Another attack on moral subjectivism
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
22-07-2015, 01:48 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 01:52 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  It kind of depends on them having values. Like such things like harm/fairness/authority/purity and those types of concepts that we have been encouraged to ponder by our evolution. There might be other ones we even note in there or different ones a different alien species could have based on their evolutionary paths.
Yeah, it depends on them having values or goals and then judging everything against those goals. Rights and wrongs and shoulds and oughts can make sense if you have goals.

But I'd hate to think that we generalise so much that we assume everyone else has our own personal goals.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-07-2015, 01:52 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 01:47 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(22-07-2015 01:31 AM)Stevil Wrote:  Nah, humans aren't special.
If there were aliens from another planet equally as smart (or dumb) as humans surely we would assume they can be moral too.

So surely the definition of morality isn't dependent on the moral actor being a human.

Pretty sure, given our lack of evidence of intelligent (or dumb) aliens, he was referring to that set of beings of which we are aware.
Anyway, I was just pointing out the obvious, which is that a definition of morality that requires a "moral agent" to be of the human species is a very limited definition.

We could ask why don't ducks go around raping and murdering each other? They must have morals then.
But then humans come along with their shotguns and murder the ducks. Would the ducks consider it as immoral for humans to do that, or would they think that humans don't know any better and that killing and eating ducks is in the human's primitive nature and therefore not really a moral choice?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-07-2015, 02:10 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 01:52 PM)Stevil Wrote:  But then humans come along with their shotguns and murder the ducks. Would the ducks consider it as immoral for humans to do that, or would they think that humans don't know any better and that killing and eating ducks is in the human's primitive nature and therefore not really a moral choice?

No, the ducks are able to draw rational connections, and recognize that the human is killing the duck for food, the same way the duck kill leafy greens for food. They know that if they could eat humans, they would do the same thing, so they accept it. If three month olds could draw such conclusions, I see no reason to believe that ducks can't.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-07-2015, 03:57 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 02:10 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  No, the ducks are able to draw rational connections, and recognize that the human is killing the duck for food, the same way the duck kill leafy greens for food. They know that if they could eat humans, they would do the same thing, so they accept it. If three month olds could draw such conclusions, I see no reason to believe that ducks can't.
Does that mean if a person kills another person for food then that is morally OK?
I don't want you to come back with your opinion on the matter. Instead I want you to come back with the objective truth on the matter. Please include all workings so that I can see for myself how you came about the objective truth for this hypothetical scenario.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-07-2015, 04:07 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 03:57 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(22-07-2015 02:10 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  No, the ducks are able to draw rational connections, and recognize that the human is killing the duck for food, the same way the duck kill leafy greens for food. They know that if they could eat humans, they would do the same thing, so they accept it. If three month olds could draw such conclusions, I see no reason to believe that ducks can't.
Does that mean if a person kills another person for food then that is morally OK?
I don't want you to come back with your opinion on the matter. Instead I want you to come back with the objective truth on the matter. Please include all workings so that I can see for myself how you came about the objective truth for this hypothetical scenario.

I think you might have missed my sarcasm. And since I'm playing the role of methodical nihilist myself, there are no objective truths to the matter, there are only illusions.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-07-2015, 05:46 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 04:07 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  And since I'm playing the role of methodical nihilist myself
You can't play this role, because you don't understand it. Your understanding is strawman, that's the case almost all the time when people think they understand the arguments of the other side. They almost always end up destroying a strawman and then pat themselves on the back, while the other side just shake their heads.
That's why it is valuable to actually find someone who subscribes to the position you are trying to knock down and then to listen to that person.
Your attempts at listening to me have been frought with you (mis)interpreting my position as one from belief and one from fear and this is blinding your ability to understand.

My position is simple:
Lack of belief in moral rights and moral wrongs.
Lack of belief in knowledge of what others ought or should do.
Lack of belief in moral obligations.
Lack of belief in moral senses.
Recognition that a question of the structure "Is X wrong?" is nonsensical because it is incomplete. Wrong according to what goal?
Lack of belief that humans are more special than other animals.

In our attempt to review evidence for moral prescriptions, or innate moral senses, I have pointed out that it seems there has been no distiction between actions which are percieved as immoral vs actions which are dangerous to the self or the society and hence it seems these two (morality vs danger) are conflated.
My suggested adjustments to the experiments by using some perceived immorals that don't equate to "dangerous to the self or the society" have been rejected by you.
You'd think, if moral sense really exists and can be observed by observing behaviours in infants and if objective moral truths really do exist then we have a method of discovery. We could discover if same sex marriage is immoral or not merely by observing the behaviours of infants at the various types of weddings. We could discover if it is immoral to work on the sabbath by observing the behaviours in infants in the presence of a working person, based on what day of the week it is. We could even work out which is the real god by observing infants in the presence of blaspheme to each of the gods. But of course you know that these experiments will show no significant statistical results and you will come up with some convoluted reason as to why the infants behaviour didn't reflect what their moral senses where innately telling them.

