A Challenge for Moral Realists
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29-12-2015, 02:47 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(29-12-2015 01:57 PM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  The peaceful advancement of all existence. What else?

Ahhh... you mean like the religious wars advancing peace [sic] in India with the Animists, Christians, Hindus, and Muslims, or the Shiite Muslims, Sunni Muslims, and Yazidi in Iraq, or Gaza with the Jews, Muslims, and Christians, or the Christians and Muslims in the Philippines, or Sri Lanka with the Buddhists and Hindus, or Sudan with Animists, Christians and Muslims, or the Animists, Christians, and Muslims in Uganda?

—What would we do without the moral guidance of the theist world?

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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29-12-2015, 03:23 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(29-12-2015 02:47 PM)SYZ Wrote:  
(29-12-2015 01:57 PM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  The peaceful advancement of all existence. What else?

Ahhh... you mean like the religious wars advancing peace [sic] in India with the Animists, Christians, Hindus, and Muslims, or the Shiite Muslims, Sunni Muslims, and Yazidi in Iraq, or Gaza with the Jews, Muslims, and Christians, or the Christians and Muslims in the Philippines, or Sri Lanka with the Buddhists and Hindus, or Sudan with Animists, Christians and Muslims, or the Animists, Christians, and Muslims in Uganda?

—What would we do without the moral guidance of the theist world?
Don't forget conflicts like Bosnia-Croatia, where the devout killed each other over who was the right kind of devout.

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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29-12-2015, 05:20 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(29-12-2015 12:45 PM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  Selflessness.

Lack of greed or want.

Want of want?

Dodgy

Tell me, oh guru, I have attained selflessness and I have no greed (except maybe for that second helping of bread and butter pudding) as I have no possessions of any value but I have a question ... do you want me to eliminate all want, wheresoever I find it, or are you preaching that I should exhibit desirouslessness?

Just checking.

Hobo

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29-12-2015, 05:41 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(29-12-2015 12:45 PM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  Selflessness.

Lack of greed or want.

Nonsense, there are benefits of greed and want. Lack of greed or want is not even close to being an objectively moral thing.




Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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29-12-2015, 05:57 PM (This post was last modified: 29-12-2015 06:02 PM by mordant.)
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(29-12-2015 07:12 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I think that some of the atheists here believe that:

moral = promotes civil society/reduces suffering

immoral = promotes uncivil society/increases suffering

And not only that, I think a lot of members believe that it is a fact that people should behave morally instead of immorally (by the above definitions).
It is not "a fact that people should". It is simply desirable to do so according to society.
(29-12-2015 07:12 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Basically, if you think that there are right and wrong ways to navigate through life (as Sam Harris does, (I'm still a big fan of Sam Harris, I just happen to disagree with him on this point)), then you are a moral realist.
I don't use the terms "right and wrong" because they are too loaded. I simply think there are more or less desirable things according to a general societal consensus. Or if you prefer, certain actions possess different combinations of benefits and harms from society's viewpoint.
(29-12-2015 07:12 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  It all comes back to Hume's - you can't get an ought from an is, or a value from a fact. The word "moral" if it means anything at all, it means what ought to be done, and immoral, what ought to be avoided. The real question is, is there any way to determine what is moral and immoral? Hume says no (and I agree), if you say yes, then there is still much disagreement.
I don't think there is an objective way to determine that any given action or choice has the property of being moral or immoral, nor do I think morality is an attribute of any action. The same act can be moral or immoral, loving or unloving, can induce suffering or pleasure, depending on context, who the actors are, what the motivations are, who does or doesn't get permission, etc.

The struggle with determining the morality in any context for any action is that it's always a somewhat (and often quite) subjective process. The legal system is an example of how we deal with some of those ambiguities. Other times, usually for less consequential things, society just makes arbitrary decisions such as whether belching at a meal reflects rudeness or appreciation, and leaves enforcement to social reciprocity, shaming and shunning.

