A Challenge for Moral Realists
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09-01-2016, 03:00 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(09-01-2016 02:18 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Interesting.....you can turn off regret/guilt and sexual desire, but not sadness and frustration. Perhaps you just need more practice?
I can't turn it on or off. There is no switch that I can control.
I haven't intentionally set out to rid myself of guilt feeling.

I have worked out that nothing is morally right or wrong, so, as a consequence of that, I don't feel guilt from having a self perception that I have done something morally wrong.
Guilt often comes with a belief that you have done something wrong. For example a Catholic can experience guilt from having "impure" thoughts, where-as many people don't feel guilt for that. A Catholic can feel guilt for using a condom when having sex with his wife, where-as many people would not feel guilt for that at all.

So, now that I don't believe in morality, what is it that I am supposed to feel guilt over?

(09-01-2016 02:18 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  We're probably just playing a game of semantics here, but I would label your identification of an action that you later found to be less than optimal as regret/remorse/guilt.
So if I calculated 4 x 8 as 20 and worked out that I was incorrect then I should feel guilt and remorse?
Or if I tried something with my child and worked out that my approach had negative effects then I should feel guilt and remorse?

I don't understand your position. Why do you think I should feel guilty and remorseful? Just because you do, it doesn't mean that I should and just because I don't, it doesn't mean that there is something faulty with me.

(09-01-2016 02:18 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I guess what I really wanted to point out is that someone can be a moral nihilist like yourself, and still experience the broad range of human emotions that are experienced by most.
Yes, absolutely. A moral nihilst isn't an emotionless robot. There is nothing necessarily wrong with the brain of a moral nihilist.


(09-01-2016 02:18 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  One doesn't have to have a belief in real morality to feel guilt
I think one does have to have moral beliefs to feel guilt.

(09-01-2016 02:18 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  , shame, joy, love, sadness, etc.....
I think a moral nihilist can feel these emotions, it does depend on your definition of shame though.

(09-01-2016 02:18 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Reproduction. Reproduction is the inherent purpose of sex.
This isn't true.
Babies can be a consequence of sex but it isn't the inherent purpose of sex.
I am not obligated in anyway to make babies when I have sex. The purpose is for me to decide what it is, it is not upto the universe, or evolution or anything else to decide what purpose is.

(09-01-2016 02:18 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Similarly, most of us experience guilt even though we'd rather not experience it.
Can you provide an example of when you have felt guilt. Don't worry, I understand if it is personal and you don't want to share.


(09-01-2016 02:18 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Who knows? Maybe you just have an abnormal brain?
Maybe, but I don't think so. My position is a philosophical one, not a biological one.
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09-01-2016, 03:49 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
Perhaps it's the word "guilt" that is hanging us up.

Do you feel the same way about remorse? Do you think a person can have remorse without having moral beliefs? Couldn't a person have remorse about spanking his child, or beating his dog, without having any moral beliefs?

You asked when I feel guilt. I feel guilt if I get in an argument with my wife and say things that I later regret. I feel guilt if I feel that I disciplined my dog too hard. I feel guilt all the time for all sorts of things, but it doesn't rule my life. Basically anytime I do something that I wish I wouldn't have done.
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09-01-2016, 04:00 PM (This post was last modified: 09-01-2016 04:22 PM by Stevil.)
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(09-01-2016 03:49 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Perhaps it's the word "guilt" that is hanging us up.
It's not a symantic thing. It's the feelings that you interpret as either guilt or remorse. I don't have those feelings.

(09-01-2016 03:49 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  You asked when I feel guilt. I feel guilt if I get in an argument with my wife and say things that I later regret. I feel guilt if I feel that I disciplined my dog too hard. I feel guilt all the time for all sorts of things, but it doesn't rule my life. Basically anytime I do something that I wish I wouldn't have done.
I get in arguments with my wife. She does her darnedest to try and make me feel regret for saying things.
If I say something while frustrated or angry or something, then that is an expression of my ability to cope while in that state. I am trying quite hard to break some habits of mine, like raising my voice when I'm frustrated, or raising my voice when she is raising hers. The outcome isn't great for me when I raise my voice so I'm trying to change that, but habits are hard to break. It's something I'm working on. I expect to raise my voice, I congratulate myself if I manage not to raise my voice. I don't beat myself up if I do raise my voice. I don't hold regrets or remorse if I do raise my voice. If my wife points out that I am speaking loudly then I apologise to her and continue with the conversation using a quieter voice.
I move forward rather than regret the past. (I don't waste time "wishing" that I hadn't raised my voice). Wishes are for children with vivid imaginations.

