An Essay on the Moral Argument
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18-07-2017, 02:26 AM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
If we were to concede that torturing infants for fun is not objectively immoral because it is somehow subjective, then it opens the way to torturing for fun people who claim it's not morally repugnant to torture infants for fun. Does anybody really want to start down that slippery slope? Anything goes, right? No?

Once one starts with slippery slope arguments, a counter-slippery slope argument is just as good (or just as bad). This all leads us to moral nihilism.

The theist argument is that without God to use as a peg to hang "objective morality" on we can have no morality is obviously wrong as many people without religion behave morally. And often religious believers do not. ISIL and Boko Haram for example. The religious wars of Christianity, slavery and Jim Crow are other examples.

Thus this all boils down to what sort of a world do you want to live in, an argument from pragmatism.

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

Cheerful Charlie
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18-07-2017, 02:31 AM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(18-07-2017 02:26 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  Thus this all boils down to what sort of a world do you want to live in, an argument from pragmatism.

"This all leads us to moral nihilism."

Yes please.
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18-07-2017, 03:16 AM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(18-07-2017 02:31 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(18-07-2017 02:26 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  Thus this all boils down to what sort of a world do you want to live in, an argument from pragmatism.

"This all leads us to moral nihilism."

Yes please.


“Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” – Hassan-i Sabbah, Grandmaster of the Assassins

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

Cheerful Charlie
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18-07-2017, 03:29 AM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(18-07-2017 03:16 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  
(18-07-2017 02:31 AM)Stevil Wrote:  "This all leads us to moral nihilism."

Yes please.


“Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” – Hassan-i Sabbah, Grandmaster of the Assassins
I'm not pulling your chain. I'm all for a society and rules devoid of moral beliefs. I think we are better off without them.
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18-07-2017, 04:06 AM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
I just had a god damn telescope thing poked up my nose and down my throat. It felt like it went into my brain. So I get to win all debates today.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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18-07-2017, 04:25 AM (This post was last modified: 18-07-2017 04:32 AM by M. Linoge.)
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(18-07-2017 02:26 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  Thus this all boils down to what sort of a world do you want to live in, an argument from pragmatism.

As a pragmatist I see no problem with letting secular pragmatism rule.
It's just this small issue with these people whom do not wish to live in this world at all.
Some say out loud that they can't wait for life to die out so they will ascend to immortality after death, as promised in the insane rulebook written by fools.

Differing priorities is how you get people who mean well to murder each other with a clear conscience. It makes it difficult to trust theists when their priorities are never - that I see - to improve the world.
At best pragmatism is worthless to those who reject physical reality in favor of fantasies, at worst it is a threat to their spiritual purity.

"Old men make old words holy. - A fool may scrawl on a slate and if no one has the wit to wipe it clean for a thousand years the scrawl becomes the wisdom of ages."

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18-07-2017, 07:50 AM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(18-07-2017 03:29 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(18-07-2017 03:16 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” – Hassan-i Sabbah, Grandmaster of the Assassins
I'm not pulling your chain. I'm all for a society and rules devoid of moral beliefs. I think we are better off without them.

It is a common argument from many theists that if we deny God gave us moral absolutes, all is permissable, They think this is a good argument. Society has to have rules, and rules have to be founded in some sort of morality, even if it is a pragmatic form of consequentialism. But no ethical ism seems to allow moral perfection. No royal road to ethics. We still have to fight bad culture, bad ideology, bad religious ideas, built-in cognitive biases.

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

Cheerful Charlie
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18-07-2017, 08:51 AM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(18-07-2017 07:50 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  It is a common argument from many theists that if we deny God gave us moral absolutes, all is permissable, They think this is a good argument.
It seems self-evident to them that if a moral code doesn't have a backing authority it is useless because you can't appeal to unambiguous right or wrong in enforcing it. This arises largely from the notion that man is so morally corrupt as to be incapable of knowing right from wrong (utter depravity). Or at least incapable of knowing it with any utility and consistency. Left to itself, they believe societal morality devolves to a simple popularity contest that caters to the lowest common denominators of society.

