A Challenge for Moral Realists
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16-01-2016, 03:14 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
Quotes taken from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-definition/

The term “morality” can be used either
Quote:1. descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or,
a. some other group, such as a religion, or
b. accepted by an individual for her own behavior or
2. normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.
So we have the position that “morality” refers to a code of conduct
This is reinforced by the following statement.
Quote:“Morality” has also been taken to refer to any code of conduct that a person or group takes as most important.
By code of conduct it is implied that there are some actions or behaviours (conduct) which “should” (code) be taken and there are some actions or behaviours which “shouldn’t” (code) be taken.

Code of conduct implies “should’s” and “shouldn’ts” which is contradictory to the idea of descriptive morality.

So we have two categorisations:
Descriptive
Normative

Normative:
With the Normative definition, the moral believer claims that they personally know what behaviours are acceptable and what are not acceptable for all rational persons. Of course “rational” being their own personal opinion/belief as to what is rational, which ironically stems from the values that this believer personally has (and assumes that other “rational” persons ought to hold as well). Note: this logic is circular. The Normative moralist believes that most people are “rational” and believes that “rational” people “ought to” or “should” follow what they believe to be the “rational” code of conduct, which they believe to be binding onto all “rational” people. These normative believers will get upset when others don’t follow that code of conduct. They may feel that they know better than others and feel that they may need to support rules and laws to enforce this “rational” code of conduct onto others. Or perhaps they may feel justified in trying to personally coerce others to conform with use of their “justified” anger, shaming, or ostracising of others whom don’t conform.
I feel it is easy to disregard the normative definition. Because of course, I don’t feel that I (or anyone else) is qualified to claim which people’s are rational nor am I (or anyone else) qualified to claim what is the rational code of conduct.

Descriptive:
With descriptive morality, it comes from a source e.g. a church leader, society, self, etc and it is perceived to be binding on that group either the church members, the society members or the self.
I disregard the descriptive definition in the context of religious or moral focused organisations (e.g. churches) because, quite frankly, they aren’t authoritative with regards to knowing what behaviour is acceptable or not. I would never delegate that personal responsibility onto an authority. Although I do acknowledge that there are many people that sign up to those organisations on the condition that they are to obey the code of conduct documented by that organisation.

I disregard descriptive definition in the context of employers, although they may publish a code of conduct or socialise and promote a set of “values” for which they expect employees to work according to, I see these as guidelines which can help to empower employees but only if the company uses them in that way. i.e. creates a set of values and then empowers staff to make decisions in a trusted way according to those values. These values and behavioural guidelines represent the company and its brand and market place reputation, they represent the direction of the organisation and the level of risk the organisation is willing to incur. They guide employees whom are making decisions on behalf of the company to act accordingly. These are not personal values and personal morals to be accepted by each employee, but they are merely a guide for how employees are to make decisions on behalf of the company.
I disregard the descriptive definition in the context of society. Societies often have enforced laws, but laws aren’t morality. What people are talking about regarding society are the unwritten behavioural expectations. The only way to get that from a society is to commit gross generalisation and make many unsubstantiated assumptions based on your own personal beliefs and experiences. People generally only cite specific moralities within their own society in order to confirm their already held beliefs. This is a case of confirmation bias.
The only real descriptive definition is that coming from the self and applies only to the self. A person can come up with values and moral beliefs and can take upon moral obligations and can punish themselves with guilt. But it isn’t mandatory for a person to do this. This person may fit into an organisation (such as a church). The church may publish/promote their code of conduct, but this only becomes real if the individual (the self) decides to accept that code of conduct. In many circumstances members take on some of the codes and disregard some of them.

It is also possible for a person not to take on any moral beliefs, such a person does not attach moral obligations to themselves, does not say to themselves I ought to do X, I ought not do Y. This person doesn’t have a code of conduct. This person is not bound to follow any code of conduct even though there are many people around them that suggest that they ought to. i.e. the Christians claim their moral code is binding on all of humanity. Some people belonging to a society claim that all society members are bound to what they perceive to be the morals of that society (but which are in fact merely their own moral beliefs).
Quote:“Morality”when used in a descriptive sense has an essential feature that “morality” in the normative sense does not have, namely, that it refers to codes of conduct that are actually put forward and accepted by some society, group, or individual. If one is not a member of that society or group, and is not that individual, accepting a descriptive definition of “morality” has no implications for how one should behave.
The thing with this is that laws on society aren’t morality and anything unwritten or implied is not “put forward and accepted”. You are living in a dream world if you think a society has a morality. Only an individual can choose to accept a code of conduct.

