Another attack on moral subjectivism
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10-07-2015, 08:43 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(10-07-2015 05:35 PM)ArchibaldFunkdust Wrote:  Because both stealing and rape would undermine the maintenance of order in the tribe.

Objective enough for you?

Archi

Unless one tribe was stealing from another tribe in order to support their survival. Such as the rape of the Sabine women.

Where does that leave us?

These morality arguments are slippery slopes. I too disagree with Matt Dillahunty on this subject. But as DLJ says, Matt has a political agenda to support.

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.
Banjo.
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11-07-2015, 04:56 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(10-07-2015 08:43 PM)Banjo Wrote:  
(10-07-2015 05:35 PM)ArchibaldFunkdust Wrote:  Because both stealing and rape would undermine the maintenance of order in the tribe.

Objective enough for you?

Archi

Unless one tribe was stealing from another tribe in order to support their survival. Such as the rape of the Sabine women.

Where does that leave us?

These morality arguments are slippery slopes. I too disagree with Matt Dillahunty on this subject. But as DLJ says, Matt has a political agenda to support.

The most successful strategy in human history is maintain the status quo and wait for your enemy to make a mistake. One tribes loss is another tribes gain.

This is why we see a weakening of ethics and morality across tribal borders. Did the US care about funding terrorism before 9/11, no not really, they funded the IRA who bombed their closest ally. Would any Westerner care if a suicide bomber blew himself/herself up? Mostly no, but we can understand how other less radical Muslims might see that as an absolute tragedy. Do we care that the components used to make our PC and internet routers were probably made in Eastern sweat shops and maybe even with child labour? Nope, we type away spewing our pointless meanderings into forums across the internet. Do we make a distinction between murder and killing in the name of warfare? Yes, we do. Because we are less impacted by the misfortune of our tribal rivals.

The reality of it is our ethics and morality only extend as far as the inside of our skull, the rest is politics and social conformity.

Archi

"I love the term magic realism. It's about expanding how you see the world. I think we live in an age where we're just hammered to think this is what the world is. Everything's saying 'That's the world.' And it's not the world. The world is a million possible things." - TG

Salman Rushdie talks to Terry Gilliam
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12-07-2015, 06:47 AM (This post was last modified: 12-07-2015 06:52 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(10-07-2015 03:27 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(10-07-2015 04:48 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Uhm, no one was making a distinction between moral and non-moral actions, but between moral and nonmoral statements. Do you not understand the difference between statements, and actions?

I'm not sure why this very simple point is something hard for you to understand?
Morality is a belief that a moral actor makes a choice between actions which are right and actions which are wrong.

This is what morality is.
Without choice there is no moral implications
Without knowledge of right and wrong there is no moral implications.


In the article they claimed to try to discover what morality is rather than to define it, but then they immediately went on to define it.
"The formal criteria or principles that define morality are relatively few in number. ...
A morality is ....

According to the definition..."


They then defined moral prescriptions
"Prescriptions will be classified as moral if"...

But their prescriptions are faulty because they don't distinguish moral prescriptions from non moral prescriptions. Their prescriptions are merely describing if a rule is arbitrary or not. They do not link these rules to selflessness or altruism.
This makes their prescription not moral prescriptions (as they have asserted) but instead prescriptions to filter out arbitrary rules.

Maybe it would be easier if we just cut to the chase. Are you suggesting that you don't believe that people based on their empathy, believe that when certain harm is inflicted on someone else besides themselves, they intuitively perceive that as "wrong", as something that shouldn't be done to another person?

This is an obvious and intuitive factor for myself, but you don't think this is the case when it comes to a child believing it's wrong for others to hurt others? "Because it's hurting other people. And hurting other people is not good"

You think what takes place is the child considering his own safety, imaging the harm spreading to them, if it's not contained? A reflection of your own rational consideration that, about your fears of retaliation and spread of violence?

And I'm not too sure, what you mean when you use the term "altruism" here as opposed to "selfishness". I would assume my suggestion here would be linked to altruism? That this intuitive empathic response shares a kinship with "altruism"? You suggested that the researchers didn't link the views to altruism, but I don't think they particularly deny this, and in fact might even agree that it is.
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12-07-2015, 08:58 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(12-07-2015 06:47 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(10-07-2015 03:27 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Morality is a belief that a moral actor makes a choice between actions which are right and actions which are wrong.

This is what morality is.
Without choice there is no moral implications
Without knowledge of right and wrong there is no moral implications.


In the article they claimed to try to discover what morality is rather than to define it, but then they immediately went on to define it.
"The formal criteria or principles that define morality are relatively few in number. ...
A morality is ....

According to the definition..."


They then defined moral prescriptions
"Prescriptions will be classified as moral if"...

But their prescriptions are faulty because they don't distinguish moral prescriptions from non moral prescriptions. Their prescriptions are merely describing if a rule is arbitrary or not. They do not link these rules to selflessness or altruism.
This makes their prescription not moral prescriptions (as they have asserted) but instead prescriptions to filter out arbitrary rules.

Maybe it would be easier if we just cut to the chase. Are you suggesting that you don't believe that people based on their empathy, believe that when certain harm is inflicted on someone else besides themselves, they intuitively perceive that as "wrong", as something that shouldn't be done to another person?

This is an obvious and intuitive factor for myself, but you don't think this is the case when it comes to a child believing it's wrong for others to hurt others? "Because it's hurting other people. And hurting other people is not good"

You think what takes place is the child considering his own safety, imaging the harm spreading to them, if it's not contained? A reflection of your own rational consideration that, about your fears of retaliation and spread of violence?

