Another attack on moral subjectivism
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16-06-2015, 07:58 PM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2015 08:14 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 07:48 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  Well, stealing is wrong because you're taking time from someone else, and time is irreplaceable. You wouldn't want to have to work another 2400 hours for another automobile, so you take offense when someone inflicts that injury upon you.

It never ceases to amaze me how critics of moral relativity seem to think that humans don't have shared values. Talk about short-sighted.

But some people give away things. It's not immoral because it's "named" *stealing*. It's destructive because there is no mutual consent to the transfer. The same act could be moral, *if* it were mutually consensual. The *act* is the transfer. It could be either moral or immoral. There is nothing "objectively moral" about a transfer. It's the context that makes it one or the other.

Using rape as an example of moral objectivism is a fraud. The act in question is not rape, but *having sex*, which can be either moral or immoral.
Consensual sex is sometimes moral. Non-consensual sex is usually not because it causes pain and destroys community, not because it's objectively immoral.

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16-06-2015, 08:21 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 07:52 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don't think people who avoid stealing, even when tempted to do so, see it as a matter of avoiding taking up someones time.

Not consciously, sure. But that is at the core of the dislike for thieves. This is why we don't call donors "victims". This is why we extend the same courtesy to others -- because we know that while the item might be replaceable, the labor isn't -- it must be done anew.

Do you consciously map out every moral decision you make? Yeah, I didn't think so.
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16-06-2015, 08:26 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 07:58 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  But some people give away things. It's not immoral because it's "named" *stealing*. It's destructive because there is no mutual consent to the transfer. The same act could be moral, *if* it were mutually consensual. The *act* is the transfer. It could be either moral or immoral. There is nothing "objectively moral" about a transfer. It's the context that makes it one or the other.

Of course -- that's the difference between receiving and taking; that's the difference between donating and surrendering. Thieving is not immoral because property is transferred. It is immoral because it is forcibly transferred without compensation.

(16-06-2015 07:58 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Using rape as an example of moral objectivism is a fraud. The act in question is not rape, but *having sex*, which can be either moral or immoral.
Consensual sex is sometimes moral. Non-consensual sex is usually not because it causes pain and destroys community, not because it's objectively immoral.

I'm unsure why you're bringing up rape, or moral objectivism for that matter.
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16-06-2015, 08:31 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 08:21 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  Not consciously, sure. But that is at the core of the dislike for thieves. This is why we don't call donors "victims". This is why we extend the same courtesy to others -- because we know that while the item might be replaceable, the labor isn't -- it must be done anew.

Do you consciously map out every moral decision you make? Yeah, I didn't think so.

I don't think this is conscious, or subconscious, or existing at the core as you suggest. I'm pissed off at someone who stole my stuff, for stealing my stuff, for taking what wasn't theirs, and not because deep down I know that I have to put in extra hours at work to acquire the item again.

When I was kid, and someone stole my video games, which I didn't work for, but my parents bought me. I wasn't pissed off thinking about the hours my parents had to put in at work to buy the game for me, I can't even say that this even registered. I was pissed off because they took my game, something that wasn't there's to begin with, but mine.
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16-06-2015, 08:38 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 08:26 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(16-06-2015 07:58 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  But some people give away things. It's not immoral because it's "named" *stealing*. It's destructive because there is no mutual consent to the transfer. The same act could be moral, *if* it were mutually consensual. The *act* is the transfer. It could be either moral or immoral. There is nothing "objectively moral" about a transfer. It's the context that makes it one or the other.

Of course -- that's the difference between receiving and taking; that's the difference between donating and surrendering. Thieving is not immoral because property is transferred. It is immoral because it is forcibly transferred without compensation.

(16-06-2015 07:58 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Using rape as an example of moral objectivism is a fraud. The act in question is not rape, but *having sex*, which can be either moral or immoral.
Consensual sex is sometimes moral. Non-consensual sex is usually not because it causes pain and destroys community, not because it's objectively immoral.

I'm unsure why you're bringing up rape, or moral objectivism for that matter.

Because the question was raised (stupidly) in the OP, as a "category" which is invalid, (not really a "category"). "Thieving" is a subset of property transfer. Property transfer, per se, is neither moral nor immoral. There is nothing "objectively immoral or moral" about transfer of property.

