Another attack on moral subjectivism
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18-06-2015, 08:23 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(18-06-2015 07:25 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If you're saying torturing babies just for fun is subjectively wrong, but not in the sense of expressing likes and dislikes, and not in the sense of objectively wrong, what is the undisclosed middle? What would be something analogous?

Have you ever listened to Dan Carlin's Hardcore history podcast? He did an interesting one on Genghis Khan. Historians like to point to the many great things that came out of the Mongol invasions and the empire that followed and connected so many far flung disparate peoples. All at a cost of around 50 million lives.

This of course does not cover the lives lost under future Mongol rulers. Carlin said it was too soon to speak the same way of the Nazis. But when one thinks of it, many advancements for humanity came from Nazi aggression. The exploration of space being just one.

What is good or bad? It is an age old question with many answers from many peoples. Some societies were in favor of human sacrifice. Indeed, even Agamemnon had his daughter sacrificed, on the advice of a priest, in order to win a war.

The Romans invaded Britain using a flimsy excuse that they wished to end human sacrifice there. And a reason for their aggression against the Jews was their abhorrence of circumcision!

How about political systems? Communism, Fascism, Capitalism..... They all work in their ways. Humans continue regardless. Genghis did not wipe out the species and neither did Justinian.

All of the above had differences. What Christianity offers is nothing more than another system.

You ask about torturing babies. A pathetic tactic easily seen through in favor of a God who ultimately delighted in the torture of babies. So check your facts and debate without appeals to emotion.

However the question has some merit in that stories exist of infant torture. For example Roman propaganda stated that babies were sacrificed in Carthage. Was this true? We do not know. If so, the civilization still thrived for around 1000 years. To ask a Carthaginian if this practice were evil, one may get a different response to one given by a modern enlightened human being.

The fact of the matter is that morals have differed across the globe and across history. Who am I to judge a Roman's morals when he was fighting barbarians in order to protect Caesar's conquest of Gaul. Or to criticise a US soldier fighting for oil in the Middle East that his country needs to retain its supremacy?

Historians in the future will be the judges I suppose.

The fact of the matter is as I see it is that neither you nor I have the authority to enforce our morals upon the rest of society. Nor do we have the power to do so. Offering a non existent god as an authority wont cut it either because it does not exist. Never shows itself. And if it did exist does not care because as history has shown people are left to their own devices. Left to create all kinds of morals to suit all kinds of situations.

Shakespeare was right. And it depends upon who is doing the thinking. Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Augustus, Frederick the Great...Take your pick.

There is no definitive answer to this question.

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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18-06-2015, 08:24 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(18-06-2015 07:25 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
If you're saying torturing babies just for fun is subjectively wrong, but not in the sense of expressing likes and dislikes, and not in the sense of objectively wrong, what is the undisclosed middle? What would be something analogous?

If your goal (or your society's goal) is world domination, it would make sense to invest in a eugenics program to breed an army of psychopaths who would have no qualms in dashing your enemies' babies against rocks ( Consider where have I read that before?).

If they learned a few torturing skills during their training ... all good.

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18-06-2015, 09:28 AM (This post was last modified: 18-06-2015 09:36 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(18-06-2015 08:23 AM)Banjo Wrote:  You ask about torturing babies. A pathetic tactic easily seen through in favor of a God who ultimately delighted in the torture of babies. So check your facts and debate without appeals to emotion. ……

I didn’t appeal to emotions. My example wasn’t chosen for it's emotional weight, but for it’s ability to ax the sort of grey areas associated with other moral questions. Is an example, in which pretty much everyone could agree is wrong. And it helps to resolve the issue of fluctuating context. The question wasn’t even really about the act of torturing babies just for fun, but about the meaning of “wrong”. It seems to me that when most people say this act is “wrong” they are implying it an objective rather than subjective sense. When an atheists, or someone else claims morality is subjective I’m not sure what they mean by it, hence the reason for my question.

From what I can tell, many seem to be suggestive that somethings are wrong in an objective sense provided a certain context, (context doesn’t negate objectivity, it negates absolutism), i.e it’s wrong to torture babies just for the fun of it, though torturing babies to save the lives of your community might not be. This is sort of what you're doing with your examples, providing reasons as to why some actions might not be wrong give certain results, or context.

And secondly you don’t need to bring up my supposed religious beliefs since you have no real clue as to what they are. Nor do I feel like defending allegations for beliefs I don’t hold, or for some fundie evangelical tradition I’m not a part of. Any views in which I hold regarding morality, are not dependent on christianity, or really anything the bible has to say about it. Nor do I think that being religious or being an atheists, makes you any more moral than the other. So you can leave your anti-thestic diatribes, and shtick for someone else, I’m not interested in it.

