Another attack on moral subjectivism
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
21-07-2015, 04:31 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(21-07-2015 03:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  What you really need is to base an experiment off something that can't tie back to selfish interest or anything else that is obvious.
For example, let's hypothesis that blaspheme of the Christian god is the opposite of goodness i.e. bad. And that blaspheme of the Hindu god Vishnu is neither good nor bad.

We could then have two puppets, both up on stage, one blaspeming the Christian god, the other blaspheming Vishnu. The both use the same tones, a non aggressive happy tone.

Sure, once you figure out how to communicate that to a one year old, lol.

Quote:Yeah, I'd say a baby human could rationalise this.

Yea, you say that, but it’s false, and would just be a desperate attempt to defend your core contentions.

Most of us can perhaps reflect on our own childhood, watching cartoons and such, and recognize our aversion to villains, and attractions to heroes. And note that we weren’t particularly drawing the sort of connections that you imagined a supposed one year old was drawing. That our aversion to the villain was not a product of introspection, or logically concluding how the villain could attack us as well. It was in essence more primordial than that, that actions of the villain seemed repellent, while the actions of the hero seemed attractive. This attraction requires no real rational consideration, anymore so than my attraction to woman do. And existed as early as any of us can likely remember.

In your view this attraction/repellence is a product of social conditioning, when the evidence shows the exact opposite, that it’s innate. That we’re wired to be attracted to fair, kind behavior, than cruel selfish behavior in others. No rationalization required. Why this is problematic for you to accept is puzzling to me. You seem to prefer the absurd conclusion that the one year old is drawing a quite lengthy rational connection, that I doubt even your fellow nihilist here would accept.

Perhaps you don’t like the idea of your emotions dictating your beliefs and behavior in such a way? Matt at least makes such a concession, that he’s sort of a COG in a wheel in this regard. I think perhaps your problem is an overinflated devotion to rational decision making.

Quote:I have no interest in what Rosenberg thinks. I don't subscribe to him being an authority on the matter.

You don't have to subscribe to what he believes, I used him as a contrast to the sort of paltry version of nihilism often peddled here. His versions is meaty, and more difficult to deny, where as yours is easily dismissible, and outdated in a variety of ways.

Rosenberg is a moral nihilist, and draws the same conclusion, that "scientism can’t avoid nihilism. ” His version is just better informed, takes into consideration the various objections and data, without denying basic facts. You can ignore all of this of course, but hardly anyone would take your views seriously on the subject when you do.

TLDR version

"He's right and you aren't because he says things that are more correct"

Look we all get that morality as a belief and as something that exists in our heads exists, but it's not relevant to the ought of the matter. It's all the "is".

"A witty quote means nothing"
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2015, 04:41 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(21-07-2015 04:31 PM)tear151 Wrote:  TLDR version

"He's right and you aren't because he says things that are more correct"

I don't think Rosenberg is right, his views are just better informed, and doesn't require the level of denial of a variety of research to make his moral nihilism work, as Stevel does.

Quote:Look we all get that morality as a belief and as something that exists in our heads exists, but it's not relevant to the ought of the matter. It's all the "is".

As an theist, I don't care about the ought of the matter, I care about the illusion of the matter, in discussions with atheists. That bridge between an illusion, and what's real is one we'd likely never be able to cross.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2015, 06:21 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(21-07-2015 04:41 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(21-07-2015 04:31 PM)tear151 Wrote:  TLDR version

"He's right and you aren't because he says things that are more correct"

I don't think Rosenberg is right, his views are just better informed, and doesn't require the level of denial of a variety of research to make his moral nihilism work, as Stevel does.

Quote:Look we all get that morality as a belief and as something that exists in our heads exists, but it's not relevant to the ought of the matter. It's all the "is".

As an theist, I don't care about the ought of the matter, I care about the illusion of the matter, in discussions with atheists. That bridge between an illusion, and what's real is one we'd likely never be able to cross.