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16-06-2015, 09:53 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 08:31 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don't think this is conscious, or subconscious, or existing at the core as you suggest. I'm pissed off at someone who stole my stuff, for stealing my stuff, for taking what wasn't theirs, and not because deep down I know that I have to put in extra hours at work to acquire the item again.

But you're not explaining why you're thinking that theft is wrong. You're just saying you're pissed off.

You don't like my reasoning -- great. What is yours? "Because I say so"? If it isn't conscious, or subconscious, then where is that thought happening?

Believe it or not, animals have a sense of ownership, and it is often based on how much work goes into the possession. This is why scavengers will abandon carrion more readily than predators will abandon kills. This is why if you try to take a bone from a hungry dog, you might get a nasty surprise.

Why are you pissed when someone takes something of yours? What is the basis for you to argue that theft is wrong?

"Because I said so" is not an answer.

(16-06-2015 08:31 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  When I was kid, and someone stole my video games, which I didn't work for, but my parents bought me. I wasn't pissed off thinking about the hours my parents had to put in at work to buy the game for me, I can't even say that this even registered. I was pissed off because they took my game, something that wasn't there's to begin with, but mine.

Fair enough. But does that loss hurt as much as your car getting stolen after you've made payments on it for five years?

You're grossly oversimplifying your emotions. At least, I hope you are.
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16-06-2015, 09:57 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 08:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Because the question was raised (stupidly) in the OP, as a "category" which is invalid, (not really a "category"). "Thieving" is a subset of property transfer. Property transfer, per se, is neither moral nor immoral. There is nothing "objectively immoral or moral" about transfer of property.

Rape isn't a subset of sex. It is a subset of crime. Theft is not property transfer; it is property seizure.

I'm pretty sure we're in agreement, so forgive me my pedantry.
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16-06-2015, 11:01 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 09:57 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(16-06-2015 08:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Because the question was raised (stupidly) in the OP, as a "category" which is invalid, (not really a "category"). "Thieving" is a subset of property transfer. Property transfer, per se, is neither moral nor immoral. There is nothing "objectively immoral or moral" about transfer of property.

Rape isn't a subset of sex. It is a subset of crime. Theft is not property transfer; it is property seizure.

I'm pretty sure we're in agreement, so forgive me my pedantry.

Theft is property transfer without consent. Rape is sexual activity without mutual consent, (for whatever motive). It's a crime because at some point in human history there were laws enacted against it. It's not immoral because it's a crime. It's a crime because sex without consent is not acceptable and destructive of community.

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16-06-2015, 11:59 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 11:01 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Theft is property transfer without consent. Rape is sexual activity without mutual consent, (for whatever motive).

For some reason, you seem to have ignored the fact that I wrote "you take offense when someone inflicts that injury upon you" (emphasis added), which addresses your point about consent in one word.

(16-06-2015 11:01 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It's a crime because at some point in human history there were laws enacted against it. It's not immoral because it's a crime. It's a crime because sex without consent is not acceptable and destructive of community.

The disagreement I have with calling theft "property transfer" is that there are words more apt -- such as "seizure". I'm not confusing legality and morality; I'm saying that the language here could and should be more explicit in order to more correctly describe the moral weight of the act.
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17-06-2015, 12:08 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(16-06-2015 11:59 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(16-06-2015 11:01 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Theft is property transfer without consent. Rape is sexual activity without mutual consent, (for whatever motive).

For some reason, you seem to have ignored the fact that I wrote "you take offense when someone inflicts that injury upon you" (emphasis added), which addresses your point about consent in one word.

(16-06-2015 11:01 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It's a crime because at some point in human history there were laws enacted against it. It's not immoral because it's a crime. It's a crime because sex without consent is not acceptable and destructive of community.

The disagreement I have with calling theft "property transfer" is that there are words more apt -- such as "seizure". I'm not confusing legality and morality; I'm saying that the language here could and should be more explicit in order to more correctly describe the moral weight of the act.

And I think that people (like the OP) use that language to obfuscate the fact that the larger category of act is important. When the specific "moral label" is applied too quickly or without recognizing the larger category (while it is, or can be, correct in some instances of the act), it's easier for them to get away with their bullshit of "moral objectivism" and ignore that some instances of the very same action are not immoral. Morality is dependent on context. Taking the life of someone that is threatening you with lethal force is not immoral. Taking the life of someone that's not a threat to you might be.

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