Quote:The fact of the matter is that morals have differed across the globe and across history. Who am I to judge a Roman's morals when he was fighting barbarians in order to protect Caesar's conquest of Gaul. Or to criticise a US soldier fighting for oil in the Middle East that his country needs to retain its supremacy?

While there are differences, there is also a great deal of homogeny to it as well, at least in the basic forms of morality. If every culture provided a list of ten commandment of their own, you’ll likely find a great deal of similarity between these lists, as we already do.

And I’m not asking so much about judgement here, asking you to judge the actions of Romans, or US Soldiers, or the ancient Hebrews, those who might have had to make some brutal but perhaps ultimately pragmatic decisions. I summed it all up in one question, a question seeking to understand the meaning of wrong as subjective, in what does it mean to say that torturing a baby just for the fun of it, is “wrong”? Do we really mean something subjective when we say it?

While you might propose some interesting question, they seem to have nothing to do with mine.
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18-06-2015, 09:35 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(18-06-2015 09:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  While you might propose some interesting question, they seem to have nothing to do with mine.


I see yours as no different to many others I have seen. This is why my answer is broad.

As to your beliefs, I suspect you are a theist in disguise. If I am wrong I am sorry. However my suspicion remains.

I stand behind what Shakespeare wrote.

As to emotional content? Babies? Really?

To the Nazis the killing of so called "lesser races", babies adults or adolescents was seen as morally correct.

As I said, there is no definitive answer to this question. That is why I am unable to provide an answer. I do not believe there is one. One hundred years from now I expect morals in many places to have changed.

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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18-06-2015, 09:40 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(18-06-2015 09:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(18-06-2015 08:23 AM)Banjo Wrote:  You ask about torturing babies. A pathetic tactic easily seen through in favor of a God who ultimately delighted in the torture of babies. So check your facts and debate without appeals to emotion. ……

I didn’t appeal to emotions. My example wasn’t chosen for it's emotional weight, but for it’s ability to ax the sort of grey areas associated with other moral questions. Is an example, in which pretty much everyone could agree is wrong. And it helps to resolve the issue of fluctuating context. The question wasn’t even really about the act of torturing babies just for fun, but about the meaning of “wrong”. It seems to me that when most people say this act is “wrong” they are implying it an objective rather than subjective sense. When an atheists, or someone else claims morality is subjective I’m not sure what they mean by it, hence the reason for my question.

From what I can tell, many seem to be suggestive that somethings are wrong in an objective sense provided a certain context, (context doesn’t negate objectivity, it negates absolutism), i.e it’s wrong to torture babies just for the fun of it, though torturing babies to save the lives of your community might not be. This is sort of what you're doing with your examples, providing reasons as to why some actions might not be wrong give certain results, or context.

And secondly you don’t need to bring up my supposed religious beliefs since you have no real clue as to what they are. Nor do I feel like defending allegations for beliefs I don’t hold, or for some fundie evangelical tradition I’m not a part of. Any views in which I hold regarding morality, are not dependent on christianity, or really anything the bible has to say about it. Nor do I think that being religious or being an atheists, makes you any more moral than the other. So you can leave your anti-thestic diatribes, and shtick for someone else, I’m not interested in it.

Quote:The fact of the matter is that morals have differed across the globe and across history. Who am I to judge a Roman's morals when he was fighting barbarians in order to protect Caesar's conquest of Gaul. Or to criticise a US soldier fighting for oil in the Middle East that his country needs to retain its supremacy?

While there are differences, there is also a great deal of homogeny to it as well, at least in the basic forms of morality. If every culture provided a list of ten commandment of their own, you’ll likely find a great deal of similarity between these lists, as we already do.

And I’m not asking so much about judgement here, asking you to judge the actions of Romans, or US Soldiers, or the ancient Hebrews, those who might have had to make some brutal but perhaps ultimately pragmatic decisions. I summed it all up in one question, a question seeking to understand the meaning of wrong as subjective, in what does it mean to say that torturing a baby just for the fun of it, is “wrong”? Do we really mean something subjective when we say it?

While you might propose some interesting question, they seem to have nothing to do with mine.

Why do you keep typing "an atheists"? Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-06-2015, 10:49 AM (This post was last modified: 18-06-2015 10:53 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(18-06-2015 09:35 AM)Banjo Wrote:  I see yours as no different to many others I have seen. This is why my answer is broad. As to your beliefs, I suspect you are a theist in disguise. If I am wrong I am sorry. However my suspicion remains.