Are there anythings that you do not believe to be wrong that make you feel an innate moral sense toward?

"A witty quote means nothing"
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes tear151's post
21-07-2015, 06:23 PM (This post was last modified: 21-07-2015 06:26 PM by Stevil.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(21-07-2015 03:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  What you really need is to base an experiment off something that can't tie back to selfish interest or anything else that is obvious.
For example, let's hypothesis that blaspheme of the Christian god is the opposite of goodness i.e. bad. And that blaspheme of the Hindu god Vishnu is neither good nor bad.

We could then have two puppets, both up on stage, one blaspeming the Christian god, the other blaspheming Vishnu. The both use the same tones, a non aggressive happy tone.

Sure, once you figure out how to communicate that to a one year old, lol.
Use the same method that was in the experiment that you cited. The same method that you thought was compelling.
Except, instead of a puppet interferring with the ball, have a puppet doing blaspheme and another appearing to do the "exact" samething but subtly not doing blaspheme. Of course the kid isn't going to understand much of what the puppet is saying, however this experiment isn't about an ability to comprehend or make a personal assessment against pre-held beliefs. It's about an innate moral sense. Surely if something immoral were occuring by a particular puppet right in front of the child then the child's moral sense will kick in and make the child weary of that particular puppet.

Can the kid detect that something immoral is occuring, will this moral sense manifest regarding the kid's consequent behaviour (reaction towards that puppet)
Why do you have a proplem with the experiment I am proposing?
(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:Yeah, I'd say a baby human could rationalise this.

Yea, you say that, but it’s false, and would just be a desperate attempt to defend your core contentions.

It was in essence more primordial than that, that actions of the villain seemed repellent, while the actions of the hero seemed attractive. This attraction requires no real rational consideration, anymore so than my attraction to woman do. And existed as early as any of us can likely remember.
Do you have any evidence to support this assertion?
What do you propose to be the root cause of the repulsion? Do you assume it to be a repulsion of a pure moral transgression?
If so, then how can we isolate an immoral event from something that is dangerous or harmful to the observer? (just so that we can be sure we aren't conflating the two).Why are you opposed to my idea of testing on an irrelevant act (that isn't harmful to anyone, that isn't aggressive but is believed by many to be immoral) e.g. blaspheme, or working on the sabbath, perhaps having intimate relations outside of marriage or practicing safe sex with use of a condom.
(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  In your view this attraction/repellence is a product of social conditioning,
Likely to be. But also could be a perso's selfish interest to avoid harm to themselves or their loved ones.
(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  when the evidence shows the exact opposite, that it’s innate.
The evidence you have cited is problematic. I have shown you the major issues. You ignore my criticism.
I have proposed an alternative experiment, you reject it without really addressing why.

(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  That we’re wired to be attracted to fair, kind behavior, than cruel selfish behavior in others.
Because of moral sense or because of selfish interest?
(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  No rationalization required.
No rationalisation required if you want to maintain your belief.
But for those who lack belief, we are very interested in how you rationalise your conclusion. The experiment you have cited is flawed. I have offered a correction to it and you reject it, I don't understand why.

(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Why this is problematic for you to accept is puzzling to me.
Because you are not listening to what I am saying.
You just pooh pooh what I say, wave your hand and brush it under the rug. Asserting that I am incorrect.
(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  You seem to prefer the absurd conclusion that the one year old is drawing a quite lengthy rational connection, that I doubt even your fellow nihilist here would accept.
I don't care what he accepts. A kid will prefer to be with a person that doesn't shout rather than one that does. Prefer to be with someone who gives out lollies than someone who doesn't. Prefer to be with a person in bright coloured clothes with big eyes and a smile than someone in black clothes who doesn't smile. Prefer to be with a person who gives out toys than one who takes toys away.Go figure.
(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Perhaps you don’t like the idea of your emotions dictating your beliefs and behavior in such a way?
Happy to accept that people have emotions including empathy.
Not happy to accept that emotions or empathy point to moral truths. Not happy to accept that emotions are a moral sense.
You need to provide evidence to support these claims.