This is an overly pessimistic view, and also, not a genuinely held view, given the rampant lack of concern among significant numbers of evangelicals about endorsing Trump. Here's a guy absolutely known to be a serial compulsive liar, a womanizer of the most repugnant sort, an unfaithful husband, someone who has had no compunctions about running up against fundamentalist shibboleths like abortion when it suits the advancement of his own agendas, and on and on and on. But give them the supreme court justices they want and tick off a couple of other check boxes and it's all good. Seems to me that evangelicals are delighted to participate in a race to the bottom if it results in something closer to their wet dream of a theocracy. They will in fact bet the republic's very survival on it.

Then there's the whole matter of the obvious moral perfidy of god himself in failing to decry slavery or women as chattel or any number of other things, and of course, allowing human suffering despite having the ability to do something about it.

So they speak out both sides of their mouth on this but are so used to asserted rather than demonstrable truth, and so used to hurling special pleading all over the place on a regular basis, that they don't see these contradictions. God is never immoral even when he does things that are immoral. Indeed, one theist argued with me that god alone knows all the eventual consequences of an act, and so is perfectly justified in "doing evil that good may come of it" -- something that is sternly prohibited to us mere humans. This is the basis for rejoicing in hardship and suffering, because if god allows it to impact you, he's just reducing the net long term suffering in the world at large.

With circular arguments like these, the morality of Christian morality, if you will, can be dismissed out of hand. It is not even worthy of a serious discussion of actual morality, to insert Christian morality into it. The only morality that matters and is valid is one that at least makes the attempt to assess likely outcomes as to benefits or harms and sustainability. Christianity simply says, "do it because (we claim that) god says so, and by the way, make sure you enjoy it".
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18-07-2017, 12:57 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(18-07-2017 07:50 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  
(18-07-2017 03:29 AM)Stevil Wrote:  I'm not pulling your chain. I'm all for a society and rules devoid of moral beliefs. I think we are better off without them.

It is a common argument from many theists that if we deny God gave us moral absolutes, all is permissable, They think this is a good argument. Society has to have rules, and rules have to be founded in some sort of morality, even if it is a pragmatic form of consequentialism. But no ethical ism seems to allow moral perfection. No royal road to ethics. We still have to fight bad culture, bad ideology, bad religious ideas, built-in cognitive biases.

They make the assumption that laws are to uphold "moral goods" and discourage "moral bads".
I really hate that idea.
It's one of the reasons why they think they can outlaw prostitution, abortion, gay marriage etc. They want a moral society. They want to force their morals onto people.

We don't need to resort to fighting over what is morally good or morally bad in order to come up with some laws for a stable, safe and thriving society.
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18-07-2017, 04:49 PM
RE: An Essay on the Moral Argument
(17-07-2017 04:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Nope, it means it's not absolute. Absolute implies that it can't be relative to a context. Relativism is not the same as subjectivism. X being true given particular conditions, but not true given other conditions, doesn't make it subjective.
"Objective" means "based on fact". Facts do not change. If it is factual that it is immoral to steal, then it is immoral to steal regardless of the context.

If there are some contexts in which it is not immoral to steal, then the statement "it is immoral to steal" is not factual, and therefore it cannot be an objective statement.

Quote:The example I used, of torturing innocent children gave the context, "purely for the fun of it". In this scenario is objectively harmful, thereby immoral. If you thinks it subjective please tell me why.
Of course it's subjective, on multiple counts. Define "torture", "innocent", "children", "purely", and "fun", and then maybe we can make some headway. Right now all you have are subjective assumptions on what you think those terms mean, and on whether I happen to agree with those meanings.

Quote:Don't bother offering non-contextual, or ambiguous examples of your own, there all beside the point.
LoL. I offered you five contextual examples.
The whole point of my examples was the context.

If they are ambiguous to you, then that is evidence of their subjectivity.
You can't just ignore examples that you don't happen to like.

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Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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