A Challenge for Moral Realists
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03-01-2016, 03:48 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 03:35 PM)mordant Wrote:  * You should really say "Virtually no one" because somewhere, someplace, I can just about guarantee that right now a baby is being tortured for the fun of it.

I doubt even the one torturing the child just for the fun it, imagines what he's doing is moral. Those that tend to kill children believing that it's the right thing to do, would justify it for reasons other than fun.

Quote:So? "No one"* is going to debate sufficiently egregious violations of sufficiently widely held notions of heinousness. Which you seem to think is some kind of point when you admit yourself that we're talking about no-brainer clear harms. In fact that your concocting an extreme edge case based on cruelty to children is no surprise because failure to nurture and protect the young is arguably one of the greatest ways to undermine a society that you can imagine.

Exactly.

"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, 03:48 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 02:23 PM)Anjele Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 02:20 PM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  Fatbaldhobbit,

Direction of gr8 is in know eat m nuts to me nor am I a mediator.

WUT?
I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
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03-01-2016, 03:48 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 03:12 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Society extrapolates its rules, laws, and customs from the morals of its constituents. Not the other way around.
OK, societies rules may be influenced by the moral beliefs of the leaders, influencers or majority or vocal opinions. That is true.

An action such as slavery or prostitution can't be immoral within a society. But can be either legal or illegal.

It might be illegal perhaps because the majority of voters hold a strong belief that slavery is immoral and so it was implemented into law based on an election promise that was used to get the majority vote and hence gain power for that political party. There will still be people whom think it is moral and whom disagree with the law. Their opinion is still correct for them even though they live within that society. It isn't the case that within that society that slavery is immoral.

(03-01-2016 03:12 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  But it does pose and interesting conundrum about what to do when living in a society that governs in a way that you deem immoral. Who is correct? Society or the individual?
The individual is always correct given that moral beliefs are owned by the individual.
Society doesn't have moral beliefs, society doesn't have any beliefs, society can't think. Society is merely a collection.

If you deem eating meat as immoral and you are on an island (a society with two others) and if those others all agree that eating meat is moral then this does not change your own opinion that eating meat is immoral.

(03-01-2016 03:12 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  That's contextual and highlights the reason why we've issues within society. And it's also why the way one responds to these moral questions can make a big difference too.
I'm of the opinion that our issues and conflicts are primarily because resources are in limited supply. We must compete for resources.
But with the concept of morality it also creates another issue. There are people who would go to extreme lengths to stop other people from behaving immorally. In this scenario it isn't about limited resources it is about an idealism which motivates people to interfer in the lives of others.

(03-01-2016 03:12 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Is a punishment levied by the government unjust? Perhaps, but killing in the name of it (or taking over federal land) is not an adequate response.
I'm not a fan of punishment. I prefer to consider taking action to improve the future rather than to punish transgressors. If locking up a rapist improves the future then do it, not as punishment for the rapist but as protection for people within society.
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03-01-2016, 03:54 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 02:26 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 02:19 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  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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As long as the parents are doing what God wants, it's moral. Right Tomasia?

Without immoral institutions like religion and corrupt governments (judging them as such from my moral perspective), we would be a lot better off as a species.
Not all religions are corrupt. Faith is not corrupt.
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03-01-2016, 03:58 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 03:27 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 03:24 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Oh okay, so morality is subjective, but it's not a a matter of a subject's personal perspective, or feelings?

Can you provide something analogous here, that's subjective in the way morality is?
It seems you're using the word subjective a bit differently then we would when speaking of other subjective things like musical taste, or fashion preferences?

When you say that morality is subjective here, you don't mean the same thing by subjective here, as someone who says that fashion is subjective? Is that right?

Holy fuck. I gave you the definition of subjective I'm using. Do you read?

You're trying to equivocate.

So you can't provide a single analogy here? You can't provide a single example of your meaning of "subjective" applied to any other topic but morality?

Does morality have it's own unique notion of subjectivity, distinct from the way the term is used for any other topic, like fashion, food, music, art, etc..?

