Another attack on moral subjectivism
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30-06-2015, 11:22 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-06-2015 10:11 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  It doesn't matter if they have more in common with you than not. That's the boxing in of ideas that you constantly do. It doesn't actually mean anything that's just your perception. It doesn't alter whether they are or not something. If they don't fit the definitions nor describe their belief by Pantheism or Deism, It's not really a fitting concept.

Well, here’s the thing. Only a relative handful of people self-identify as atheist. In the US that number runs between 1-3%. So when atheists attempt to extend the self-identifying figure beyond these numbers to incapsulate folks who don’t typically self identify as atheist, they are doing exactly what you accuse me of, “boxing in”.

Either way, these distinctions are dependent on what the meaning of theism vs atheism is. And in my view many recent atheists often operate from a very crude definition of theism, and God, as opposed to how God is understood by traditional theism. It’s the distinction between a God who is a being, and God who is the ground of all being. It’s also the distinction between the fundamental beliefs of theism, vs secondary beliefs.

I have yet to run into a person who openly subscribes to teleological beliefs, and yet defines themselves as an atheists. They tend to only exist in the imagination of other atheists. And if they did exist, the question would be one about what we have in common, what really distinguishes their beliefs from mine, and that’s likely to be very little, at least very little in terms of fundamental beliefs. The only meaningful atheism in this regard, is one which lacks a belief in the God that I and many other theists believe in. If I encounter an individuals who believes in such a God, but doesn’t refer to it as a God, and prefers to call it a universal spirit, a higher power, life force, etc… the distinction between him and I is not really meaningful, beyond a mere use of different but hallow labels.

Quote:And gods generally are defined as "beings" or "Spirits" that's how it's described differently.

It seems you operating on the notion of gods as found in some sort of the greek pantheon, but not particularly the God of traditional theism:

“God so understood is neither some particular thing posed over against the created universe, in addition to it, nor is he the universe itself. He is not a being, at least not in the way that a tree, a clock, or a god is; he is not one more object in the inventory of things that are”

If you believe this is not the case, please educate me on what it is that I would have to lack a belief in, to be an atheist? What exactly is this God that I’m suppose to lack a belief in?

Here’s a good article, published in magazines that caters to orthodox forms of theism, catholicism, evangelical christianity, etc:

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2013/...nd-fairies
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30-06-2015, 12:13 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-06-2015 11:22 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 10:11 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  It doesn't matter if they have more in common with you than not. That's the boxing in of ideas that you constantly do. It doesn't actually mean anything that's just your perception. It doesn't alter whether they are or not something. If they don't fit the definitions nor describe their belief by Pantheism or Deism, It's not really a fitting concept.

Well, here’s the thing. Only a relative handful of people self-identify as atheist. In the US that number runs between 1-3%. So when atheists attempt to extend the self-identifying figure beyond these numbers to incapsulate folks who don’t typically self identify as atheist, they are doing exactly what you accuse me of, “boxing in”.

Either way, these distinctions are dependent on what the meaning of theism vs atheism is. And in my view many recent atheists often operate from a very crude definition of theism, and God, as opposed to how God is understood by traditional theism. It’s the distinction between a God who is a being, and God who is the ground of all being. It’s also the distinction between the fundamental beliefs of theism, vs secondary beliefs.

I have yet to run into a person who openly subscribes to teleological beliefs, and yet defines themselves as an atheists. They tend to only exist in the imagination of other atheists. And if they did exist, the question would be one about what we have in common, what really distinguishes their beliefs from mine, and that’s likely to be very little, at least very little in terms of fundamental beliefs. The only meaningful atheism in this regard, is one which lacks a belief in the God that I and many other theists believe in. If I encounter an individuals who believes in such a God, but doesn’t refer to it as a God, and prefers to call it a universal spirit, a higher power, life force, etc… the distinction between him and I is not really meaningful, beyond a mere use of different but hallow labels.

Quote:And gods generally are defined as "beings" or "Spirits" that's how it's described differently.

It seems you operating on the notion of gods as found in some sort of the greek pantheon, but not particularly the God of traditional theism:

“God so understood is neither some particular thing posed over against the created universe, in addition to it, nor is he the universe itself. He is not a being, at least not in the way that a tree, a clock, or a god is; he is not one more object in the inventory of things that are”

If you believe this is not the case, please educate me on what it is that I would have to lack a belief in, to be an atheist? What exactly is this God that I’m suppose to lack a belief in?

Here’s a good article, published in magazines that caters to orthodox forms of theism, catholicism, evangelical christianity, etc:

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2013/...nd-fairies

This is dependent on a view, yes. And you're choosing to what you claim "traditional theism" is... which you of course like any good communicator of religious terms, don't describe your stance. Instead you pick a quote out of a source saying what it is not. Again when there was a far better quote right before this quote explaining What it is. Why not use that? This is again bizarre quote using just like a thread in the past where you quoted and claimed the source made sense by your context, Because it did to you(as if that's a sensible case) Then talking about life in the universe falsely attributed a quote on Brian Cox about it, when he was talking about the solar system and not the universe(though fairly many people misquoted him on it but it was defended about him in the same sources what he really meant.)

