. For example, the snake's ability to slither may outpace the mouse's ability to run; and the snake's ability to constrict may stop the mouse's ability to claw at it. By this definition of power, the snake clearly has the power to hurt, kill, and eat the mouse (therefore doing violence). However, the mouse can still fight back, despite the disadvantages. In the cases where the mouse does kill the snake, can we say that the mouse had more power than the snake? The answer, I think, is no, since the mouse may still die of its wounds soon after. We cannot retroactively say that the mouse had greater power either, since we have already established that the snake must have more power than the mouse in order for it to be capable of preying on the mouse.
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
For now let's ignore all the potential problems and take power to be "an ability that can be expressed over the abilities of others," since it is at least theoretically quantifiable. This is still a narrower term than "ability," and again restricts the idea of violence arbitrarily. I'm going to work from here on assuming that "the ability to live" is not a valid ability, as that is a generalization that encompasses a variety of other abilities (the ability to breath, eat, move, and so on). So when we take violence to require this kind of power, we must then show that in every instance of violence, at least one of the attacker's abilities overshadows enough of the victim's to enable the attacker to do violence. If the victim has enough abilities to overshadow the attacker's, however, the attacker cannot have "the power to do violence" to the victim.
· Edited 3 weeks ago
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
When you attempt to abstract power to mere ability, you get a contradiction. Mere ability is not quantifiable at all, and therefore cannot be placed in a dynamic nature. Proficiency may be quantifiable, but we're not dealing with proficiency, so that definition of ability is irrelevant to us. So when we seek to understand power in terms of a power dynamic, as I believe you are, we cannot be working with the idea that power is simply ability. Power must necessarily be more than just ability. If we instead define power to be "an ability that can be expressed over the abilities of others," then we get a quantifiable definition that we can use in a similar manner to the above definition of "the ability of one species to consistently eat the other species." Even this might be too broad to work with-- what abilities are we taking into account? How narrowly do we define what an ability is, and how many abilities must be oppressed before we determine that one thing has more power than another?
I’m in danger, Benny probably 189 comments
diminuendo · 3 weeks ago
1. "Macro" organism, not micro.
2. I disagree. A power dynamic absolutely requires our concept of "power" to be theoretically quantitative, otherwise we have no means of comparing and ranking every party involved in the dynamic. In the conventional sense of who hunts what, the "power dynamics" of predation is typically one-way (namely, predator > prey). In some cases it may be two-way, for example Organism A may be simultaneously the prey and predator of Organism B (this is usually the case for cannibalistic species). We clearly define power here as "the ability of one species to consistently eat the other species," which gives us a clear power dynamic since we can compare two organisms in a true/false manner. If A can eat B, then A has more power than B. If A and B can both eat each other, then A has the same power as B. If A does not eat B, no conclusion can be drawn. No exact numbers, but this comparison makes this idea of power theoretically quantifiable.