Kris Christenson

Chicago, IL, United States

About Kris

Bio

I am a student composer currently working toward my MA in Music Composition at the CCPA of Roosevelt University. I have an almost unhealthy fascination with knowledge. I love learning in general but particularly learning about knowledge (how it is gained and what it is) and how things tick. This is why I am drawn to music theory. Music was my first fascination, that I developed while sitting in the back seat of my mom's car, listening to the oldie's station. I started trying to figure music out then and never stopped.

An idea worth spreading

Art is a physical manifestation of an intellectual construct. Since there is no limit to what our mind can construct with time and effort, there should be no limitations on art.

I'm passionate about

Learning (above all), music, knowledge, beer.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Kris Christenson
Posted about 2 years ago
The source of morality
I misspoke a little bit when I said all humans are in a symbiotic relationship with one another. What I should have said is that all humans are in symbiotic with others they consider part of their group. It was early in the morning. Yes, I would absolutely agree that in fact most of the time people don't use their logic to discern what is best. Tribalism is alive and well today, only it's been transformed into the nation/state system. Most people, I think, stick to the more instinctual moral code which is essentially based on protecting your own group and ideas that you associate with your group. They don't use logic to justify their actions, they only do what they're told. I think changing that is a huge and necessary step toward a more prosperous society.
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Kris Christenson
Posted about 2 years ago
The source of morality
Hmm, well the first thing that comes is tribalism. Packs of animals in the wild often fight each other over resources. So then we will tend to identify killing "others" as a good thing. For example, many people (myself not included) believe that wars to protect the nation are a good thing. By extension of this, the deaths of "enemies" in war are identified as "good". So if a person identifies "best for my group" as "aligned with my ideas of god," then it becomes quite easy to justify the deaths of people who don't subscribe to their idea of god. Keep in mind, however, this is a theory of the origin of our sense of morality, not what is actually moral. We have since gained the ability to use logic and discern a "best" that is based on higher order thinking rather than instinct. If we understand why we believe in morality then we can work toward finding the best morality.
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Kris Christenson
Posted about 2 years ago
The source of morality
I've often thought about the same and at one point I came up with this description based on Darwinism. It too is flawed but provides an objective basis for morality based in nature: In nature there are solitary animals and group animals. Solitary animals tend to have much greater strength and more effective weapons like claws and fangs. Group animals adapted to live in groups because they lack the physical prowess to live solitary lives. Now, compared to most animals, humans are incredibly weak and ill-equipped for self defense. I believe the two greatest reasons that we have had such success are our intellect and our adoption of group dynamics, both of which have now been taken to the extreme. Solitary animals must have a complete lack of compassion, or they will certainly be slaughtered. Group animals, on the other hand must be able to recognize when it is appropriate to protect another and when it is appropriate to kill another. I believe this may be the natural basis for our built in sense of good and bad, as in these packs it is good to protect one who protects the group and it is good to kill one who threatens the group. Our society is merely an extension of the pack, so we now take the principles of group dynamics learned from pack behavior and apply them to how we should treat one another. From this, all humans have a symbiotic relationship with one another and morals are based on protecting your relationship with others.
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Kris Christenson
Posted over 2 years ago
Is there good that is not based in knowledge and evil that is not based in ignorance?
There may be something to that. Knowledge equating to good would imply that greater knowledge would lead to greater good but it would seem that choosing to preserve yourself would not be an act of good. Of course, if we consider it from a utilitarian standpoint then it would actually be better to not save the person as if the car explodes while you are inside then you have twice as many deaths as you would have if you simply left them. Which means were more or less left with considering it in term of deontology. So then the question is do you have a duty to save a person in a burning car? If you do then Socrates' quote is not entirely correct, but if we're not duty bound to rescue people then it becomes unclear which is better; self sacrifice or self preservation. I'll have to take this one into consideration. Thank you.
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Kris Christenson
Posted over 2 years ago
Is there good that is not based in knowledge and evil that is not based in ignorance?
No, there cannot be a human act that is completely uninfluenced by human knowledge, that was my point about your burning car scenario. What I'm positing is that it's not the knowledge a person has that leads to the evil, it's the ignorance they have. To clarify, I am not supporting this position based on faith, I raised this question in an attempt to find a scenario that actually disproves it, which as of yet I have not found.
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Kris Christenson
Posted over 2 years ago
Is there good that is not based in knowledge and evil that is not based in ignorance?
Yes, it is the combination of the knowledge and the ignorance that leads to the terrorist act, meaning if the ignorance was challenged and they gained greater knowledge the act would not occur, making it the ignorance that causes the knowledge to be used incorrectly. As for the burning car, the pieces of knowledge I stated that they have are not knowledge that they gain in that moment but rather knowledge they gained prior to the event. They then use their knowledge to recognize the person needs help. As I said before, if they did not know it was a dangerous situation they would not know the person needs help and so would not give their help. Yes, they may not have all the pertinent knowledge but they have enough to recognize that the person needs help.
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Kris Christenson
Posted over 2 years ago
Is there good that is not based in knowledge and evil that is not based in ignorance?
Knowing how to build bombs is not evil in and of itself. I know how to build several different kinds of bombs but being a pretty radical pacifist I would never choose to harm another human being. In cases of the misuse of knowledge the particular belief that needs to be taken into account is the one that motivated the individual to commit the act. In the case of a terrorist it would be the false belief that their view point, or cause, or whatever they're fighting for justifies the deaths of innocents. This false belief is a form of ignorance. As for pulling a person out of a burning car, if you don't know the situation is dangerous would you feel any need to help them? When you see the trapped victim, you recognize that the situation is dangerous (which is a justified true belief and therefore knowledge) and that if the victim is left in the flames they will die (again this is knowledge).