A Challenge for Moral Realists
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27-12-2015, 09:56 PM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(27-12-2015 09:55 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(27-12-2015 09:40 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Mate read Beyond good and evil by Nietzsche. That's all you need. Then work out your own moral code and live by that. Smile

Just downloaded it from Project Gutenberg. Thanks!

My pleasure.

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28-12-2015, 05:47 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(27-12-2015 09:31 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(27-12-2015 09:21 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  So if society decides that it's immoral to eat pork, then it's true that people should not eat pork?
No, it's true that society disapproves of eating pork.
(27-12-2015 09:21 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  If society decides that it is moral to punish homosexuals, then it's true that people should punish homosexuals?
No, it's true that society disapproves of homosexuals.
(27-12-2015 09:21 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  What you're suggesting is complete absurdity.
Life IS absurd.
(27-12-2015 09:21 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Society doesn't decide what I should/shouldn't do, it only decides what is socially acceptable and/or legal.
There is no objective morality anchored in absolutes. Society decides what it wants to encourage and discourage and you either go along with it or suffer the consequences or change societies.

So all you're really talking about is societal norms and laws, like I said earlier. You're not talking about what people ought to do, but only what people are pressured and/or influenced to do. No need to even mention the word morality, social and legal pressure is all you need.
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28-12-2015, 05:50 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(27-12-2015 09:27 PM)Banjo Wrote:  
(27-12-2015 09:21 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  So if society decides that it's immoral to eat pork, then it's true that people should not eat pork? If society decides that it is moral to punish homosexuals, then it's true that people should punish homosexuals?

What you're suggesting is complete absurdity.

Society doesn't decide what I should/shouldn't do, it only decides what is socially acceptable and/or legal.

Unless it becomes law.....

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.
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28-12-2015, 05:59 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(27-12-2015 09:31 PM)mordant Wrote:  
(27-12-2015 09:21 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  So if society decides that it's immoral to eat pork, then it's true that people should not eat pork?
No, it's true that society disapproves of eating pork.

But you said "societies and individuals determine right and wrong". I guess I would have to ask what you mean by "wrong"? If I live in a society that doesn't eat pork, then am I doing something immoral by eating pork? If it's a fact that eating pork is wrong (as determined by society), then isn't it also a fact that eating pork should be avoided? Isn't that what people mean when they claim that something is immoral?
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28-12-2015, 06:10 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
What's happening in this thread?

Why aren't we at 400 posts already? Are we struggling to think of anything original?

C'mon TTA, you're slacking.

Angry

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28-12-2015, 06:23 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(28-12-2015 05:50 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(27-12-2015 09:27 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Unless it becomes law.....

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.

But there are consequences. No matter your beliefs. It depends upon what time, and where you live.

Morals are not set in stone. Morals are a human idea. Nothing more.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
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28-12-2015, 07:12 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(28-12-2015 06:10 AM)DLJ Wrote:  What's happening in this thread?

Why aren't we at 400 posts already? Are we struggling to think of anything original?

C'mon TTA, you're slacking.

Angry

I'd post more but Tom's posts are too confusing for me to think of anything
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28-12-2015, 08:12 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(27-12-2015 08:01 PM)mordant Wrote:  The latter. Although the concept is subjective there are still explicit and implicit societal consensuses that develop about (im)morality. Society has arrived at a consensus that marital inequality is unjust and harmful to civil society. It is subjective, but subjective is not random or temporary either. Society arrived at a consensus that slavery was wrong and that has proven to be an evolved consensus that has stuck. I think marriage equality is likely to be the same.

A subjective consensus.

It’s hard to think of the parallel here in regards to whatever you mean by subjective. Take for instance subjective concepts lack fashion, we could say that fashion is matter of consensus, that certain wardrobe items, styles become recognized as fashionable at a given period by the whims of societies taste. Sometimes trends that were panned years ago, can now become trendy. You can say some sort of consensus develops and sways the tides, making man buns fashionable, and then later making them dated.

You can also say the same thing about truth, that a society might hold a wrong view of something, that someone later recognizes as false and discovers what’s true. Some sort of consensus forms in recognition of this, and then over time becomes recognized by the majority. And the truth, unlike fashion preferences is not temporal or random. If it’s true it can withstand the test of time. This is the way I see morality, but perhaps not the way you do? There’s nothing I would defend more, feel more passionate about then my own moral temperaments, no truth worthy of defending, or sacrifices for then for the sake of what is Good.

The truth is much different than subjective preferences that which are often temporary, constantly changing, often returning back to past preferences, etc…

Would you say you see morality more aligned with the consensus that forms around commonly referred to aspects we call subjective, or more aligned with the consensus that forms around truth?

But following the subjective consensus view, perhaps we could say that the moral “consensus” often revolves around creating negative connotations and feeling with items we label as immoral, leading us to feel averse to certain actions, and attracted to others. Praising some acts, and feeling contempt for other acts. The conservative is repulsed by the act of homosexuality, finding it unnatural, perhaps in a way that the liberal is not, sort of the way we might find a grown man marrying a thirteen year old repulsive, while not so for another culture.

Perhaps the trend among certain secular liberals is an attraction to the concept of morality based on a consideration of net harm. If no harm done, than anything goes. While for others it might be for the sake of retention of certain values, the preservation of classical family structures, moral values, the protestant work ethic, etc….

And that moral persuasion here, is a lot like trying to convince men from the deep south to wear skinny jeans?

"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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28-12-2015, 08:37 AM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2015 08:41 AM by Banjo.)
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(28-12-2015 08:12 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-12-2015 08:01 PM)mordant Wrote:  The latter. Although the concept is subjective there are still explicit and implicit societal consensuses that develop about (im)morality. Society has arrived at a consensus that marital inequality is unjust and harmful to civil society. It is subjective, but subjective is not random or temporary either. Society arrived at a consensus that slavery was wrong and that has proven to be an evolved consensus that has stuck. I think marriage equality is likely to be the same.

