Another attack on moral subjectivism
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05-07-2015, 10:22 AM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2015 10:33 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 09:10 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Why is it OK to have horses as slaves, but not people?

Would it be OK to have chimps as slaves? Why? Why not?

None of this even attempts to actually answer the question. Aquinas and Robert Lee, both of whom were okay with slavery at their time, found it evil, not right. I guess the question would be for those who propose that morality is subjective, why the incongruency, why doesn't the thing in which a man find acceptable, become what he finds good? Even when fighting on the side to preserve what they see as immoral? What has formed his conception of "wrong", or "evil"? You can say it's a product of his particular time and culture, but the culture conditions of these men were supportive of these acts, as were they. Yet there's something else, something more here, revealing in them something not right about it, something not whole, or good, something corrupted, spoiled about the enterprise, in that relationship of oppression, that's it's not a thing of what's in vogue at the time.

When a family gathers in their Sunday best to watch the lynching of a black victim, there's just something not right about this scene, something dark about the entire affair, something mad and absurd in it, something dishonest, even if we can't particularly articulate what that is, even if we can sympathize with those sentiments that existed among the perpetuators of that affair, there something about the state of affairs that speaks of brokenness and loss, rather than goodness, or the way things ought to be. And that thing not quite right here, is not something new, a product of changing fashion taste, but something that has always been.

None of these questions are really about why is something wrong, but merely that perceptions being provoked here, and why to say it's all just a matter of subjective preferences remains a superficial, and an almost ignorable account.
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05-07-2015, 10:24 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 09:36 AM)DLJ Wrote:  To whom are these questions directed?

To anyone who claims slavery is wrong, even contextually wrong. Slavery is never right nor wrong, context doesn't change that fact.
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05-07-2015, 10:30 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 10:22 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-07-2015 09:10 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Why is it OK to have horses as slaves, but not people?

Would it be OK to have chimps as slaves? Why? Why not?

None of this even attempts to actually answer the question. Aquinas and Robert Lee, both of whom were okay with slavery at their time, found it evil, not right. I guess the question would be for those who propose that morality is subjective, why the incongruency, why doesn't the thing in which a man find acceptable, become what he finds good? Even when fighting on the side to preserve what they see as immoral? What has formed his conception of "wrong", or "evil"? You can say it's a product of his particular time and culture, but the culture conditions of these men were supportive of these acts. Yet there's something else, something more here, revealing in them something not right about it, something not whole, or good, something corrupted, spoiled about the enterprise, in that relationship of oppression, that's a not a thing of what's in vogue at the time.

None of these questions are really about why is something wrong, but merely that perceptions being provoked here, and why to say it's all just matter of subjective preferences remains a superficial, and an almost ignorable account.

When a man is sitting on a horse slave while fighting against human slavery, he is not fighting against slavery, but only for a subjective favoritism towards humans. He cares nothing about the slavery of horses. We need to admit that these are preferences.
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05-07-2015, 10:36 AM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2015 11:04 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 10:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  When a man is sitting on a horse slave while fighting against human slavery, he is not fighting against slavery, but only for a subjective favoritism towards humans. He cares nothing about the slavery of horses. We need to admit that these are preferences.

Well, Robert E. Lee wasn't fight against slavery now was he? He was sitting on his slave horse, fighting to preserve slave people, even owning slaves himself and treating them poorly, while believing that slavery was evil.

"There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race. " -Robert E. Lee

http://www.civilwarhome.com/leepierce.html

A remember in particular scene in 12 years a slave:

"I became a little too dependent on the whiskey, a little too undependable on the job. Now before you say I'm just a sorry drunkard, let me state my case. As reliable employment as overseeing is, it is no easy chore on the spirit. I say, no man of conscious can take the lash to another human day in, day out without shredding at his own self. Takes him to a place where he either makes excuses within his mind to be unaffected, or he finds some way to trample his guilty sensations. So, I trampled. With frequency."

There's more truth to this, something faithful to a man's relationship to morality, that goes by unsaid, unrecognized among those who speak on behalf of moral nihilism, or moral subjectivism.
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05-07-2015, 10:52 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 10:36 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-07-2015 10:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  When a man is sitting on a horse slave while fighting against human slavery, he is not fighting against slavery, but only for a subjective favoritism towards humans. He cares nothing about the slavery of horses. We need to admit that these are preferences.

Well, Robert E. Lee wasn't fight against slavery now was he? He was sitting on his slave horse, fighting to preserve slave people, even owning slaves himself and treating them poorly, while believing that slavery was evil.

"There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race. " -Robert E. Lee

http://www.civilwarhome.com/leepierce.html

He's still giving preference towards humans. Does he ever complain about the slavery of horses? Or describe it as evil?
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05-07-2015, 10:52 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 06:35 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(04-07-2015 03:47 PM)Chas Wrote:  Meaningless question because it is grossly underspecified. Wrong to whom? Or are you implying there are moral absolutes? Consider

So it's right for them, and wrong for you?

Which part of "Meaningless question because it is grossly underspecified." did you not understand? Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-07-2015, 10:58 AM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2015 11:02 AM by Chas.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 08:32 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-07-2015 08:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Obviously I can't speak for stevil, but for myself, I don't feel any confusion at all. Nihilism frees you up to make your own path. In fact, I would say that you are confusing what you believe to be moral truth, with what in reality is nothing more than subjective preference.

I think to summarize morality as subjective preference, offers no real account of moral sensibilities at all.

There is an excellent account - it is an evolutionary account.

Quote:If it was a matter of preference why does a man like Robert E. Lee who led the confederate army, view slavery as evil? Why would a man like Aquinas who also supported slavery in his time, view it as not part of the original order?

Since those two did not hold the same views on slavery, it pretty much demonstrates personal choice.

Quote:Clearly there's something more operating here than preference. What is it that's giving light to these perceptions, that's contrary to the very acts they justify, or even being fought for?

Of course there is far more than preference, and if you would actually read the thread you would already know that.

Quote:The only interesting response by atheists to the reality of our moral perceptions is the claim that morality is an illusion. Yet, when someone does suggests that, it doesn't seem to be the case that they found this position persuasive, but as the result of their atheism, it just has to be an illusion. If a man came to me and told me my moral perceptions are an illusion, it's more than likely that whatever case he has for that is non-existent. All he would be telling me is that he's an atheists, and that morality can be nothing other than an illusion as a result.

You are using 'illusion' in a confusing and non-constructive way. It is an invention, not an illusion.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-07-2015, 11:01 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 10:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(05-07-2015 10:22 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  None of this even attempts to actually answer the question. Aquinas and Robert Lee, both of whom were okay with slavery at their time, found it evil, not right. I guess the question would be for those who propose that morality is subjective, why the incongruency, why doesn't the thing in which a man find acceptable, become what he finds good? Even when fighting on the side to preserve what they see as immoral? What has formed his conception of "wrong", or "evil"? You can say it's a product of his particular time and culture, but the culture conditions of these men were supportive of these acts. Yet there's something else, something more here, revealing in them something not right about it, something not whole, or good, something corrupted, spoiled about the enterprise, in that relationship of oppression, that's a not a thing of what's in vogue at the time.

None of these questions are really about why is something wrong, but merely that perceptions being provoked here, and why to say it's all just matter of subjective preferences remains a superficial, and an almost ignorable account.

When a man is sitting on a horse slave while fighting against human slavery, he is not fighting against slavery, but only for a subjective favoritism towards humans. He cares nothing about the slavery of horses. We need to admit that these are preferences.

When slavery is discussed, people mean human slavery. You are introducing a red herring.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-07-2015, 11:19 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 10:24 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(05-07-2015 09:36 AM)DLJ Wrote:  To whom are these questions directed?

To anyone who claims slavery is wrong, even contextually wrong. Slavery is never right nor wrong, context doesn't change that fact.

Okey-dokey. To elaborate on the points I made earlier, a couple of questions ...

Is question:
Are symbiotic relationships more akin to contracts or to mutual enslavement?

Ought question:
Do you think that it is a worthwhile goal, to work towards building a society that embraces equality?

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05-07-2015, 01:04 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 10:58 AM)Chas Wrote:  There is an excellent account - it is an evolutionary account.

According to Daniel Dennet’s and Michael Ruse’s view of these evolutionary accounts, morality is an illusion, something you disagree with of course, and take issue with the term. But which understanding, which school of moral philosophy do these supposed accounts use to define the meaning of morality? According to Alasdair Macintyre the entire cabal of secular moral philosophies are in a state of disorder, and never completely recovered in light of the absence of teleological beliefs.

Some folks here think morality deals with what ought to be, while others here seem to image that morality is not about oughts, and is entirely descriptive, rather than prescriptive, some believe morality doesn’t exists at all, some seem suggestive of moral realism, others of moral subjectivism.

But lets ignore this for a minute, and use the accounts you attest to as excellent, to gather how insightful they’ve been for you.

What is the evolutionary explanation, for what leads a man like Robert E. Lee, who owned slaves, treated them poorly, and even led the side to preserve the institution of slavery, to see slavery as evil? His empathy?

Quote:Since those two did not hold the same views on slavery, it pretty much demonstrates personal choice.

They held very similar views actually, particularly in regards to the wrongness of it. They seem to be enlightened in that sense by the same thing, that same thing giving rise to the same moral reality, in different historical, time and context.

Quote:Of course there is far more than preference, and if you would actually read the thread you would already know that.

Of course it’s far more than preference, hence why atheists tend to passionately, though incoherently disagree with folks like Stevel, and Tear, and Matt Finney. Atheists such as yourself, who imagine morality as subjective, but not reducible to a matter personal preference, are just sort of in this weird limbo state, since they haven’t particularly found a way to recover morality in absence of telelogical assumptions about life, nor been able to defend themselves against other atheists who are aware of the contradictions.
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