I guess I accept me for who I am now. I understand there are some things that I want to change and I am working towards that. But I don't expect to be perfect. I don't expect to change over night. My habits are part of who I am. I don't deny that, I don't wish that I didn't have those habits. I accept them and I am working towards changing some of them. It's a slow process and possibly slower than what I would like, but I can't expect it to be otherwise. There is no point wishing otherwise, no point in beating myself up. I just don't see any point to guilt, I 100% believe this and I haven't been experiencing guilt feelings for a few years now.
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09-01-2016, 04:40 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(09-01-2016 04:00 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(09-01-2016 03:49 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Perhaps it's the word "guilt" that is hanging us up.
It's not a symantic thing. It's the feelings that you interpret as either guilt or remorse. I don't have those feelings.

(09-01-2016 03:49 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  You asked when I feel guilt. I feel guilt if I get in an argument with my wife and say things that I later regret. I feel guilt if I feel that I disciplined my dog too hard. I feel guilt all the time for all sorts of things, but it doesn't rule my life. Basically anytime I do something that I wish I wouldn't have done.
I get in arguments with my wife. She does her darnedest to try and make me feel regret for saying things.
If I say something while frustrated or angry or something, then that is an expression of my ability to cope while in that state. I am trying quite hard to break some habits of mine, like raising my voice when I'm frustrated, or raising my voice when she is raising hers. The outcome isn't great for me when I raise my voice so I'm trying to change that, but habits are hard to break. It's something I'm working on. I expect to raise my voice, I congratulate myself if I manage not to raise my voice. I don't beat myself up if I do raise my voice. I don't hold regrets or remorse if I do raise my voice. If my wife points out that I am speaking loudly then I apologise to her and continue with the conversation using a quieter voice.
I move forward rather than regret the past. (I don't waste time "wishing" that I hadn't raised my voice). Wishes are for children with vivid imaginations.

I guess I accept me for who I am now. I understand there are some things that I want to change and I am working towards that. But I don't expect to be perfect. I don't expect to change over night. My habits are part of who I am. I don't deny that, I don't wish that I didn't have those habits. I accept them and I am working towards changing some of them. It's a slow process and possibly slower than what I would like, but I can't expect it to be otherwise. There is no point wishing otherwise, no point in beating myself up. I just don't see any point to guilt, I 100% believe this and I haven't been experiencing guilt feelings for a few years now.

You described the purpose of guilt & literary then said you don't see the point to it.

That's why it evolutionary exists for that point.

It has become merely a semantics issue because you're saying Guilt is x but not y.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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09-01-2016, 05:09 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(09-01-2016 04:40 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  You described the purpose of guilt & literary then said you don't see the point to it.
Some churches use guilt for the purpose of making people dependant on the church.
Some people look to make others feel guilt so that they can manipulate others to their own benefit.

Otherwise I don't see much use for guilt.

(09-01-2016 04:40 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  That's why it evolutionary exists for that point.
Evolution has no purpose. I don't think guilt is an emotion that has come from evolution. I don't think the guilt emotion is written into our DNA. Its a learned emotion.

(09-01-2016 04:40 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  It has become merely a semantics issue because you're saying Guilt is x but not y.
I don't agree as I don't experience this emotion, it's not merely that I experience something and call it something other than "guilt".

Like I have said before. If I get a math problem wrong, I accept that it is a mistake but I don't experience guilt from making this mistake.
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09-01-2016, 05:16 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(09-01-2016 04:00 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(09-01-2016 03:49 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Perhaps it's the word "guilt" that is hanging us up.
It's not a symantic thing. It's the feelings that you interpret as either guilt or remorse. I don't have those feelings.

(09-01-2016 03:49 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  You asked when I feel guilt. I feel guilt if I get in an argument with my wife and say things that I later regret. I feel guilt if I feel that I disciplined my dog too hard. I feel guilt all the time for all sorts of things, but it doesn't rule my life. Basically anytime I do something that I wish I wouldn't have done.
I get in arguments with my wife. She does her darnedest to try and make me feel regret for saying things.
If I say something while frustrated or angry or something, then that is an expression of my ability to cope while in that state. I am trying quite hard to break some habits of mine, like raising my voice when I'm frustrated, or raising my voice when she is raising hers. The outcome isn't great for me when I raise my voice so I'm trying to change that, but habits are hard to break. It's something I'm working on. I expect to raise my voice, I congratulate myself if I manage not to raise my voice. I don't beat myself up if I do raise my voice. I don't hold regrets or remorse if I do raise my voice. If my wife points out that I am speaking loudly then I apologise to her and continue with the conversation using a quieter voice.
I move forward rather than regret the past. (I don't waste time "wishing" that I hadn't raised my voice). Wishes are for children with vivid imaginations.

I guess I accept me for who I am now. I understand there are some things that I want to change and I am working towards that. But I don't expect to be perfect. I don't expect to change over night. My habits are part of who I am. I don't deny that, I don't wish that I didn't have those habits. I accept them and I am working towards changing some of them. It's a slow process and possibly slower than what I would like, but I can't expect it to be otherwise. There is no point wishing otherwise, no point in beating myself up. I just don't see any point to guilt, I 100% believe this and I haven't been experiencing guilt feelings for a few years now.

