The social pay-off of Idealism

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The social pay-off of Idealism

Prof. James Tartaglia, PhD

Quote:Firstly, idealism has no commitment to gods or spirits, only to the existential primacy of conscious experience—or, at least, that’s the kind of idealism I’m talking about, there are others...

...I think the idealist interpretation of reality is the best we’ve got, and I have no religious beliefs and do not believe in anything supernatural; never have, and unless something very unexpected happens, never will.

Quote:Secondly, materialism is not science, it’s not even close—materialism provides a metaphysical interpretation of what science tells us about the world, just as idealism does...

Quote:Thirdly, idealism is not saying that solid things, like rocks and pebbles, are wispy and immaterial things, akin to clouds or puffs of smoke...Okay then, so what is idealism saying about rocks and pebbles? It’s saying we are part of a universe of pure conscious experience, and that believing in the physical existence of rocks and pebbles allows humans to get their bearings in that ocean of sentience...

Quote:As our population becomes increasingly philosophical, thanks to idealism, people could be expected to take much more interest in technological development and how it is being used to shape the human future. They might start taking a view on how technological development ought to be happening, views which might feed into democratic politics. Then, the next thing you know, the human race is coordinating their technological development, which has become firmly focused on refining and improving our experiences, so that there’s more love, beauty, ecstasy, and cleverness around, but less hate, ugliness, boredom and stupidness...

I though the defense of Idealism made some good points, but I am not convinced by the supposed social benefits. Idealists can be in support of AI being conscious, as Donald Hoffman has argued for that position. It might also make people dive deeper into their fictional worlds rather than shift away from them.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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