A Challenge for Moral Realists
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03-01-2016, 02:07 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 01:52 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  While you might try and find ways to encourage your children to be nice, but the more significant part here, is to why you desire they be nice in the first place. You don't have to be nice to be successful, or even popular. Even a bully can be quite popular, and a nice guy can finish dead last.
It's pretty simple, really, I wanted my children to be pleasant to be around, for myself and others; to be a net positive for society. Social reciprocity explains it just fine.

I was not interested in their popularity or material success, those were "nice to have if you can get it" kinds of things but not indicators of failure if you don't have them. I believe in civility, kindness and empathy because I like experiencing them more than not experiencing them ... admire those who exhibit those things more than those who do not ... think they are better and more admirable and sustainable motivations than the alternatives. Also it's my experience that living that way makes me happier and more self actualized. Wishing my children to have those same self-feelings, I taught them the same values and priorities. Not because they were inherently "right" but because I understand them to sustainably promote the sort of civil society I want myself and my children to live in. And to promote personal contentment and sense of accomplishment.
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03-01-2016, 02:07 PM
A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 02:06 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 01:58 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Making a society's morals congruent with their laws and customs.

Society A will judge society B as immoral. Society B will judge society A as immoral. But each will judge themselves as moral. You couldn't have picked a better example to show morals as relative and subjective. Thumbsup

So, did either society make an improvement?

You said that morality is a "system that improves by evolving". I guess I'm challenging your claim. I fully understand that societies change, but how do you know if an improvement has been made?

(basically, I'm accusing you of being a moral realist)

They both made changes to their societies based on their morals and both would say they've improved, yes.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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03-01-2016, 02:08 PM
A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 02:05 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 01:59 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  And you can find those calling it morally good (those people still exist mind you. They see the US's slavery as having been a good thing for the black population).

Keep cherry picking. It suits you.

And those who believe it's morally good are wrong, just like folks who believe the earth is flat are wrong. You'd have believe all sorts of lies to try and render it as a good thing.

Even Lee observes that those that are enlightened, acknowledge the evil of slavery.

Your assertion without evidence is unsurprising.

You assume objectivity with respect to morality and live in a black and white world. Your simplistic views and opinions are not based on reality but your biased opinion. Keep jamming that round peg into that square hole.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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03-01-2016, 02:10 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 02:07 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 02:06 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  So, did either society make an improvement?

You said that morality is a "system that improves by evolving". I guess I'm challenging your claim. I fully understand that societies change, but how do you know if an improvement has been made?

(basically, I'm accusing you of being a moral realist)

They both made changes to their societies based on their morals and both would say they've improved, yes.

I can buy that. Thumbsup
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03-01-2016, 02:10 PM
A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 02:10 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 02:07 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  They both made changes to their societies based on their morals and both would say they've improved, yes.

I can buy that. Thumbsup

I should hope so Thumbsup

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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03-01-2016, 02:14 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 01:58 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 01:54 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I'm not doubting that societies change over time.....

Let's use a different example using hypothetical societies.

Society "A" passes a law that makes gay marriage legal (whereas it was illegal), and society "B" passes a law that makes it illegal (whereas it was legal). Did they both make an improvement? Did neither make an improvement? (I guess it's your use of the word "improvement" that's throwing me off lol Big Grin)

Making a society's morals congruent with their laws and customs.

Society A will judge society B as immoral. Society B will judge society A as immoral. But each will judge themselves as moral. You couldn't have picked a better example to show morals as relative and subjective. Thumbsup
But of course that's just a superficial helicopter view.
Society isn't a thinking entity, society is a collection of thinking entities.

For example in NZ prostitution is legal, however there are many NZ citizens who consider prostitution to be immoral despite the laws and despite the popular opinion. These individuals do not consider that prostitution is moral within the NZ society. And they are correct, because morality isn't defined at the society level. Morality is a personal belief.
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03-01-2016, 02:15 PM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2016 02:21 PM by Anjele.)
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 02:02 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 01:28 PM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  I am Noone.

Equivalent to nothing but what God has imparted. I am not God in any way shape or form. The things that have been shown to me are by the will of God, thankfully, somewhat regardless of my own will.

So God speaks to you personally?