I would argue that your desire to change your behavior is born from regret/remorse, but hey, if I'm wrong and you're able to have zero regret for even an instant in your life, more power to you. Bowing

My only real beef is when you said "Guilt is consequence of personal moral beliefs." I have no personal moral beliefs, yet I still sometimes feel remorse and regret (guilt) if I hurt someone.

Do you also think that regret requires moral beliefs?
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09-01-2016, 05:19 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(09-01-2016 05:09 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Like I have said before. If I get a math problem wrong, I accept that it is a mistake but I don't experience guilt from making this mistake.

No one does. We're not talking about math problems. We're talking about when you hurt someone you care about.
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09-01-2016, 05:24 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
My reply in blue

(09-01-2016 05:09 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(09-01-2016 04:40 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  You described the purpose of guilt & literary then said you don't see the point to it.
Some churches use guilt for the purpose of making people dependant on the church.
Some people look to make others feel guilt so that they can manipulate others to their own benefit.

Otherwise I don't see much use for guilt.

"Feelings of guilt can prompt subsequent virtuous behavior. People who feel guilty may be more likely to exercise restraint,[16] avoid self-indulgence,[17] and exhibit less prejudice.[18] Guilt appears to prompt reparatory behaviors to alleviate the negative emotions that it engenders. People appear to engage in targeted and specific reparatory behaviors toward the persons they wronged or offended.[19]" (wiki - guilt)

(09-01-2016 04:40 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  That's why it evolutionary exists for that point.
Evolution has no purpose. I don't think guilt is an emotion that has come from evolution. I don't think the guilt emotion is written into our DNA. Its a learned emotion.

Some others disagree with your assessment. - "Causes (etiology)[edit]

Evolutionary theories[edit]

Some evolutionary psychologists theorize that guilt and shame helped maintain beneficial relationships, such as reciprocal altruism.[22] If a person feels guilty when he harms another, or even fails to reciprocate kindness, he is more likely not to harm others or become too selfish. In this way, he reduces the chances of retaliation by members of his tribe, and thereby increases his survival prospects, and those of the tribe or group. As with any other emotion, guilt can be manipulated to control or influence others. As a highly social animal living in large groups that are relatively stable, we need ways to deal with conflicts and events in which we inadvertently or purposefully harm others. If someone causes harm to another, and then feels guilt and demonstrates regret and sorrow, the person harmed is likely to forgive. Thus, guilt makes it possible to forgive, and helps hold the social group together.

Social psychology theories[edit]

When we see another person suffering, it can also cause us pain. This constitutes our powerful system of empathy, which leads to our thinking that we should do something to relieve the suffering of others. If we cannot help another, or fail in our efforts, we experience feelings of guilt. From the perspective of group selection, groups that are made up of a high percentage of co-operators outdo groups with a low percentage of co-operators in between-group competition. People who are more prone to high levels of empathy-based guilt may be likely to suffer from anxiety and depression; however, they are also more likely to cooperate and behave altruistically. This suggests that guilt-proneness may not always be beneficial at the level of the individual, or within-group competition, but highly beneficial in between-group competition.[citation needed]

Other theories[edit]

Another common notion is that guilt is assigned by social processes, such as a jury trial (i. e., that it is a strictly legal concept). Thus, the ruling of a jury that O. J. Simpson or Julius Rosenberg was "guilty" or "not innocent" is taken as an actual judgment by the whole society that they must act as if they were so. By corollary, the ruling that such a person is "not guilty" may not be so taken, due to the asymmetry in the assumption that one is assumed innocent until proven guilty, and prefers to take the risk of freeing a guilty party over convicting innocents. Still others—often, but not always, theists of one type or another—believe that the origin of guilt comes from violating universal principles of right and wrong. In most instances, people who believe this also acknowledge that even though there is proper guilt from doing 'wrong' instead of doing 'right', people endure all sorts of guilty feelings which do not stem from violating universal moral principles." (wiki - guilt)



(09-01-2016 04:40 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  It has become merely a semantics issue because you're saying Guilt is x but not y.
I don't agree as I don't experience this emotion, it's not merely that I experience something and call it something other than "guilt".

Like I have said before. If I get a math problem wrong, I accept that it is a mistake but I don't experience guilt from making this mistake.
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09-01-2016, 06:26 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
Matt. I think you give humanity far too much credit. It takes a short walk back in history indeed, to see how "evolutionary" morals are.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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09-01-2016, 08:13 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(09-01-2016 05:19 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(09-01-2016 05:09 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Like I have said before. If I get a math problem wrong, I accept that it is a mistake but I don't experience guilt from making this mistake.

No one does. We're not talking about math problems. We're talking about when you hurt someone you care about.
Same think. A mistak is a mistake, given whatever goals you are trying to achieve.
You trying something, it turns out to be a "mistake" so you try something else. No need to beat yourself up by feeling guilt or remorse.
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