Another attack on moral subjectivism
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22-07-2015, 07:18 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 07:00 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(22-07-2015 05:06 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Surely, we make all sorts of rational consideration, evaluating risk, conducting cost/benefit analysis. All this requires an extended foresight, awareness of the risk being posed, an ability to connect that risk to oneself, etc.....

How early do you think infants are able to do this? At 12 months? 3 Months? You think at this early they're able to engage in such complex processing, drawing these varieties of conclusions? Are pigs, chickens, and fish capable of drawing the same rational connection?

Another interesting version of the experiment involves the puppet who takes the ball, being used in a scenario where he is trying to open a case with a ball in it, a third puppet shuts the case on the puppet, preventing him from obtaining the items. In a way punishing him for his earlier offense. Infants prefer this obstructionist puppet, over the other puppet. Let me guess you think the infant is able to recognize that this puppet wouldn't behave in such a way towards them, unless they deserved it, or something?

If natural selection, selected for attractions that preferred kindness and were repulsed by meanness, it would resolve the dependency on rational considerations, require less computation power, and help to avoid the Prisoner's Dilemma in a variety of situations. But you don't think such attractions exist at a biological level? Though all the similar research suggests it does, traced all the way to three month olds. But you seem to want to disagree with the numerous peer reviewed research on the subject, without offering any competing research of your own? It doesn't seem that there is any evidence at all in support of your alternative conclusions, not a single scientist, anthropologist who would agree with your suggestion.

Here's a video of the previously cited research as well:






Why would a baby draw a distinction between an act of blaspheme, and a non-act of blaspheme? Why would natural selection select for attractions towards non-blashphemous acts, over blasphemous acts? There's doesn't seem to be any reason to believe that infant or children would make such distinctions. I would predict perhaps the same prediction that you would as well, that the infant will likely infer no distinction between blasphemous and non-blashphemous act. Between Jehovah of Vishnu, or Zeus, or Frank.

The video doesn't seem to help your case at all. Unless you're claiming that infants ought to be little selfish racists lol.

I saw nothing in the video that is contradictory to nihilism, only confirmatory. From the video, it seems we have as much predisposition towards being naughty, as we do towards being nice, and even if we didn't, it's still irrelevant to nihilism being true.

Nihilism, for me, is accepting the reality that everything is completely and utterly pointless. There is no meaning or purpose to life, and there is nothing in the universe (except selfish humans, and possibly aliens) that gives even one shit about anything that goes down that doesn't affect one's self. With the knowledge that this entire planet, with it all artifacts of human existence, will one day be totally obliterated by the sun, how/why would one try to find ultimate meaning? The sun is not going to feel bad for destroying this planet, and why should it?

Humanism also makes no sense to me. Does the humanist ever consider that humans are by far the biggest threat to making this planet uninhabitable? Does the humanist consider the rapid extinction rate left in the wake of human flourishing? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction)

Now don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it's wrong to cause thousands of species to go extinct, I'm only saying that it's neither wrong to not place the well-being of all humans at the top of your priorities.

Yes.

Well are you now merging the ideas. I mean sure there are so many debates in this thread it's nearly impossible to deride where they are going. But the stances even of moral nihilism and nihilism itself aren't always going to be held together.I'm not sure how one would declare Nihilism being "true." It's more of an outlook/stance than a concept of truth.

Maybe it's because you're trying to talk against in contrast to Tomasia so much but It seems odd how feverishly you bounce back the comments and statements to "ultimate" or absolute like ideas and the lack of need of them. It's not wrong, but it's just a continuing flow of how this thread has gone that chaotic. I get Tomasia think of some universal innate essence but not making any type of case for it; idk what I'm even getting at anymore. I guess it's just too many all or nothings of bizarre mismatched ways on this thread clogging up any continuing points.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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22-07-2015, 07:50 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 07:18 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Maybe it's because you're trying to talk against in contrast to Tomasia so much but It seems odd how feverishly you bounce back the comments and statements to "ultimate" or absolute like ideas and the lack of need of them. It's not wrong, but it's just a continuing flow of how this thread has gone that chaotic. I get Tomasia think of some universal innate essence but not making any type of case for it; idk what I'm even getting at anymore. I guess it's just too many all or nothings of bizarre mismatched ways on this thread clogging up any continuing points.