I have been reading about Danish society and an interesting fact about the Danes is that they have very high levels of trust among themselves. It's hard to lose a wallet in Denmark because people are always looking out for each other and someone will chase you down and give you your wallet before you even know it's missing. Danish mothers routinely park baby strollers, with babies in them, outside stores while they go in and shop. A Danish mother tried that in New York City once and found her child taken into protective custody. Is it immoral or even neglectful or careless to leave your baby outside the store? Depends on where you try to do it, which is heavily influenced by things such as what the implicit, evolved social contract is in that locale.

Now to Hume's rhetorical question I would say there's no way to determine if action is moral in the sense that you can hold it up by some means point to some property of the action called "morality" that's either true or false. However particular actions in particular sufficiently understood and described situations and scopes can be said to be moral or immoral, less in a binary way than in maybe a score of -100 to 100 where -100 is completely harmful and 100 is completely beneficial and zero is neutral; or maybe even separate harm and benefit scores that vary independently in different situations. Even there you'd get different values for that score from different persons, organizations or legal systems. This is not enough to answer Hume that morality can be objectively determined but it is more than enough to say that society can make effective determinations for its own benefit and preservation.
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29-12-2015, 09:33 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(28-12-2015 08:07 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(28-12-2015 05:50 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I would still say no. Even laws don't tell me how to behave, they just tell me what possible consequences might arise from certain behaviors. There is no moral obligation to follow the law.
Nonsense. In my experience most people experience a sense of obligation to follow laws and norms and that sense of obligation increases with how consequential a particular norm or law is. Social reciprocity makes my neighbors mow their lawns and put out their recycling and park their cars in the appropriate places. They do this because they want OTHERS to do the same things in ways that don't annoy or inconvenience THEM. Of course there is always one idiot who lets his place turn to crap and for him we have neighborhood association rules and mechanisms to compel him to take those things seriously and uphold his obligation to the rest of us.

Attaching the adjective "moral" to the noun "obligation" doesn't perform some sort of magic on "obligation", in fact "moral" is largely superfluous and a ruthless editor would remove it. Obligations are mini social contracts, often implicit, and arise organically from social interaction. Collectively we call the thousands of obligations we have to each other "morality" or "mores". It is not the individual obligations but being faithful to the whole set of them that is "moral". We are immoral to the extent we don't live up to all our obligations.

One could easily live up to all but one obligation, and be heinously immoral.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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29-12-2015, 11:10 PM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2015 07:27 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(29-12-2015 05:41 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(29-12-2015 12:45 PM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  Selflessness.

Lack of greed or want.

Nonsense, there are benefits of greed and want. Lack of greed or want is not even close to being an objectively moral thing.





Gekko oversells it a bit, but that's the point.


Desire is amoral, it can be 'moral' or 'immoral' depending not only on context, but also on how you gauge morality. It is hardly objective, outside of all humans having desires; but what we desire, how much, and to what extent we'll go to get it? There's a huge spectrum of possibilities.

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29-12-2015, 11:16 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(29-12-2015 07:47 AM)Banjo Wrote:  KILL EVERYONE UNTIL ONE PERSON IS LEFT!

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30-12-2015, 06:09 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(29-12-2015 11:10 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(29-12-2015 05:41 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Nonsense, there are benefits of greed and want. Lack of greed or want is not even close to being an objectively moral thing.





Gekko oversells it a bit, but that's the point.


Desire is amoral, it can be 'moral' or 'immoral' depending not only on context, but also on how you gauge morality. It's is hardly objective, outside of all humans having desires; but what we desire, how much, and to what extent we'll go to get it? There's a huge spectrum of possibilities.
Who said desire was moral ? Not me. Sure didn't say it was objective.
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30-12-2015, 06:24 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(30-12-2015 06:09 AM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  
(29-12-2015 11:10 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Gekko oversells it a bit, but that's the point.


Desire is amoral, it can be 'moral' or 'immoral' depending not only on context, but also on how you gauge morality. It's is hardly objective, outside of all humans having desires; but what we desire, how much, and to what extent we'll go to get it? There's a huge spectrum of possibilities.
Who said desire was moral ? Not me. Sure didn't say it was objective.


Seriously, are your reading comprehension skills really this bad?

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