A subjective consensus.

It’s hard to think of the parallel here in regards to whatever you mean by subjective. Take for instance subjective concepts lack fashion, we could say that fashion is matter of consensus, that certain wardrobe items, styles become recognized as fashionable at a given period by the whims of societies taste. Sometimes trends that were panned years ago, can now become trendy. You can say some sort of consensus develops and sways the tides, making man buns fashionable, and then later making them dated.

You can also say the same thing about truth, that a society might hold a wrong view of something, that someone later recognizes as false and discovers what’s true. Some sort of consensus forms in recognition of this, and then over time becomes recognized by the majority. And the truth, unlike fashion preferences is not temporal or random. If it’s true it can withstand the test of time. This is the way I see morality, but perhaps not the way you do? There’s nothing I would defend more, feel more passionate about then my own moral temperaments, no truth worthy of defending, or sacrifices for then for the sake of what is Good.

The truth is much different than subjective preferences that which are often temporary, constantly changing, often returning back to past preferences, etc…

Would you say you see morality more aligned with the consensus that forms around commonly referred to aspects we call subjective, or more aligned with the consensus that forms around truth?

But following the subjective consensus view, perhaps we could say that the moral “consensus” often revolves around creating negative connotations and feeling with items we label as immoral, leading us to feel averse to certain actions, and attracted to others. Praising some acts, and feeling contempt for other acts. The conservative is repulsed by the act of homosexuality, finding it unnatural, perhaps in a way that the liberal is not, sort of the way we might find a grown man marrying a thirteen year old repulsive, while not so for another culture.

Perhaps the trend among certain secular liberals is an attraction to the concept of morality based on a consideration of net harm. If no harm done, than anything goes. While for others it might be for the sake of retention of certain values, the preservation of classical family structures, moral values, the protestant work ethic, etc….

And that moral persuasion here, is a lot like trying to convince men from the deep south to wear skinny jeans?

This was an interesting answer and i enjoyed reading it.

However, I think morals are subjective. For example when the great Khan received a letter from the pope saying the pope's god was on his side, Khan answered that he was winning. Therefore God must be on his side.

The Mongols made trade routes passable these routes had never been so before, having been flooded by bandits and thieves. So was the Mongol style more moral in its effect upon human activity?

Certainly things change, depending upon who is in charge. This is or seems ultimately the case through history.

Another example is the Romans who took civilization to places where such an idea was unheard of. Was that moral?

There seems in history to be no one moral grounding. To argue there is is in itself ignorant of history and unbecoming of anyone of intelligence.

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.
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28-12-2015, 09:55 AM
RE: A Challenge for Moral Realists
(28-12-2015 08:37 AM)Banjo Wrote:  This was an interesting answer and i enjoyed reading it.

However, I think morals are subjective. For example when the great Khan received a letter from the pope saying the pope's god was on his side, Khan answered that he was winning. Therefore God must be on his side.

The Mongols made trade routes passable these routes had never been so before, having been flooded by bandits and thieves. So was the Mongol style more moral in its effect upon human activity?

Certainly things change, depending upon who is in charge. This is or seems ultimately the case through history.

Another example is the Romans who took civilization to places where such an idea was unheard of. Was that moral?

There seems in history to be no one moral grounding. To argue there is is in itself ignorant of history and unbecoming of anyone of intelligence.

I think if we look through history, through a multitude of cultures separated from each other, in their religious writings, particularly the ones that attempt to outline what they see as moral laws, you'd likely find a great deal of parallel between those instructions. There seems to be a core morality, the sort that allows us to create a universal declaration of human rights, that accounts for overlap of cross cultural ethical agreement. "Neuroscience, in particular the techniques of fMRI (functioning magnetic resonance imaging of brain activity), increasingly shows that people’s brains react the same way to ethical problems across cultures. ”

-Excerpt From: Rosenberg, Alex. “The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions.”

This doesn't mean morality, particularly when extended to the political domain, in creating policies, and legal prohibitions, is not a complicated mess, or that moral agreements aren't hard to come by, and don't often involve fighting tooth and nail. But this sort of complexity in and of itself doesn't suggest morality is subjective. Anymore so than our own passionate disagreements on whats true, over reality itself, mean that truth is subjective.

I don't think that when anyone here protests the immorality of slavery, or the holocaust, that they're keen to have this reduced the way we might subjective preferences, as amounting to much more than a protest over whether or not scrambled eggs taste better than over easy, or equable over which shoes go best with that skirt. That morality is merely the decorative frills of personal opinion. In fact we'd likely be insulted if somewhere were treat our moral perceptions in such a way. That's perhaps why Matt Finney brand of moral nihilism, wins very few fans.

And often times to me when engaging with those who believe morality is subjective, it's not very clear to me how they are using the term subjective, that it becomes quite difficult to find something analogous here. And in most cases people's criticism seems to be leveled at moral absolutism, but not necessarily moral realism.

And I think even in the end if objective morality is false, our moral protest and language are so soaked in objective perceptions, to wave it all off as subjective doesn't really tell the full story. We argue about morality as if there are these unwritten laws and obligations that bind us all, and not just our tribes and respective societies, but humanity as a whole, and often inflict severe penalties for transgressing them, illicit international outcry.

If morality is not objective, I don't think Matt's conclusions, can be avoided by trying to reduce morality to be a subjective concept, and imagine we can preserve and speak of morality the way we always do. We'd have to rethink it all together, and perhaps be unable to do anything other then abandon it, they way we often do with concepts like free-will.

"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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