- PALMYRION :: IN REAL LIFE
Name: -REDACTED- (I now know better than back in 2016/2017, champs!)
Birth year: 1999
Elementary/Primary: Bacolod Tay Tung High School (2006 - 2012)
High school/Secondary: Philippine Science High School - Western Visayas Campus (2012-2018)
Higher/Tertiary:Undergraduate: University of the Philippines - Diliman; B.Sc. Materials Engineering (2018-present)
Sexual/Romantic Orientation: Gray asexual/aromantic
Gender Identity and Expression: Masculine
TL;DR of sociopolitical values: Humanistic utilitarianist
Hello, NS! I'm Palmyrion, and this is a factbook about the guy behind Palmyrion. I now know better than to spill my name than on 2016/2017, when I essentially doxed my identity to everyone. Now, all I'm going to tell you about are my educational attainment, sexual/romantic orientation, gender identity and expression, and everything I can about my social, political, and economic convictions; my convictions are judged on and viewed through a humanistic utilitarianist scale and lens (respectively).
Utilitarianism focuses on outcomes to judge whether something is right or wrong; it is a form of consequentialism that states that the most ethical choice is one that produces maximum benefit for the most number of people. Humanism, on the other hand, upholds the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence over belief in dogma and hard superstition.
Thus, I seek to combine both - maximum, widespread utility, with the goal of improving human life and maintaining its quality, must be achieved in the most humane and cost-effective means possible.
Personal economic beliefs
Pro: (Progressive) capitalism (a la Stiglitz), Rhineland capitalism/social market economy
Neutral: Market socialism, free-market capitalism, distributism
Anti: State socialism, communism, laissez-faire capitalism, crony capitalism, corporatocracy
It has been proven, time and again, that free and responsible enterprise is the best means by which people can engage in socioeconomic activity. Such enterprise can best happen in a free market economy, but even the framework in which free and responsible enterprise can best exist has its flaws in the real world:
- 1. A maximally free market needs the maximally and perfectly humanistic and rational man - proverbially, a farsighted, patient, and rational, perhaps clinical, man of adamant self-discipline, who is willing to maintain stability and sustainability of profit even at the expense of short-term profit - to run both its governmental and entrepreneurial mechanisms, if only to be of humanely efficient long-term benefit to the wider public.
2. Such a man doesn't exist in the real world, because nothing is perfect in this real world. The perfectly rational man can't exist for that reason. All humans, myself included, are imperfect, and we sometimes make irrational decisions that we regret in the end. To make things worse, we have people like cronies, kleptocrats, and irresponsible, merciless entrepreneurs - essentially people who resort to unethical means to create and accumulate wealth.
3. Therefore, a maximally and perfectly free market does not and cannot exist.
Thus, in a real world, a market, when left to the anarchic mercy of the Second Law of Thermodynamics with its diverse flora and fauna of externalities and people both rational/ethical and irrational/unethical, will often not lead to what is best; the result is a populace in distress from riding the extreme roller-coaster of steep crests and troughs that is the "free market", and a government, as the guiding, regulatory, and arbitral oversight component of the government-market-populace triad that serves as the bare backbone of a state, taking the brunt of the blame and rage of the other two sectors for failing to serve its eponymous purpose: to govern. Clearly, the government has a role in keeping the markets in order; according to Joseph E. Stiglitz, some regulation and oversight is needed to make markets work. In light of that, the real debate is finding the right balance between free markets and governmental regulation and oversight; Joseph E. Stiglitz says that both the markets and the government can complement each other and work in harmonious concert if this delicate and fine balance, which itself morphs according to circumstance, is struck and maintained.
On the other hand, socialism has been proven to work - with disastrous results (this is like me saying a virus works with the disastrous result of severe illness or death to the victim). The textbook definition of socialism is a socioeconomic system wherein the means of production are in the hands of the people, which in practice has always meant the state. History is replete with socialism yielding disastrous outcomes time and again, which is a result of a detrimental degree of state control brought about by implementation of a command economy.
However, the concept of market socialism, involving the public, cooperative, or social ownership of the means of production in the framework of a market economy, may seem to be more viable than state socialism with a command economy - at least, when we are talking about how a number of market socialist elements have existed in various economies and seemed to work pretty decently, if perhaps lackluster compared to capitalist economies. The biggest problem with market socialism, for me, is how to pull off transferring the means of production to the people, ultimately resulting into the public, cooperative, or social ownership of the means of production, without resulting into a state-controlled command economy (which is what usually happens in practice).
At the end of the day, however, capitalism is but another passing economic system, another passing socioeconomic line of thought. In the future, capitalism will go the way of mercantilism and feudalism: it will be replaced by another socioeconomic system. Indeed this successor to capitalism would take lessons from the failure of (state) socialism, seeking not to repeat socialism and its grave failures. Capitalism's successor would also take cues from the world's recent spate of issues related to environmental damage, income inequality, generational poverty, workers' rights, governmental corruption, and market crashes and recessions. With the world putting more importance on Small/Medium Enterprises (and, to a lesser extent, the rise of cooperatives), a socialist can arguably say that the Marxist goal of putting the means of production in the hands of the workers is being realized, just not in the way Marx thought. Alternatively, distributists would perhaps argue the same.