"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, 03:59 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 03:07 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 02:51 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  In the event it isn't obvious, I ascribe to the belief that morality only exists as a societal construct. In a species without societies or communities, morals are irrelevant concepts and instead it's about individual survival.
OK, given our past conversations, I understand that you are of the position that for morality to exist then it must be in the context of a society. I don't agree with that, but that point isn't pertinent to the question I've just asked.

My question was "How do we extrapolate a moral answer from a society of diverse opinions"?

In the examples in this thread between you and Matt you guys were discussing two societies, regarding slavery. In one society slavery was moral, in another slavery was immoral.

I am asking, how can we determine that within a particular society that slavery is immoral when you are going to have some people consider it moral and some people consider it immoral. How do we extrapolate the answer from this society as to whether it is moral or immoral within the context of this society?
If it is beneficial to all involved and does not cause negativity or suffering to any other.
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03-01-2016, 04:03 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 03:43 PM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 02:54 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  That's a meaningless distinction. You are asserting that communication took place.

That does not follow. Although most forms of mental illness inhibit social interactions it is not always the case.

A false belief can still have a positive effect. (JT Eberhard has a good speech on this.) But its still a false belief.

Countless atrocities have been done in the name of god. When was the last war fought in the name of satan? How many suicide bombers yell "satan rocks" when they go boom?

If an all-powerful god had an all important message to convey to beings he loved then it is the responsibility/obligation of that deity to do so.
And he does, by his understanding and time, for our sake. Just because we may not be able to fully perceive the scope of the work of God doesn't mean it isn't evident.

If a deity actually existed and wanted to convey a message to us, he sure wouldn't have chosen you for that task.

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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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03-01-2016, 04:12 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 03:37 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Do you have a moral system?
No I don't have a moral system.

(03-01-2016 03:37 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Do you subscribe to the same moral system often subscribed to by other atheists,
I don't.

(03-01-2016 03:37 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  but you just don't label it as a moral system?
My opinions are substantially different from moral believers.
I don't know what others should do. I don't believe either myself or anyone else have any moral obligations. I don't believe it makes sense to ask "Is x immoral?" and I don't believe that there is any answer to such a question.

(03-01-2016 03:37 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Is you're particular system, though you might not label it as a moral one, derived by a consideration of a persons safety within society, plus also a compassion for the plight of other people?
My system is based on my own selfish interests. I don't expect others to be working towards my own self interests.

(03-01-2016 03:37 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:You will find that the "moral" system of atheists is built upon much more reason that that of theists.
Yet, you don't believe in such a system? You think they're reasonable, but not reasonable enough to be believed?

These atheists pick a moral yard stick i.e. minimise suffering, maximise happiness or something like that.
I think the "morals" that they come up with, given that goal are generally reasonable. I don't necessarily agree with their yardstick. I am interested in myself, I don't see it as my place to police the world and be a saviour by making the world have minimal suffering and maximum happiness. I am more interested in myself and my own future.


(03-01-2016 03:37 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  most professional philosophers subscribe to moral realism. Is this the position you find reasonable?
I'm not too worried about what most professional pholosophers think.


(03-01-2016 03:37 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The extent of your interactions with theists likely doesn't go beyond the internet.
Unfortunately most people in my country believe in some sort of invisible magical undetectable god.


(03-01-2016 03:37 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:In the bible it says the if a man lies with another man then he should be put to death. But of course through the lens of your own moral beliefs a perfect and just "god" wouldn't murder people so you interpret this passage to mean something other than what it actually says.

I don't know who you're talking about. The passage you seem to be referencing means exactly what it means, that the writers of the particular passage, and the community in which he belonged to advocated putting to death the homosexuals among them.
Your beliefs differ from that of many Christians. Many Christians believe the bible is the inspired word of their god.
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03-01-2016, 04:14 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 04:03 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 03:43 PM)popsthebuilder Wrote:  And he does, by his understanding and time, for our sake. Just because we may not be able to fully perceive the scope of the work of God doesn't mean it isn't evident.

If a deity actually existed and wanted to convey a message to us, he sure wouldn't have chosen you for that task.

[Image: image.png]
As stated; I am nothing. Even so, even just I, by the will of God can be more than enough to accomplish anything if it is God's will.