No, I'm not a theists in disguise. I'm a theist, but if you don't particularly know what my theistic beliefs are, what my views on the bible are, etc..., it's perhaps best to leave whatever box you think I fit into out of it. There's a few billions of us, and not all of us fit into whatever butchered stereotype you have in mind.

Quote:As to emotional content? Babies? Really?

Yes, babies, and just for fun too. Why did I choose the example, if it wasn't for emotional reasons? Because we all can agree it's wrong given the context. So the only question that remains is what is the meaning of "wrong" here in a subjective sense?

Quote:To the Nazis the killing of so called "lesser races", babies adults or adolescents was seen as morally correct.

I don't think that was the case at all. A thief doesn't typically believe stealing is morally correct, nor does a man who cheats on his wife, typically believe adultery is morally correct. Just because Nazi's murdered innocent children doesn't mean they believed they were doing something morally correct either. The psychological conditions of death camp soldiers, the sort of shame, and guilt that plagued them in the aftermath, doesn’t particularly suggest that they really believed that what they were doing was morally correct. But this is all a side point.

Even if they did believe that killing children for the sake of their cause, for the sake of saving or renewing Germany, you’re using a different context, than one in which a man is torturing babies just for the fun of it. In your example it wouldn’t be for the fun of it, but for the ultimate cause they found themselves in service to. A question of whether the ends justify the means. They would be justifying their actions for the sake of this cause, where as is in my example it wouldn’t be for any particular political or social cause, but for the fun of it. You can’t change the context, and assume we’re still asking the same question here.

Quote:As I said, there is no definitive answer to this question. That is why I am unable to provide an answer. I do not believe there is one. One hundred years from now I expect morals in many places to have changed.

Again, you’re not really taking in the question here, and continue to provide answers for questions I didn’t ask. Imagine if I asked you, "what does it mean to say that wearing socks with sandals is wrong (as a fashion faux pas)? Am I expressing something subjective or objective here? What does it mean for wrong to be subjective as opposed to objective"?

And you respond with a series of examples of how fashion preferences are different amongst various cultures. Or how in certain context, like in cold weather, to keep ones feet warm, wearing socks with sandals might be appropriate. Perhaps in this example you can see how the response, involves a distortion or misunderstanding of the question. That the answer being provided is not really about the question at all, and just leaves the question unanswered and ignored for the most part.

In reality, though I may have used an example of tortured babies for the sake amusement, as a point of reference, the question was really just what is the meaning of “subjective wrong” in relationship to morality? Particularly if it means something different than when we use the term “wrong” in other subjective categories, like fashion, or musical taste, where it doesn’t break down to an expressions of likes and dislikes as the OP suggest.

Do you understand the question? Do you find it to be one that you are unable to answer?
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18-06-2015, 11:02 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(18-06-2015 09:40 AM)Chas Wrote:  Why do you keep typing "an atheists"? Consider

Because I like the sound of it, as opposed to atheist, it might be related to my lisp, but I'm not too sure.
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18-06-2015, 03:21 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
Well while I remain ignorant as to your religious beliefs, you remain ignorant as to Nazi history.

What religion do you represent?

As for my not answering, I have in fact answered. You however avoid answering at every turn. If you look at my responses you will see I said There is no definitive answer. I mean that. Morals are relative to time and place. That is my answer.

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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18-06-2015, 03:36 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
From another thread.

(17-06-2015 08:01 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  It is a good analogy, though simplistic and trite, it is tightly constructed. I had to share it with an Evangelical Christian group I'm a part of it, to get there thoughts on it.


In Australia we call your type "Bullshit artists".

You are busted mate.

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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19-06-2015, 11:26 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(18-06-2015 09:35 AM)Banjo Wrote:  
(18-06-2015 09:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  While you might propose some interesting question, they seem to have nothing to do with mine.


I see yours as no different to many others I have seen. This is why my answer is broad.

As to your beliefs, I suspect you are a theist in disguise. If I am wrong I am sorry. However my suspicion remains.

I stand behind what Shakespeare wrote.

As to emotional content? Babies? Really?

To the Nazis the killing of so called "lesser races", babies adults or adolescents was seen as morally correct.

As I said, there is no definitive answer to this question. That is why I am unable to provide an answer. I do not believe there is one. One hundred years from now I expect morals in many places to have changed.

Replace your argument about changing morals with religion, and you'd have an argument against religion, the changing of moral values surely shows them to be somewhat vacuous more than complex and unknowable.

"A witty quote means nothing"
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