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# Relativism

Like marginalia, I don't know how to build software. Not only that, I also don't know how to live my life.

=> gemini://marginalia.nu/log/57-dont-know-how-to-build-software.gmi marginalia - I don't know how to build software

There are endless ways to live, endless moral creeds to cling to. Within each realm of knowledge, there is even deeper room for division. For example, if everyone was an atheist, we would still divide ourselves along narrower ideological lines.

Everyone has a deeper view of the world than what programming language they use. This view shapes the way we see everything, not just our favorite tools. I think marginalia reveals something deeper about the state of humanity: we are all informed by limited experiences. None of us can fairly understand everyone else's way of viewing the world. The most we can get is a shallow view of them all.

We work within a framework that is just one permutation of endless circumstantial factors: where we were born, who our parents are, our friends, our personality, our bodies, and so much more. We can't fully understand someone else's life. We don't understand all of their experiences. It's psychologically impossible to fully emulate someone's brain. We hope to catch glimpses and use those to relate.

How do we know truth? If we are inherently limited, how do we know the best moral framework? Or simply which framework to use?

Theists say we must seek God. Humanists say we must choose a framework that suits society best. Nihilists pretend not to care.

Perfect judgements require perfect knowledge. Science avoids this by working with probabilities: if an experiment runs the same way in one environment, it will likely do the same under the same conditions again. But perfect experiments can't be done without perfect knowledge and perfect control.

How should we live? According to what works for us? What about people who choose something conflicting? Should we try to convert them?

Ideas are tools. They are frameworks for understanding the world. Just as I shouldn't pressure you to try a certain hammer, I shouldn't try to reshape your mind in my own image.

But some tools cause more harm than others. What do we do about those?


~ Josias, 2022-05-13 (CC-BY-SA)