What is your stance on universal healthcare?
As a humanistic utilitarianist, I see it more as a fiscal and socioeconomic policy than as something one can use in virtue-signalling; I do recognize the apparent benevolence and nobility behind its goals, however. It seeks to rethink of healthcare as a publicly-accessible and available asset, in the same sense that roads (and other public infrastructure) are made as publicly-accessible and available assets. The humanist side of universal healthcare is clear: it penultimately seeks to improve healthcare outcomes for people under its coverage (which, in practice, consists usually of the citizens of an implementing state). However, the utilitarianist side has its questions:
Does it provide maximum benefit?
Does it have maximum coverage?
The question of effectiveness relies equally on the answers to both questions. It benefits the populace by improving access to healthcare (which must be of good quality to begin with); its coverage, in practice, is nationwide in the places where it is implemented. As for the sub-question of quality, governments in practice do spend some of their healthcare money on research in medical science and technology, with some logistical optimization on the side to boot; the result of this is clear, as government-funded studies in all sorts of research facilities (to include state facilities) have yielded significant advances in the said field. All this philosophical theory is backed by real-world evidence of thriving universal healthcare systems.
Therefore, universal healthcare is, for all its unique strengths and flaws, cost effective.
Social and moral issues
Personally I believe that all Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus - people of religion basically - are homophobic male chauvinists (unless proven otherwise, which requires a great level of trust from me). You don't believe me? Go look up Lev 20:13, Deu 23:18, Romans 1:27, and 1 Cor 6:9-10 for starters.
Homosexuality and LGBT rights
And lately I've seen a whole lot of conservatives argue that homosexuality is immoral using natural law moral theory. The argument is based on the fact that homosexuality is a violation of the ergos, the telos, of sex because it has zero procreative potential. If such were true, and we were to use the logic behind this - procreative potential - as the basis for all sexual morality, then sex in sterile heterosexual marriages or even heterosexual anal, oral, and digital sex (fingering, dude, not cybersex) by fertile married couples would be immoral - but the conservatives seem to have no qualms condemning any sex acts done by a heterosexual couple regardless of this. Secondly, I barely hear from NLT conservatives and condemnation of heterosexual premarital sex, and with this I ask: why?. Although sterile marriages may be a minority, their introduction to the argument on sexual morality and natural law based on procreative capability has an enormous, if not disruptive, impact on the entirety of the argument.
Thus, arguing that homosexuality violates natural law because it has zero procreative capability is tenuous to the point of invalidity.
As for same sex marriage, I believe it's high time we gave such unions legal recognition. They should be given the same protections and responsibilities as heterosexual marriages are given today. Why? Why not? I have just shown up there how the natural law moral argument on homosexuality being immoral due to lack of procreative potential is tenuous, if not invalid. If marriage was meant to regulate sex, provide shared economic provision for both partners, perpetuate kinship groups, and provide an institution for the upbringing of children, why not grant same sex couples the opportunity to enter the "premier" institution of love and monogamy, to be part of and contributor to the family unit that is considered to be the basic building block of society? Studies have shown that kids raised by homosexual couples fare just as well as heterosexual couples, factoring in socioeconomic factors such as education level and finances. (You can also reuse some of these reasons to justify adoption of children by same sex couples.)
Now I am going to quote and address actual stuff (though not verbatim) I had in a Twitter debate with, you guessed, it, someone - who I guess is an Aussie of Pakistani/Indian ancestry - using the Natural Law Theory.
"It's a sliding scale. Infertile couples: a tunnel with a blockage at the exit. Homosexuality: a tunnel with no exit." - and the use of contraceptives is literally going into the tunnel and blowing up the exit yourself, if we are to go with your analogy of a tunnel. So, on this proposed "sliding scale" based on the proposed teleology of sex, infertility would be the "least" "immoral*" (a tunnel whose exit has a blockage there), homosexuality in the middle (no exit), and contraceptives at the "most" immoral end (literally blowing up the exit yourself). See how that gets reduced to absurdity?
*Imagine thinking safe, sane, and consensual sex, regardless of procreative potential between two or maybe more consenting parties is immoral!
"An exception can be made for married couples that have reared kids (thus having fulfilled the telos), because it fosters a bond between them, creating a space in which to raise children." It also fosters a bond between homosexual couples and pretty much any consensual (albeit nonmarital) couple, so what's your point? For gay couples that have adopted a child or two it would also foster a bond between the couple, creating a space in which they can raise their adopted children, nevermind the wealth of studies that prove how children raised by same sex couples have the same outcomes as those raised by heterosexual couples, factoring in educational attainment and socioeconomic standing. This exception also fails with the reduction by contraceptives I have placed above, because it will apply to any sex act regardless of whether or not it is done by a couple that have reared kids. Secondly, at which point - one kid, two kids, over 9,000 kids, or 410,757,864,530 kids that will be turned into dead cops - would you declare them to have completed their telos, their duty? Keep in mind replacement fertility is 2.1 kids according to the UN Pop Div, but that doesn't speak anything about at which point you would have declared them to have fulfilled their telos and allow them to have nonprocreative sex freely.