Wait and see.
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03-01-2016, 04:24 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(03-01-2016 10:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(03-01-2016 08:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  If morality were objective, then everyone would agree on it. They don't.
If morality were objective, then everyone's reactions would be the same. They aren't.

Does anyone disagree that torturing babies just for fun is wrong?

There could well be. We would likely classify them as psychopaths.

Quote:And no, if morality is objective, this wouldn’t mean everyone would agree, for the same reason that we don’t even agree on whats true, but this doesn’t mean that truth is not objective.

Reality is objective. Truth can be situational, it is not absolute.

Quote:In fact often when confronting the evil of others, those caught in the act of common moral transgressions, you’ll find symptoms similar to those who deny reality, often built on lies, cognitive dissonance, delusions, etc…. such as the holocaust being built on a lie, a scapegoat delusion, that blamed the Jews, or slavery being built on lie that the slave is not truly a human being.

So? What is your point?

Quote:No, everyone reactions wouldn’t be the same. I can believe something is wrong, and yet find myself doing this, such as a man who holds that adultery is wrong, cheating on his wife, while another man who believes it’s wrong, never would cheat on his wife.

That is about personal beliefs; how does that apply?
Morality is rooted in emotions that are the result of evolution. That doesn't mean everyone is identical, merely that the reason most humans' responses are generally common across societies and religions is our shared humanity.

Quote:Just because there is morality is objective, that doesn’t particularly mean that if this were true we would all be models of goodness. We live in world in which doing what’s wrong, is often more tempting than doing what’s right.

Oh, stop the strawmanning, you're fucking up the discussion.

Quote:We don’t react the same toward truth either, some truth, might be uncomfortable for some, but not for others.

Individuals differ but there is a commonality in general.

Quote:
Quote:If morality were objective, then there would be an objectively determinable source. There isn't.

We can’t even agree to a standard on determining what’s true. Even here in regards to the question of objective morality, there’s no particular agreed upon standard by us, to determine whether this is true or not, each of us operates under our own seemingly subjective set of criteria.

That's because morality is subjective.

Quote:In fact probably any arguments you’d compose in opposition to objective morality, would parallel the argument of those who believe that truth itself is subjective.

What truth? Scientific truth? Logical truth? The only truth we can know is that which is provable.

Quote:
Quote:You present yet another false dichotomy. Morality is based on human emotion.

Morality involves a set of beliefs, often derived by common intuitions. Those beliefs may involve some underlying sentiments like empathy, but are not reducible to them.

And no one said they were. Another straw man argument.

Quote:And in fact these beliefs may be false, but intuitive beliefs. An example would be my strong sense of empathy, might lead me to believe that when a person is being harmed by someone, that they act being committed upon them is wrong, that it ought not to take place, that I have an obligation to stop it, to intercede, to speak out, to protest.
Quote:And that would be your subjective morality. Many people may share that, but that does not make it objective.

[/quot]
My intuitions might lead me to believe that there is a rule, a a moral law, that I should do unto others as I would have them do unto me, that I ought not to do to someone, something that I wouldn’t want done on myself.

And that, in my opinion, is an excellent basis for morality. But that is an opinion.

Quote: In fact these beliefs, particularly in regards to personal transgressions, might create a great deal of guilt, a belief that I truly did something wrong, as oppose to just preferring one style of dress over the other.

Huh? You've spun off into something other than what is being discussed.

Quote:Perhaps you mean to suggest that moral beliefs are based on emotions, but that’s wouldn’t be entirely accurate. In fact this says nothing about whether those beliefs are true or not.

I am not suggesting it so much as asserting it. Morality is neither true nor false.

Quote:[quote]Religion the source of morals? This has been shown to be untrue so many times that I laugh at your even bringing this up.

Well clearly you don’t believe that, nor do I. Yet you think that objective morality is false. But with religion out the picture how do we account for this nearly universal belief in objective morality?

"Nearly universal"? Not so much.
Religions require either objective or absolute morality given by the gods, otherwise the gods have no moral power. But this is an infantile view.
People need to grow up and take responsibility for their own behavior.

Quote:Could we say our biology led us to a set of false, but intuitive assumptions, that lead us to perceive our own moral intuitions as objective truths?

Maybe for you; not for me. So, no. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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