Now with this quote, is this "traditional" theism... "eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, uncreated, uncaused, perfectly transcendent of all things and for that very reason absolutely immanent to all things."

How does one thing have knowledge that is going in hand with omniscience? Does it require consciousness or is it possible without consciousness?

While the others may think of these things as the universe, or whatever. It doesn't make a lot of essential sense in those thoughts to belief it to be any Omniscient/Omnipotent qualitied thing. These are the types of concepts that are strikingly different and lead to various beliefs about the God people even talk about when they do believe in God. When you describe these types of qualities, it has a "thinking" like quality added. That's a quality that isn't in these other views.

It's also strange you note this as traditional. That's typically a moral quality in the social sense if you deem tradition as something that has a quality. Though it's also bizarre because just religious history shows, (even if your God is real) God believes across the world, not just Greek eras, but African tribes, Asian lands, and American tribes had polytheistic grouping of gods as their believes. Monotheism didn't spring up until that formed in that Semetic-Egyptian-Babylonian era firmly cornered it in. So why would you consider 1 vs the other "traditional" it's a comparison of various options and picking one. I wouldn't pick one over either other ones.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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30-06-2015, 12:47 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-06-2015 12:13 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Instead you pick a quote out of a source saying what it is not. Again when there was a far better quote right before this quote explaining What it is. Why not use that?

Uhm, probably because I was using the quote to distinguish between gods and God, in particular in regard to God supposedly being one being among many

Quote:.. which you of course like any good communicator of religious terms, don't describe your stance.

My stance, is that life has innate meaning, goals, values, that is moral and narrative arc to it. That is signifies something rather than nothing.The meaning of which is embodied in the Gospels, and in the person of Jesus.

What I mean by God in relationship to this, is that which grounds this, what makes it so. That which ordered life in such a way, gives it's tune and meaning. The view of life is teleological, that life has narrative aspects of it, that's there's a story to it. God is merely a word to refer to the author of such a tale.

These are my fundamental beliefs, what makes me a believer rather than an unbeliever. There are secondary beliefs, that makes me more of an orthodox believer than not, such as beliefs about God being omnipotent, omniscient, personal, as opposed to a pantheist or a deist, etc....But even if I were agnostic on all these secondary beliefs, I would still be a believer. For me to be an atheists, would mean a rejection (or lack of belief is that how you want to put it), in my fundamental beliefs.
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30-06-2015, 01:15 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-06-2015 12:47 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 12:13 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Instead you pick a quote out of a source saying what it is not. Again when there was a far better quote right before this quote explaining What it is. Why not use that?

Uhm, probably because I was using the quote to distinguish between gods and God, in particular in regard to God supposedly being one being among many

Quote:.. which you of course like any good communicator of religious terms, don't describe your stance.

My stance, is that life has innate meaning, goals, values, that is moral and narrative arc to it. That is signifies something rather than nothing.The meaning of which is embodied in the Gospels, and in the person of Jesus.

What I mean by God in relationship to this, is that which grounds this, what makes it so. That which ordered life in such a way, gives it's tune and meaning. The view of life is teleological, that life has narrative aspects of it, that's there's a story to it. God is merely a word to refer to the author of such a tale.

These are my fundamental beliefs, what makes me a believer rather than an unbeliever. There are secondary beliefs, that makes me more of an orthodox believer than not, such as beliefs about God being omnipotent, omniscient, personal, as opposed to a pantheist or a deist, etc....But even if I were agnostic on all these secondary beliefs, I would still be a believer. For me to be an atheists, would mean a rejection (or lack of belief is that how you want to put it), in my fundamental beliefs.

I think the contrast is because your fundamentals, first set.. Still has this "designer" element.

You still have a desired, set, and ordered type of existence by this God opposed to Order/meaning/narrative JUST BEING. That they just are.

There is a difference in that way, I don't imagine you would not think so as you keep bringing up the point of the moral argument being different in Ought vs Just Is.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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30-06-2015, 01:32 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-06-2015 11:22 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Well, here’s the thing. Only a relative handful of people self-identify as atheist. In the US that number runs between 1-3%. So when atheists attempt to extend the self-identifying figure beyond these numbers to incapsulate folks who don’t typically self identify as atheist, they are doing exactly what you accuse me of, “boxing in”.
Atheism isn't a group. It isn't even really an -ism.
An "atheist" is a person that lacks a belief in gods.

Whether a person understands the word "atheist" or self identifies as "atheist" is beside the point.
There are many people who call themselves "agnostic" because they lack a belief in god but mistakenly think "atheist" is a group of people who have a belief that there is no god.
There are also many people who call themselves irreligious or not affiliated with a religion. Many of these people don't believe in gods.
It's hard to know exactly how many atheists there are because the term "atheist" is poorly understood by many people. Especially in a country like USA where the term "atheist" has been given a bad reputation by the religious folk.

