Another attack on moral subjectivism
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05-07-2015, 01:33 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 01:04 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  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.

Not speaking for Chas but Girly says "So what?" Despite the fact that I am amoral I'm still an upstanding honest man and good citizen, husband, and father. I think onlinebiker had it right when he said "Morals are for people who don't know how to be a decent person." I have no need of morality anymore than I have need of religion.

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05-07-2015, 01:46 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 01:04 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
According to Daniel Dennet’s and Michael Ruse’s view
...

Nice choice of article ... to shoot down your own position.

Huh

For reference, please provide a citation regarding Dennett's assertion that morality is an illusion. Thanks.

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05-07-2015, 01:52 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 08:32 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  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 not actually correct in your assessment of moral nihilists.
It seems you want answer, regardless whether that answer is "here is the proof" or "I believe this to be the case".

A moral nihilist will most likely demand evidence (I do).
The reason why I state that morality is an illusion is because:
People often have strong moral convictions however people's moral convictions often differ from each other and there is no way to discover whose moral conviction is correct.
People whom believe in morality often point to their religious text or point to a "moral sense". But none of these people can substantiate why they think their religious text or moral sense is correct.
In this way there is no evidence what-so-ever in support of moral truths or correct moral sense.
So I lack a belief in the concept of moral rights and wrongs, it is just nonsense, the same goes for belief in magical invisible gods and demons, just nonsense.

I cannot prove that morality is an illusion because those that say morality exist don't put forth a coherent definition. It's certainly not falsifiable therefore it is impossible to refute. All I can do is point out they have no evidence supporting their case.

I am not going to make a claim "I believe that morality IS an illusion" because I consider the word "believe" as a dirty word. To believe something is saying that you are choosing to ignore the plausible alternatives. I am not willing to ignore anything. I am open to all arguments and evidence.

But don't take my position of lack of belief as "doesn't seem to be the case that they found this position persuasive". I am of the position that gods and morality are both nonsense unless some compelling evidence is presented.

I am 100% convicted in my atheist position and 100% convicted in my position of moral nihilism. But I still remain open to evidence if the people proposing the ideas of gods or morality care to put forth a coherent definition.
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05-07-2015, 02:09 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 01:52 PM)Stevil Wrote:  ...
I am 100% convicted in my atheist position and 100% convicted in my position of moral nihilism.
...

These words have been sentenced.

Big Grin

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05-07-2015, 03:34 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 01:52 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(05-07-2015 08:32 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  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 not actually correct in your assessment of moral nihilists.
It seems you want answer, regardless whether that answer is "here is the proof" or "I believe this to be the case".

A moral nihilist will most likely demand evidence (I do).
The reason why I state that morality is an illusion is because:
People often have strong moral convictions however people's moral convictions often differ from each other and there is no way to discover whose moral conviction is correct.
People whom believe in morality often point to their religious text or point to a "moral sense". But none of these people can substantiate why they think their religious text or moral sense is correct.
In this way there is no evidence what-so-ever in support of moral truths or correct moral sense.
So I lack a belief in the concept of moral rights and wrongs, it is just nonsense, the same goes for belief in magical invisible gods and demons, just nonsense.

I cannot prove that morality is an illusion because those that say morality exist don't put forth a coherent definition. It's certainly not falsifiable therefore it is impossible to refute. All I can do is point out they have no evidence supporting their case.

I am not going to make a claim "I believe that morality IS an illusion" because I consider the word "believe" as a dirty word. To believe something is saying that you are choosing to ignore the plausible alternatives. I am not willing to ignore anything. I am open to all arguments and evidence.

But don't take my position of lack of belief as "doesn't seem to be the case that they found this position persuasive". I am of the position that gods and morality are both nonsense unless some compelling evidence is presented.

I am 100% convicted in my atheist position and 100% convicted in my position of moral nihilism. But I still remain open to evidence if the people proposing the ideas of gods or morality care to put forth a coherent definition.

If morality is an illusion, so are political parties, philosophy, the rules of golf, and the Constitution.

It's just not a very useful or accurate word for your concept and you should find another.

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, 03:50 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 03:34 PM)Chas Wrote:  If morality is an illusion, so are political parties, philosophy, the rules of golf, and the Constitution.

It's just not a very useful or accurate word for your concept and you should find another.

An artificial construct?

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05-07-2015, 03:54 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 03:50 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(05-07-2015 03:34 PM)Chas Wrote:  If morality is an illusion, so are political parties, philosophy, the rules of golf, and the Constitution.

It's just not a very useful or accurate word for your concept and you should find another.

An artificial construct?

No, it is natural. It is a man-made construct.

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, 04:43 PM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2015 05:28 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 01:46 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Nice choice of article ... to shoot down your own position.

Huh

That's why i chose it. If there was an interesting competing position for me, it would be molded along that vein.

Quote:For reference, please provide a citation regarding Dennett's assertion that morality is an illusion. Thanks.

"Daniel Dennett took a different view. While it is true that materialism tells us a human being is nothing more than a “moist robot”—a phrase Dennett took from a Dilbert comic—we run a risk when we let this cat, or robot, out of the bag. If we repeatedly tell folks that their sense of free will or belief in objective morality is essentially an illusion, such knowledge has the potential to undermine civilization itself, Dennett believes. Civil order requires the general acceptance of personal responsibility, which is closely linked to the notion of free will. Better, said Dennett, if the public were told that “for general purposes” the self and free will and objective morality do indeed exist—that colors and sounds exist, too—“just not in the way they think.” They “exist in a special way,” which is to say, ultimately, not at all. "

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/h...tml?page=2
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05-07-2015, 04:48 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 03:54 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(05-07-2015 03:50 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  An artificial construct?

No, it is natural. It is a man-made construct.

Dafuq that mean? I thought artificial iff man-made, like by definition. Hobo

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05-07-2015, 04:56 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(05-07-2015 03:34 PM)Chas Wrote:  If morality is an illusion, so are political parties, philosophy, the rules of golf, and the Constitution.

It's just not a very useful or accurate word for your concept and you should find another.
A political party exists, it has a published definition and must met certain tangible criteria
http://www.elections.org.nz/registering-political-party
Philosophy is a well documented method rather than a thing. Similar to the scientific method or arithmetic.
Rules of golf are well documented. Participants within a tournament play within the defined rules. If they are accused of infringing on a rule then the documented rules are referred to and the dispute is resolved.
The Constitution (I assume you are talking about the United States constitution?) again, a document which can be referred to in order to resolve disputes.

What is it exactly when we say "morality"?
Are we talking about a set of documented rules? - No
Are we talking about a well documented method? - No
Are we talking about an entity that must meet a particular set of tangible criteria? - No

This is why I refer to it as incoherent.
A lot of people consider morality to be a distinction between choices that are right and those that are wrong. (But apparently this understanding of morality isn't universal amongst people)
There is of course no documented set of moral rights vs moral wrongs for a governed society. There are documented laws but they aren't morality.
These rules are sometimes cited (depending on who you talk to) as being unwritten implied social contracts or being a tacit agreement. But of course if we don't explicitly document these agreements, we can't refer to them to resolve any disputes. If you assume they exist then this (IMHO) is the illusion aspect of it.
Some people (depending on who you talk to) consider morality to be a behaviour or an evolved behaviour. This would make it descriptive rather than normative, however not all behaviours are morally significant. How do we decide which behaviours are moral and which are immoral? To my mind it is this distinction that is the moral aspect, rather than the behaviours themselves. But then again, morality isn't well defined. I can't say that my own definition is correct and TheBeardedDude's definition is incorrect.
You speak of a moral "sense" and refer to empathy, but of course empathy comes into play for situations/events that do not qualify as morally significant events (e.g. a still born). The concept of moral sense isn't well defined, isn't measurable.
So at what point can we refer to a coherent, documented definition and use this to resolve disputes over what morality means, what events are morally significant, what are true moral senses, what are the moral rights and wrongs for a given society at a given point in time?
Ultimately, it appears to me (be it correctly or incorrectly) that it comes down to each individual to assert whether they consider something to be moral or immoral or neutral. That there is no way to resolve disputes. No way to discover or derive any answer regards to moral questions (i.e. is X immoral?) even in a very simply society at a given point in time, when all knowledge is known.
And yet, many, many people have a high conviction in their own moral compass, that they are correct and anyone that differs is incorrect.
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