(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think perhaps your problem is an overinflated devotion to rational decision making.
Perhaps your problem is a belief in morality clouding your judgement and stopping you from enquiring whether the experiment is distinguishing morality from other things(such as survival or selfish interests).

(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:I have no interest in what Rosenberg thinks. I don't subscribe to him being an authority on the matter.

His versions is meaty, and more difficult to deny, where as yours is easily dismissible, and outdated in a variety of ways.
So you assert and yet you offer a quote of what he thinks rather than why he thinks it. Where is the evidence that convinced him?

(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Rosenberg is a moral nihilist, and draws the same conclusion, that "scientism can’t avoid nihilism. ” His version is just better informed
So you assert.
(21-07-2015 04:23 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  hardly anyone would take your views seriously on the subject when you do.
That's not a valid criticism to any of my arguments. I don't even think you understand my arguments.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2015, 07:06 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(21-07-2015 06:23 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Happy to accept that people have emotions including empathy.
Not happy to accept that emotions or empathy point to moral truths. Not happy to accept that emotions are a moral sense.
You need to provide evidence to support these claims.

Okay so you're happy to accept that people have emotions including empathy, but you don’t like associating any sets of emotions with the label “moral sense”. Your argument here seems to be more semantics so let’s rid the word moral for a second.

Are you happy to accept that emotions, attract the infant to the behavior of one puppet, and repel the child to the behavior of the other mean puppet? As opposed to your belief that this favoriting is a product of rational considerations?

Or do you reject this as well?

Quote:Likely to be. But also could be a perso's selfish interest to avoid harm to themselves or their loved ones.

Except of course in terms of the puppet, there’s no reason for the infant to believe harm on himself, or his loved ones.

Quote:Why are you opposed to my idea of testing on an irrelevant act (that isn't harmful to anyone, that isn't aggressive but is believed by many to be immoral) e.g. blaspheme, or working on the sabbath, perhaps having intimate relations outside of marriage or practicing safe sex with use of a condom.

I’m neither opposed to or for it. You’re the only one bringing up blasphemy, working on the sabbath etc.. not me. Since I never brought these topics up, I just ignored your repeated references to it. I only have a small point of interest in this discussion, and that’s the points I’ve ready raised, and nothing else. I have no interest in any other experiments on children, beyond the ones that have already been conducted.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2015, 07:39 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(21-07-2015 07:06 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(21-07-2015 06:23 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Happy to accept that people have emotions including empathy.
Not happy to accept that emotions or empathy point to moral truths. Not happy to accept that emotions are a moral sense.
You need to provide evidence to support these claims.

Okay so you're happy to accept that people have emotions including empathy, but you don’t like associating any sets of emotions with the label “moral sense”.
Not without first proving the association.
I have disproved it by highlighting that I can experience empathy for a woman who has a still born. Not many people would believe that a moral transgression occured and yet I am still experiencing empathy for the grieving mother. My empathy isn't a moral sense it is my ability to somewhat imagine the emotional stress that the mother is going through.
(21-07-2015 07:06 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Your argument here seems to be more semantics so let’s rid the word moral for a second.
What do you mean when you suggest that empathy is a moral sense? How can it be when it comes into play even when no moral transgressions take place?

(21-07-2015 07:06 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Are you happy to accept that emotions, attract the infant to the behavior of one puppet, and repel the child to the behavior of the other mean puppet? As opposed to your belief that this favoriting is a product of rational considerations?
The child might be experiencing fear of the puppet that interfered with the ball that the other puppet was playing with. The child might be fearful that the puppet will interfer with his/her own toys and play.
Just as a child would fear a wolf that may have snatched the ball and run away with it. Would the fear be due to a perception that the wolf behaved immorally or due to the perception that the wolf might take the child's stuff?
(21-07-2015 07:06 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:Likely to be. But also could be a perso's selfish interest to avoid harm to themselves or their loved ones.