USA is exceptional in the developed world. Most developed and "free" countries have about 30% - 60% atheists.
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30-06-2015, 01:51 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-06-2015 06:08 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(29-06-2015 04:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I currently have no moral beliefs.

I'm curious to hear how those who object to moral nihilism, respond to this claim.

Do they believe Stevil truly doesn't have moral beliefs, even though he's a product of a society similar to theirs? That he sort of broke whatever bonds of influence society has on the moral perceptions of others?

Do they believe he's pulling our leg?

There are often strong correllations between theists reaction to the idea of atheism and moralists reaction to the idea of amorality.

For some theists perspective of atheist:
- You can't be good without god belief
- You can't not believe in god, it is the atheists that hate god.

For some moralits perspective of amoralists:
- You can't be good without moral beliefs
- You can't not belief in moral rights and moral wrongs, it is just the amoralist that hates to use the words right and wrong.

It's all false of course.
I can easily not believe in something.

(30-06-2015 06:39 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(29-06-2015 08:56 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  If I said something that is not true, please point it out and show why it's not true.

"Slavery is wrong"

That can be true. It's true today in the U.S. thanks to the context of knowing the harm and damage it has done.
The US doesn't have a collective mind. The US is just a collection of individuals.
I'm sure there are some people in US who think slavery is a good thing. So, some individuals in the US believe slavery is wrong, some people believe it is right, and some believe it is neither right nor wrong.
It is a mistake to generalise and say slavery is wrong in the US. Sure slaver is against the law in the US. But we are talking about moral beliefs rather than laws.
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30-06-2015, 01:59 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-06-2015 05:39 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I found a really thorough post on another website that might help some people gain a better understanding of moral nihilism.
Moral nihilism is simple.
It is the claim that moral truths are undiscoverable.
It is the claim that moral statements such as "Slavery is wrong" is nonsensical because the term "wrong" requires context, it requires a defined goal. Without assuming what the goal is, we can't determine whether some action is right or wrong.


People who like subjective morality often feel morality is defined by society or they feel that they are justified in adding "oughts" to their beliefs and applying those "oughts" to others becasue they feel in their own opinion that a "reasonable" person would come to the same moral conclusions as themselves.

People who like moral nihilism don't make these assumptions, we don't treat a society as a homogonous thing, we don't assume to know what a "reasonable" person ought to do.
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30-06-2015, 07:51 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-06-2015 07:17 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 07:10 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I'm going to attempt to construct your basic argument, please correct me if I make an error.

1. If a behavior causes harm and damage, then that behavior is morally wrong (ought not to be done).
2. Slavery is a behavior that causes harm and damage.
C: Slavery is a behavior that is morally wrong (ought not to be done).

The problem lies in premise number 1. We can look back to Stevil's claim that "this glass of water is hot." This is false because it is making an implication that doesn't logically follow, and it goes like this. "if I perceive a glass of water to be hot, then that glass of water is hot." Now let me show you an example that is obviously false. "Picasso's paintings are beautiful." The implication is that "if I perceive Picasso's painting to be beautiful, then his paintings are beautiful." Someone else might look at the same painting and make the claim that they are ugly. We would both be making false claims for the same reason, i.e. the beauty/ugliness CAN ONLY be descriptive of our perceptions of the paintings, not the paintings themselves, likewise the wrongness of slavery can only lie in individual's perceptions/opinions, not slavery itself. We can say I don't like slavery, or I don't like Picasso's paintings, and make true claims, but we can't assign attributes to them that they are not capable of possessing and still make true claims.

Claims are either true, false, or incoherent (not claims). If we can't agree on this, we'll never get anywhere.

Let me add another example that shows the falsity.

1. If a behavior causes harm and damage, then that behavior is morally wrong (ought not to be done).
2. Hunting non-human animals is a behavior that causes harm and damage (at least to the non-human animals we are hunting).
C: Hunting non-human animals is morally wrong.

Would you agree that hunting (human predation on other species) is morally wrong?

Why are you stuck on absolutes? Consider

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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30-06-2015, 07:53 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-06-2015 01:59 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 05:39 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I found a really thorough post on another website that might help some people gain a better understanding of moral nihilism.
Moral nihilism is simple.
It is the claim that moral truths are undiscoverable.
It is the claim that moral statements such as "Slavery is wrong" is nonsensical because the term "wrong" requires context, it requires a defined goal. Without assuming what the goal is, we can't determine whether some action is right or wrong.


People who like subjective morality often feel morality is defined by society or they feel that they are justified in adding "oughts" to their beliefs and applying those "oughts" to others becasue they feel in their own opinion that a "reasonable" person would come to the same moral conclusions as themselves.

People who like moral nihilism don't make these assumptions, we don't treat a society as a homogonous thing, we don't assume to know what a "reasonable" person ought to do.

I don't see anyone but the objectivists arguing for "oughts". Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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30-06-2015, 08:01 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-06-2015 07:53 PM)Chas Wrote:  I don't see anyone but the objectivists arguing for "oughts". Consider

What are the non-nihilist, non-objectivists arguing for then?
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