How do you know it wasn't mental illness?

How did you determine that it was "god"? If you believe in the supernatural then how do you know it wasn't the devil?

If you assume it was god, you are believing that the creator of the entire universe, the being that composed DNA, that devised astrophysics, gravity, the ultimate being, speaks to you.

Not only does he speak to you, but he doesn't speak to the rest of us.

Worse, he doesn't give you the arguments that would convince us.

Personal revelation is only relevant for that person. It cannot help anyone else.

You may have missed other threads where the story has been told of Pop's drug use and his revelation - not that those two things could be related or anything. Undecided

We've not done the same drugs, in the same amount, at the same time...therefore we weren't part of this glorious enlightenment. No

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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03-01-2016, 02:18 PM
A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 02:14 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 01:58 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Making a society's morals congruent with their laws and customs.

Society A will judge society B as immoral. Society B will judge society A as immoral. But each will judge themselves as moral. You couldn't have picked a better example to show morals as relative and subjective. Thumbsup
But of course that's just a superficial helicopter view.
Society isn't a thinking entity, society is a collection of thinking entities.

For example in NZ prostitution is legal, however there are many NZ citizens who consider prostitution to be immoral despite the laws and despite the popular opinion. These individuals do not consider that prostitution is moral within the NZ society. And they are correct, because morality isn't defined at the society level. Morality is a personal belief.

Yes, morality exists at the personal level and can be extrapolated out to the level of society (we make laws and rules and have customs for a reason). I've never accused a society of being a single thinking entity, but it is composed of many who can agree on moral questions.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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03-01-2016, 02:19 PM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2016 02:24 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 02:08 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Your assertion without evidence is unsurprising.

You assume objectivity with respect to morality and live in a black and white world. Your simplistic views and opinions are not based on reality but your biased opinion. Keep jamming that round peg into that square hole.

Morality translated into practice, into political positions and movements, tend to be quite complex. It's why you can have the man leading the charge to preserve it's institution, can also be a man who sees the evil in it.

Morality is not always a matter of black and white, there is great deal of grey. But in some case it is. No one particularly finds the question of torturing babies just for fun, as a moral grey area. When you ask children about examples of other kids hurting other kids, or acting unfairly, they don't finds themselves in a grey area, but just black and white.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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03-01-2016, 02:19 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 01:52 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 01:25 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Depends....

My wife is about 7 weeks pregnant with our first, so this is something I will have to work out.

I might say something like, "you should be nice to other children because you want them to be nice to you, and the best way to get people to be nice to you is to be nice to them."

We'll probably do the whole Santa Claus thing too...."be nice because Santa's watching etc..."

Probably be some "be nice because I said so dammit!", as well.

When my child does become old enough to understand, I would explain that as far as I can tell, there is no right or wrong way to live your life. I would be honest and tell him/her that no one has answers to the big questions...such as: Why are we here? What are we supposed to do with our lives? etc... And that for all we know, there might not be answers to such questions.

I think, even though you prefer to avoid the word, what you in the end here desire for your children, is probably no different that what my father desired of me, or what I desire for my own children. To be good, to value kindness over cruelty, to be honest, considerate of others, to be fair, to be just etc.... At the end of the day the reason why your son being bullied is troubling, is that you don't want your child to embody the sort of character and values of a bully, not just when he is a child, but just as much when he is grown and no longer under your control.

While we often are confused about deciding on policy matters, what the right thing to do is, given a particular situation, I think we're not particularly confused about what it means to be good, even if we struggle to articulate it. When I was reading the account of one the 12 year old girls involved in the stabbing of another twelve year old, one of the girls who stabbed the victim had spoken of how the good part of her wanted her to live, and the bad part of her wanted to die. We want our children to be composed of that good part, to be the sort that desires to save life, rather than to take it. You want them to choose this out of their own autonomy, but you still desire they choose this for themselves. In fact you'd likely take your children's moral failings, quite personally.

While you might try and find ways to encourage your children to be nice, but the more significant part here, is to why you desire they be nice in the first place. You don't have to be nice to be successful, or even popular. Even a bully can be quite popular, and a nice guy can finish dead last.

Different people want different things for their kids. I don't see how that tells us anything about whether or not real morality exists.

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