In my view there's a large gulf between the relativist here, and the nihilist here, and perhaps an even larger gulf between both of these parties and moral realist, those who subscribe to a teleological view of morality, such as myself. I don't believe my gulf is resolvable with any of these two parties, because it's always gonna hit an impentriable barrier.

But I do think the gulf between nihilist and relativist can be resolved. That if the moral nihilist did a better job they might be able to convince other naturalist, that moral nihilism is an unavoidable conclusion. But the fact that Tear, Stevil, and Matt do a piss poor job of making this case, just makes it even more difficult to bridge the gap. The relativist are able to appeal to a wide variety of scientific research in support of the case, while the nihilist here never do, nor do they incorporate the same research into their defense of nihilism, they just try and brush it under the rug, when they don't have to.

My role is more a facilitator in this discussion than anything else, since I share an affinity to both sides, while still disagreeing with them. But of course my real intentions are more selfish, a desire for more interesting conversations, to see what sort of corners atheists run into when they start to accept some inevitable conclusions, that a variety of atheists philosophers already do.
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22-07-2015, 10:04 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 07:00 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  ...
Nihilism, for me, is accepting the reality that everything is completely and utterly pointless. There is no meaning or purpose to life, and there is nothing in the universe (except selfish humans, and possibly aliens) that gives even one shit about anything that goes down that doesn't affect one's self. With the knowledge that this entire planet, with it all artifacts of human existence, will one day be totally obliterated by the sun, how/why would one try to find ultimate meaning? The sun is not going to feel bad for destroying this planet, and why should it?

Humanism also makes no sense to me. Does the humanist ever consider that humans are by far the biggest threat to making this planet uninhabitable? Does the humanist consider the rapid extinction rate left in the wake of human flourishing? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction)

Now don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it's wrong to cause thousands of species to go extinct, I'm only saying that it's neither wrong to not place the well-being of all humans at the top of your priorities.

I haven't seen you contribute much to other sections so I'm not sure if you are here simply to sound off about your own stance / conclusions or whether you are actually interested in what other have to say.

If the former, read no further. If the latter, here's my view:
I completely agree with what you have written, above.
At least, I agree if one is only looking at the physical stance or the design stance but 'oughts' and ethics and law (shoulds and shalls) operate at the level of the intentional stance..

So, it's like you are saying that a laptop with operating system but no applications is not 'for' anything and has no value.

Load some apps, dude, and join the human race.

Big Grin

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22-07-2015, 10:56 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 10:04 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I haven't seen you contribute much to other sections so I'm not sure if you are here simply to sound off about your own stance / conclusions or whether you are actually interested in what other have to say.

If the former, read no further. If the latter, here's my view:
I completely agree with what you have written, above.
At least, I agree if one is only looking at the physical stance or the design stance but 'oughts' and ethics and law (shoulds and shalls) operate at the level of the intentional stance..

So, it's like you are saying that a laptop with operating system but no applications is not 'for' anything and has no value.

Load some apps, dude, and join the human race.

Big Grin

I apologize if I have come across as rude or uninterested in what others have to say. That's not my intention. Cool

I guess I haven't contributed in other areas a whole lot, because unlike many members here, I don't get a lot of enjoyment from calling theists fuckwits, dumbfucks, etc..., which seems to make up a fair amount of the content.

I'll be honest, I enjoy debate. Like everyone else, I want to convince others that I'm right. It serves my ego....I'm human. I really don't have any interest in debating with irrational religious people, so I came here. This subject interests me because I feel that morality goes hand in hand with religion, and I think that many(if not most), atheists have got it wrong. Napoleon Bonaparte once said that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." Well, I would go further and say that specifically, the morality of religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. It's about control. The poor believe that they ought not to murder the rich. Not terribly dissimilar to "slaves, obey your earthly masters." At least part of it is about controlling other people.

Regarding myself loading some apps....I assure you that I live a very happy and fulfilled life with many hobbies and passions. Thumbsup I just don't want to delude myself with ideas of purpose or meaning when I know that isn't the case. I actually think the notion of purpose or meaning is somewhat arrogant. Think of a woman who just lost her newborn baby. What was the purpose? what is the meaning? what is the reason? where is the fairness? There is none. We have to accept the fact that any of us could be dead tomorrow, and aside from our small group of friends and family, nothing in the universe cares. The universe doesn't care if you give a million dollars to charity, or skull-fuck a million newborn babies. It simply is. There is not now, nor will there ever be, an ought in the matter. Justice, fairness, right, wrong, good, bad.....these are human inventions that exist only in imagination.

Again, my apologies. Angel
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22-07-2015, 11:35 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 10:56 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(22-07-2015 10:04 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I haven't seen you contribute much to other sections so I'm not sure if you are here simply to sound off about your own stance / conclusions or whether you are actually interested in what other have to say.

If the former, read no further. If the latter, here's my view:
I completely agree with what you have written, above.
At least, I agree if one is only looking at the physical stance or the design stance but 'oughts' and ethics and law (shoulds and shalls) operate at the level of the intentional stance..

So, it's like you are saying that a laptop with operating system but no applications is not 'for' anything and has no value.

Load some apps, dude, and join the human race.

Big Grin

I apologize if I have come across as rude or uninterested in what others have to say. That's not my intention. Cool

I guess I haven't contributed in other areas a whole lot, because unlike many members here, I don't get a lot of enjoyment from calling theists fuckwits, dumbfucks, etc..., which seems to make up a fair amount of the content.

I'll be honest, I enjoy debate. Like everyone else, I want to convince others that I'm right. It serves my ego....I'm human. I really don't have any interest in debating with irrational religious people, so I came here. This subject interests me because I feel that morality goes hand in hand with religion, and I think that many(if not most), atheists have got it wrong. Napoleon Bonaparte once said that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." Well, I would go further and say that specifically, the morality of religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. It's about control. The poor believe that they ought not to murder the rich. Not terribly dissimilar to "slaves, obey your earthly masters." At least part of it is about controlling other people.

Regarding myself loading some apps....I assure you that I live a very happy and fulfilled life with many hobbies and passions. Thumbsup I just don't want to delude myself with ideas of purpose or meaning when I know that isn't the case. I actually think the notion of purpose or meaning is somewhat arrogant. Think of a woman who just lost her newborn baby. What was the purpose? what is the meaning? what is the reason? where is the fairness? There is none. We have to accept the fact that any of us could be dead tomorrow, and aside from our small group of friends and family, nothing in the universe cares. The universe doesn't care if you give a million dollars to charity, or skull-fuck a million newborn babies. It simply is. There is not now, nor will there ever be, an ought in the matter. Justice, fairness, right, wrong, good, bad.....these are human inventions that exist only in imagination.

Again, my apologies. Angel

Religion may be a source of morality for some, but it is not the only source.
If it were, then atheists would be out raping, pillaging, plundering, murdering. But they're not. What's more, atheists are vastly under-represented in the prison population.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-07-2015, 11:48 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 10:56 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(22-07-2015 10:04 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I haven't seen you contribute much to other sections so I'm not sure if you are here simply to sound off about your own stance / conclusions or whether you are actually interested in what other have to say.

If the former, read no further. If the latter, here's my view:
I completely agree with what you have written, above.
At least, I agree if one is only looking at the physical stance or the design stance but 'oughts' and ethics and law (shoulds and shalls) operate at the level of the intentional stance..

So, it's like you are saying that a laptop with operating system but no applications is not 'for' anything and has no value.

Load some apps, dude, and join the human race.

Big Grin

I apologize if I have come across as rude or uninterested in what others have to say. That's not my intention. Cool

I guess I haven't contributed in other areas a whole lot, because unlike many members here, I don't get a lot of enjoyment from calling theists fuckwits, dumbfucks, etc..., which seems to make up a fair amount of the content.

I'll be honest, I enjoy debate. Like everyone else, I want to convince others that I'm right. It serves my ego....I'm human. I really don't have any interest in debating with irrational religious people, so I came here. This subject interests me because I feel that morality goes hand in hand with religion, and I think that many(if not most), atheists have got it wrong. Napoleon Bonaparte once said that "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." Well, I would go further and say that specifically, the morality of religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. It's about control. The poor believe that they ought not to murder the rich. Not terribly dissimilar to "slaves, obey your earthly masters." At least part of it is about controlling other people.

Regarding myself loading some apps....I assure you that I live a very happy and fulfilled life with many hobbies and passions. Thumbsup I just don't want to delude myself with ideas of purpose or meaning when I know that isn't the case. I actually think the notion of purpose or meaning is somewhat arrogant. Think of a woman who just lost her newborn baby. What was the purpose? what is the meaning? what is the reason? where is the fairness? There is none. We have to accept the fact that any of us could be dead tomorrow, and aside from our small group of friends and family, nothing in the universe cares. The universe doesn't care if you give a million dollars to charity, or skull-fuck a million newborn babies. It simply is. There is not now, nor will there ever be, an ought in the matter. Justice, fairness, right, wrong, good, bad.....these are human inventions that exist only in imagination.

Again, my apologies. Angel

No need to apologise. Different people are here for different reasons (purposes Laughat )

But I was hoping for more, in your reply, than just the repetition of your view from the physical and design stances (on which we agree).

Let's take that 'is' form of nihilism as a given. What stops you from murdering the rich (or the poor or anyone else)?

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22-07-2015, 11:54 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 11:35 AM)Chas Wrote:  Religion may be a source of morality for some, but it is not the only source.
If it were, then atheists would be out raping, pillaging, plundering, murdering. But they're not. What's more, atheists are vastly under-represented in the prison population.

Couldn't atheists avoid rape, pillage, plunder, and murder, simply to fulfill their own goals and desires? Without any underlying beliefs about the morality of those actions? Couldn't someone like stevil avoid rape simply because he lacks the desire for rape? Or has the desire to avoid rape? Or can rationally think about how rape could have negative consequences and/or be a hindrance to the achievement of other goals? I would argue that one can have desires and goals, and act in accordance with those desires and goals, without any moral belief of right and wrong actions.
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22-07-2015, 12:03 PM (This post was last modified: 22-07-2015 12:07 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 11:54 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Couldn't atheists avoid rape, pillage, plunder, and murder, simply to fulfill their own goals and desires? Without any underlying beliefs about the morality of those actions? Couldn't someone like stevil avoid rape simply because he lacks the desire for rape? Or has the desire to avoid rape? Or can rationally think about how rape could have negative consequences and/or be a hindrance to the achievement of other goals? I would argue that one can have desires and goals, and act in accordance with those desires and goals, without any moral belief of right and wrong actions.

I guess the question would be do the belief aspects of morality amount to anything? If everyone accepted moral nihilism, would Chas or others like him, believe that this would have negative consequences, that many folks would behave negatively if they subscribed to such a belief? Even if not to the extent that they would go around raping or murdering everybody. Do the beliefs have any real meaningful connection to actual moral behavior?

I know a number of studies, that Daniel Dennet also highlights, that if you diminish people's belief in free will, it makes them more likely to cheat on tests, as well as be less likely to help others. I wonder if a similar pattern would arise by diminishing people beliefs in morality? I wouldn't be surprised if this were the case.
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22-07-2015, 01:43 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 11:35 AM)Chas Wrote:  Religion may be a source of morality for some, but it is not the only source.
If it were, then atheists would be out raping, pillaging, plundering, murdering. But they're not.
But of course, it's not necessarily moral beliefs that stop atheists from doing these things.
One can be a moral nihilist and still not go around raping and pillaging.
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22-07-2015, 01:45 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 11:54 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Couldn't atheists avoid rape, pillage, plunder, and murder, simply to fulfill their own goals and desires? Without any underlying beliefs about the morality of those actions? Couldn't someone like stevil avoid rape simply because he lacks the desire for rape? Or has the desire to avoid rape? Or can rationally think about how rape could have negative consequences and/or be a hindrance to the achievement of other goals? I would argue that one can have desires and goals, and act in accordance with those desires and goals, without any moral belief of right and wrong actions.
Honestly, I doubt I'd be able to get it up if the girl was screaming and crying and stuff. Not my idea of an intimate moment.
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