And I'm not too sure, what you mean when you use the term "altruism" here as opposed to "selfishness". I would assume my suggestion here would be linked to altruism? That this intuitive empathic response shares a kinship with "altruism"? You suggested that the researchers didn't link the views to altruism, but I don't think they particularly deny this, and in fact might even agree that it is.

1. Why does it matter whether or not certain people base their beliefs on empathy? Would beliefs based on empathy be any more true than beliefs based on selfishness?

2. Do you believe it is wrong to inflict harm to other people? What about animals (e.g. eating them)?
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12-07-2015, 09:26 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(12-07-2015 08:58 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  1. Why does it matter whether or not certain people base their beliefs on empathy? Would beliefs based on empathy be any more true than beliefs based on selfishness?

As a believer that questions becomes a bit more complicated, and perhaps more so than I'm willing to invest in here. My questions here are not in regards to why anything matters, it might matter for me in ways that it might not matter for you.

I think it's a matter fact that something like empathy, evokes beliefs, perceptions of things being morally right and wrong, perceptions of obligations. If I were no longer a believer, and if I subscribed to moral nihilism, i couldn't deny these perceptions, I would likely have to account for them as an illusion. The sense that hurting someone that I see as like me, as "wrong", as some sort of transgression, is not the product of social conditioning, which would be a very poor explanation in my view, but all the evidence points to it as being ingrained, innate, chalk it up as a feature of our biological dispositions if you want.

But what's interesting is, that many nihilist, such as Stevil, attempts to deny this "fact", which I think even subjectivist, and relativist acknowledge. Which in turns leads to a very weak nihilist position. I think more reflect secular philosophers like Dennett, and Ruse make this concession, while a more mainstream nihilist is less inclined to do so.


Quote:Do you believe it is wrong to inflict harm to other people? What about animals (e.g. eating them)?

Sure in many cases harming other people is wrong, and also in regards to animals. We don't particularly find it right to torture animals just for fun, as we don't in regards to human beings. In fact the sort of disposition of a man who tortures animals just for fun, tends to carry over into his relationship with other people as well, in one form of the other. You'd be quite reluctant to let you'd daughter date someone who torture animals just for fun.

We eat animals, because we need to eat. We justify whatever harm is inflicted on them, as warranted by our need for sustenance.
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12-07-2015, 09:48 AM (This post was last modified: 12-07-2015 11:42 AM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(12-07-2015 09:26 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Sure in many cases harming other people is wrong, and also in regards to animals. We don't particularly find it right to torture animals just for fun, as we don't in regards to human beings. In fact the sort of disposition of a man who tortures animals just for fun, tends to carry over into his relationship with other people as well, in one form of the other. You'd be quite reluctant to let you'd daughter date someone who torture animals just for fun.

We eat animals, because we need to eat. We justify whatever harm is inflicted on them, as warranted by our need for sustenance.

This problem is a very easy one for a nihilist. People arbitrarily (at least somewhat) decide which animals are ok to eat and which ones are not. My question for the moral realist is, why is it ok to eat certain animals, and not others, especially in modern times when a vegetarian diet is very feasible (we don't NEED to ever eat any animals ever again)? Do we need justification to eat animals? Why, why not? How about humans? How about plants? How do we go about deciding when justification is/isn't needed?

Of course, as a nihilist, again this is a very easy problem. From my point of view, no justification of any kind is ever required for anything, but curious how you get around this problem...
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12-07-2015, 11:43 AM (This post was last modified: 12-07-2015 11:47 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(12-07-2015 09:48 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Of course, as a nihilist, again this is a very easy problem. From my point of view, no justification of any kind is every required for anything, but curious how you get around this problem...

Assuming you have a child, and lived in area with lax legalities, that don't particularly prohibit torturing animals. Assuming you're perfectly fine with your child eating meat, would you be okay with him torturing animals just for fun? Or would you like most parents, be okay with one, but not the other?

If so for what reason?

If you had a daughter, would you be okay with her dating a boy who tortured animals just for fun?

I think there's a sense in which you and I are both ok with eating animals, but not okay with torturing animals, and I don't think there for entirely different reasons either.

I think it's entirely commendable for folks to not eat meat. John that baptist was a vegetarian.
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12-07-2015, 11:55 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(12-07-2015 11:43 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  John that baptist was a vegetarian.

I thought he was an Essene? ... Wait. Is that the same thing?

#sigh
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12-07-2015, 12:02 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(12-07-2015 11:55 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(12-07-2015 11:43 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  John that baptist was a vegetarian.

I thought he was an Essene? ... Wait. Is that the same thing?

I was told he was partial to salami.

Consider

Or was that Salome?

Undecided

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12-07-2015, 12:26 PM (This post was last modified: 12-07-2015 12:38 PM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(12-07-2015 11:43 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Assuming you're perfectly fine with your child eating meat, would you be okay with him torturing animals just for fun?

Nope.

(12-07-2015 11:43 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If so for what reason?

Personal preference.

(12-07-2015 11:43 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If you had a daughter, would you be okay with her dating a boy who tortured animals just for fun?

Nope. Again, not my preference.

(12-07-2015 11:43 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think there's a sense in which you and I are both ok with eating animals, but not okay with torturing animals, and I don't think there for entirely different reasons either.

Yep, empathy is the reason. We each have a somewhat normal amount of empathy. If we each had a more than normal amount of empathy, we might both be vegan for moral reasons. If we each had a less than normal amount of empathy (like clinical psychopaths/sociopaths) we might both be perfectly fine with, or even take pleasure in, torturing animals, or perhaps even other humans. Again, I want to reiterate that empathy reveals no more truth than selfishness or aggression, which is exactly zero.

(12-07-2015 11:43 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think it's entirely commendable for folks to not eat meat. John that baptist was a vegetarian.

Do you think that vegetarianism is a goal that all humans should have?
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