Except of course in terms of the puppet, there’s no reason for the infant to believe harm on himself, or his loved ones.
The child might consider the puppet a threat to itself, might consider that the puppet might interfer with his own toys or play.

(21-07-2015 07:06 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:Why are you opposed to my idea of testing on an irrelevant act (that isn't harmful to anyone, that isn't aggressive but is believed by many to be immoral) e.g. blaspheme, or working on the sabbath, perhaps having intimate relations outside of marriage or practicing safe sex with use of a condom.

I’m neither opposed to or for it. You’re the only one bringing up blasphemy, working on the sabbath etc.. not me. Since I never brought these topics up, I just ignored your repeated references to it. I only have a small point of interest in this discussion, and that’s the points I’ve ready raised, and nothing else. I have no interest in any other experiments on children, beyond the ones that have already been conducted.
I have suggested that the experiment is flawed because the puppet might be perceived by the child as presenting a danger to the child. That the child's response might be as a consequence of this perceived danger rather than a consequence of a perceived moral transgression.
So I suggested an adjustment to the experiment to replace the act of "interfering with the ball" (a perceived immoral act which can also be seen as a threat to the child) with another act of "blaspheme of god" (a perceived immoral act which cannot be seen as a threat to the child) and include (as a control) another act with looks very similar to the "baspheme of god" but isn't. (the control would highlight if something else is at play rather than sensing of a pure "immoral" act)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2015, 08:38 PM
Another attack on moral subjectivism
You're really attached to the concept of fear aren't you? Do you think fear is observable. Can a mother tell when their babies is frightened, or scared? Would a infant who feared, was scared of a puppet react differently than one who wasn't?

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2015, 08:50 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(21-07-2015 04:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(21-07-2015 02:06 PM)Chas Wrote:  Ah! That is the root of the problem.

Morality is only meaningful as expressed through behavior. What someone's beliefs are is not at all important to society except as behavior - and morality only exists in the actions between and among people, i.e. society.
Yes, but here is where the conflation thing comes into play.
As you say "What someone's beliefs are is not at all important " so you (in making a judgement) are not trying to work out whether the actor has made a knowing and free choice between right and wrong. You don't see it as important whether the actor knowingly did something wrong. All you care about are the actions. e.g. eating a person.
If a person eats another person, you (and most people in society) would see that as dangerous and hence you would see that we need to prevent this behaviour. We do this by implementing and enforcing a law. Taking this out of the realm of morality (because our enforcing is coercion which means we remove free will).
Now if it was a lion that eats another person, we still seek to protect ourselves and society. We make it illegal for lions to roam freely in town. We make sure lions are put in cages etc.
So we are preventing eating of people because it is harmful to our survival (not because it is immoral).
For some reason most people label it is "immoral" when a human does it but "dangerous" when a lion does it.

What is the difference between an action that is dangerous to other people and one that is immoral?

None, as far as I can tell.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2015, 09:42 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(21-07-2015 08:50 PM)Chas Wrote:  What is the difference between an action that is dangerous to other people and one that is immoral?

None, as far as I can tell.
But you wouldn't call the lion immoral for eating people, would you?
A hungry lion, perhaps a dangerous lion, but surely not an immoral lion?
Why apply the term "immoral" to the actions of a human but not to the actions of a non human animal?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2015, 09:44 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(21-07-2015 08:38 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  You're really attached to the concept of fear aren't you? Do you think fear is observable. Can a mother tell when their babies is frightened, or scared? Would a infant who feared, was scared of a puppet react differently than one who wasn't?
I would have used the words "foreseen danger" or "risk" but your questioning asked for an emotion so I used the word "fear" in lieu of a better term.
We often make choices by evaluating the cost/reward, a part of this is assessing the risks. Interacting with someone who is known to interfere with other people's toys comes at a risk of them interfering with your toys.
If you value your toys you might choose to avoid interacting with this person.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: