Saturday, August 22, 2015

Rational and Happy Eating

This is a reply to an FI email:

On Sat, Aug 8, 2015 at 3:16 PM, Justin Mallone <> wrote:

> Here are some arguments related to food and the enjoyment of its non-nutritional aspects. Plz crit.
> Arg A:
> (Food should follow function)
> 1. Food is a value because it sustains human life.
> 2. The actual function of food is providing nutrition.
> 3. Just like ROARK said about buildings, the type of food you eat should follow its function. And so it should not have irrelevant stuff like prestige presentations or a bunch of effort put into making tasty variety of foods.

what is the parallel for the tasty quality in the buildings analogy?

colors and designs, paintings/posters? AFAIK these are objectively good.

> 4. Therefore, nutritionally optimized food is objectively the BEST.

Taste is function. Not prestige. (I give an argument for this below.)

> 5. So something like is ftw QED.
> Arg B:
> (Taste is whim)
> 1. You need to live by reason in order to have a good rational life.
> 2. Living by reason involves having good thoughtful reasons for doing stuff and not indulging in WHIM.

this strikes me as saying:

> Living by reason involves acting on your justified ideas and suppressing your unjustified ideas.

[wrt epistemology:]

but ideas don't need justification. what they need is error-correction.

is the thing you're doing causing a problem?

if you think not, are you open to changing your mind about that? like when people give you criticism about the thing you're doing.

[wrt morality:]

suppressing your ideas means tcs-coercion/suffering. better to act on non-refuted ideas because thats the only way to prevent tcs-coercion/suffering.

> 3. There’s a good argument for eating food for nutritional reasons, which is that if u don’t u DIE, which is contrary to LIFE.
> 4. There’s no positive argument for valuing taste being a good/rational thing.

should we not listen to music too? is that the same kind of thing?

i think they're fine. i'm not aware of any conflicts between leading a good/rational life and listening to music or eating tasty food.

i mean, i'm not aware of any problems that listening to music or eating tasty food has for leading a good/rational life.

> 5. THEREFORE valuing taste is IRRATIONAL QED.

it doesn't make sense to talk of values or ideas being irrational.

rationality is about how one treats ideas.

it's ok to be wrong. what's not ok is acting like you can't be wrong.

> Arg C:
> (Don’t waste money)
> 1. One should use one’s wealth according to reason and not according to one’s whims.

this has the same problem i described above about suppressing your ideas.

> 2. Food that gives you the nutrition you need to survive is very cheap.
> 3. Any expenditure above what it takes to get nutrition you need to survive is a waste of money that could be better put to use for more worthwhile purposes.
> 4. Therefore buying say cheeseburgers over rice is typically irrational/immoral WHIM indulgence. Rice4Eva QED.

Eating can be mundane, but it's my best option for fueling my hunger.

I mean, maybe in the future we can press a button and nutrition is inserted into my blood. Or I eat a pill a few times a day and all the nutrition I need is in there. I think I could go for that. But right now I can't have that. So eating is my best option. So to make it less mundane, I spice it up. So I get a cheeseburger instead of rice.

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