Anyways, from reading that article I don’t see this “value” thing being devoid of rights and wrongs. A code of conduct implies rights and wrongs.
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16-01-2016, 04:20 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
"A code of conduct implies rights and wrongs." - another forumite

Indeed. But how do we derive them?

Religionists state that, absent a deity to fax those codes down from heaven to us, we would be bashing each other's skulls in for a bowl of popcorn. They call that faxed instruction sheet 'morals'.

I say that because deities cannot exist, nor can those 'morals'. Rather, those codes of behavior are derived directly from observation combined with empathy. So I consider myself principled, ethical, concerned for the well being of my fellow humans and other creatures... And amoral. Smile
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16-01-2016, 04:52 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(16-01-2016 04:20 PM)coyote Wrote:  "A code of conduct implies rights and wrongs." - another forumite

Indeed. But how do we derive them?

Religionists state that, absent a deity to fax those codes down from heaven to us, we would be bashing each other's skulls in for a bowl of popcorn. They call that faxed instruction sheet 'morals'.

I say that because deities cannot exist, nor can those 'morals'. Rather, those codes of behavior are derived directly from observation combined with empathy. So I consider myself principled, ethical, concerned for the well being of my fellow humans and other creatures... And amoral. Smile

I just don't get the direction of, well relgionists state so I state... so what?

There is no reason to base not actually directly relevant topics to religious positions that they aren't from. Theism is the only proposition relevant to what a religious position claims.

You can be amoral, but concern for fellow humans & other creatures is using a moral value on some levels. Stevil may be truly amoral as far as any psychological/sociological layers of what moral would be. Not that it's a problem but it's a more possible thing.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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16-01-2016, 05:07 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(16-01-2016 03:14 PM)Stevil Wrote:  The thing with this is that laws on society aren’t morality and anything unwritten or implied is not “put forward and accepted”. You are living in a dream world if you think a society has a morality. Only an individual can choose to accept a code of conduct.

Anyways, from reading that article I don’t see this “value” thing being devoid of rights and wrongs. A code of conduct implies rights and wrongs.

If you boil things down to some absolute, your society is x or y. Then that doesn't exist. Sure you would be inaccurate in a concept. Though it's not like group processes and group think doesn't exist.

Ranges exist. If say 40% think X and 16% think Y and 14% think Z, and the rest if dwindled in less than groups. You can say the society thinks X and not being talking in some overarching absolute.

You can say in the US political sphere now the GOP voters support Donald Trump. Do all, NO, do the majority, not even that. He's just got a top range right now. It's not inaccurate to say a society supports him, because it's individuals that support him. That's literally how the field of sociological works & other fields such as political science concepts.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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16-01-2016, 07:26 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(16-01-2016 04:52 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(16-01-2016 04:20 PM)coyote Wrote:  "A code of conduct implies rights and wrongs." - another forumite

Indeed. But how do we derive them?

Religionists state that, absent a deity to fax those codes down from heaven to us, we would be bashing each other's skulls in for a bowl of popcorn. They call that faxed instruction sheet 'morals'.

I say that because deities cannot exist, nor can those 'morals'. Rather, those codes of behavior are derived directly from observation combined with empathy. So I consider myself principled, ethical, concerned for the well being of my fellow humans and other creatures... And amoral. Smile

I just don't get the direction of, well relgionists state so I state... so what?

There is no reason to base not actually directly relevant topics to religious positions that they aren't from. Theism is the only proposition relevant to what a religious position claims.

You can be amoral, but concern for fellow humans & other creatures is using a moral value on some levels. Stevil may be truly amoral as far as any psychological/sociological layers of what moral would be. Not that it's a problem but it's a more possible thing.

Actually, it (refusing to utilize religionist language) has consequences elsewhere. Consider this statement: "I believe in evolution". Do you see a problem with that statement??
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16-01-2016, 07:29 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(16-01-2016 07:26 PM)coyote Wrote:  Actually, it (refusing to utilize religionist language) has consequences elsewhere. Consider this statement: "I believe in evolution". Do you see a problem with that statement??

I do not see a problem with that statement.

Because the single statement, on its own, with no other context, is quite valid.

WTF is 'Religionist', any way? Consider
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16-01-2016, 08:36 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(16-01-2016 07:29 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  
(16-01-2016 07:26 PM)coyote Wrote:  Actually, it (refusing to utilize religionist language) has consequences elsewhere. Consider this statement: "I believe in evolution". Do you see a problem with that statement??

I do not see a problem with that statement.

Because the single statement, on its own, with no other context, is quite valid.

WTF is 'Religionist', any way? Consider

Religionist is my own word, though I'd be surprised if it hadn't been used before I was even born. It rolls into one word people who believe in God, people who believe in a particular religion, and people who believe religion is superior to no-religion.

Anyway, the problem with the above statement is this: it legitimizes religious objection to evolution! By saying "I believe in X", you give complete credence to people who say "I believe in Y". And then when you attempt to argue it, it's just your belief vs my belief. It is THE rhetorical mechanism whereby all manner of fictional nonsense gets elevated to the same conversational/conceptual plane as facts and data.

Virtually anything out there that relies on belief turns out to be untrue, right?
beLIEver
beLIEve
beLIEf
beLIE
LIE

Language matters. In many instances, it is crucial. Atheists need to drop 'belief' from their lexicon.
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17-01-2016, 12:01 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(16-01-2016 08:36 PM)coyote Wrote:  Religionist is my own word, though I'd be surprised if it hadn't been used before I was even born. It rolls into one word people who believe in God, people who believe in a particular religion, and people who believe religion is superior to no-religion.

Anyway, the problem with the above statement is this: it legitimizes religious objection to evolution! By saying "I believe in X", you give complete credence to people who say "I believe in Y". And then when you attempt to argue it, it's just your belief vs my belief. It is THE rhetorical mechanism whereby all manner of fictional nonsense gets elevated to the same conversational/conceptual plane as facts and data.

Virtually anything out there that relies on belief turns out to be untrue, right?
beLIEver
beLIEve
beLIEf
beLIE
LIE

Language matters. In many instances, it is crucial. Atheists need to drop 'belief' from their lexicon.

Consider

We... seem to be moving off at a tangent here.

It's great that you're using the language (And one of its strengths in my opinion) by creating new words to try and describe new things. Kind of like when folks 'borrow' whole words and their meanings from other languages because... hey the word/meaning works. Thumbsup

To then go along and say;

"Hey! We should stop using this word (And the many meanings which it carries along with it) because reasons!"

Again, after you've happily invented a word and term out your @rse...?

When people have a conversation, one of the things they should begin to do is make sure they are using the same words in the same way so that the meanings of the words carry through.

To simply make up words for meanings (Seeming on the fly) and then insist that other words 'Do' and 'Mean' things as if every one's use of language should be beholden to yourself?

Yah, that's rather rude.

You say it does 'X'. I do not and I will continue to use words and language as I see fit.

But, hey! Hug You seem like a great person to read along on the forums so far. Big Grin
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17-01-2016, 02:14 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(16-01-2016 08:36 PM)coyote Wrote:  Religionist is my own word, though I'd be surprised if it hadn't been used before I was even born. It rolls into one word people who believe in God, people who believe in a particular religion, and people who believe religion is superior to no-religion.

I see no need for such word as believer and theist are enough but it is at best minor issue.

(16-01-2016 08:36 PM)coyote Wrote:  Anyway, the problem with the above statement is this: it legitimizes religious objection to evolution! By saying "I believe in X", you give complete credence to people who say "I believe in Y". And then when you attempt to argue it, it's just your belief vs my belief. It is THE rhetorical mechanism whereby all manner of fictional nonsense gets elevated to the same conversational/conceptual plane as facts and data.

I try to not use word believe for much the same reasons, I don't need belief when I have facts, previous experience, etc.

I wouldn't say it legitimize religious objections as these "objections" are - to use crude language - shit. It's just word that does not really fit to the subject. Trouble
would start if one were to say that one have faith in evolution.

(16-01-2016 08:36 PM)coyote Wrote:  Language matters. In many instances, it is crucial. Atheists need to drop 'belief' from their lexicon.

Language indeed matters but atheists only "need" to do what they please. You arent highest atheistic instantion capable of banning certain words.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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17-01-2016, 02:41 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(17-01-2016 02:14 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(16-01-2016 08:36 PM)coyote Wrote:  Anyway, the problem with the above statement is this: it legitimizes religious objection to evolution! By saying "I believe in X", you give complete credence to people who say "I believe in Y". And then when you attempt to argue it, it's just your belief vs my belief. It is THE rhetorical mechanism whereby all manner of fictional nonsense gets elevated to the same conversational/conceptual plane as facts and data.

I try to not use word believe for much the same reasons, I don't need belief when I have facts, previous experience, etc.

I wouldn't say it legitimize religious objections as these "objections" are - to use crude language - shit. It's just word that does not really fit to the subject. Trouble
would start if one were to say that one have faith in evolution.


Except, we do both 'believe'. Our belief is based upon facts and evidence, theirs is built upon faith. The problem isn't with the word belief in and of itself, the problem is with the foundations of said belief. The problem is faith versus evidence.

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