If we go down the path of moral = things that aren't dangerous and immoral = things that are dangerous then we can do away with the ideas of moral obligation, moral sense, etc. Do away with the ideas of sanctity of marriage, of sanctity of procreation, of allegiance to a particular god. Cut out the nonsense and focus on what is real, safety for ourselves and society given that we life in an environment with competition for limited resources. We will then do away with the notion that certain things are wrong and do away with the ridiculous notion that it is our moral obligation to stop other people doing certain (non dangerous) things.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Stevil's post
22-07-2015, 08:47 PM (This post was last modified: 22-07-2015 08:51 PM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 11:48 AM)DLJ Wrote:  What stops you from murdering the rich (or the poor or anyone else)?

I'm an American, we are the rich lol! Sadcryface

As for why I don't like murder in general, I would have to again go back to some combination of nature and nurture. I was raised with traditional American values in a world of good and evil, right and wrong, heaven and hell, God, Satan, Jesus, and Santa Claus. I took pride in doing the right thing. I placed extreme high value on truth and honesty. I found pleasure in helping friends, acquaintances, and strangers. There is no doubt in my mind that my upbringing played a vital role in shaping my personality and desires. However, we can never escape our biology. Take sexual desire for example. Most of us have sexual desire even when we don't want kids, hence the huge contraception industry. I believe that our biology might play a larger role, but that sometimes nurture can "over-rule". Take for example someone who might have been badly sexually abused. It's not hard to imagine how that could have an enormous effect on the sexual desires of the victim. In the case of contraception, biology wins. In the case of sexual disorders due to sexual abuse, nurture wins. I believe that all of our desires work this way, and with each of us having different nature and nurture, we each have our own palette of desires and values.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Matt Finney's post
23-07-2015, 04:19 AM (This post was last modified: 23-07-2015 04:23 AM by Tomasia.)
Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 05:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(22-07-2015 04:07 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  And since I'm playing the role of methodical nihilist myself
You can't play this role, because you don't understand it. Your understanding is strawman, that's the case almost all the time when people think they understand the arguments of the other side.

Prove it.

I think I understand the position quite well, in fact the moral nihilistic view I share an affinity for is the one presented and held by Alex Rosenberg, and serves as reference point as to why I find your arguments weak.

I think it's you who don't understand moral nihilism, since it appears you think it requires a person, to not believe in a "moral core", or requires the sort of science denial that you engage in. There's no question that you're a moral nihilist, just not a very good one.

Now there might be some truth in claiming that I don't understand your views that well, but let's not conflate your views, you're extreme skepticism, as a requirement for moral nihilism.

"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
23-07-2015, 05:03 AM (This post was last modified: 23-07-2015 05:13 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(22-07-2015 05:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  You'd think, if moral sense really exists and can be observed by observing behaviours in infants and if objective moral truths really do exist then we have a method of discovery.

No, I never claimed this. Moral senses can exist, without there being any objective right or wrong. A moral nihilist can accept that there’s a moral core, as Rosenberg does. That what’s being implied by a moral prescription can be recognized, while acknowledging the various parts of it as merely an illusion, like those who believe the self, consciousness, etc… are illusions.

Quote:We could discover if same sex marriage is immoral or not merely by observing the behaviours of infants at the various types of weddings. We could discover if it is immoral to work on the sabbath by observing the behaviours in infants in the presence of a working person, based on what day of the week it is.

An infant is quite unlikely to make any of these distinctions at all. One wedding being no different than any other wedding. Thursday being no different than Saturday.

Quote:But of course you know that these experiments will show no significant statistical


Duh.

Quote:…results and you will come up with some convoluted reason as to why the infants behaviour didn't reflect what their moral senses where innately telling them.

I don’t think there is something that innately tells them that Saturdays are different than Thursdays.

Quote:, I have pointed out that it seems there has been no distiction between actions which are percieved as immoral vs actions which are dangerous to the self or the society and hence it seems these two (morality vs danger) are conflated.


I’ve pointed out the equivocation aspect here, when it came to slavery, which you ignored even responding to.

Two actions can be the same, and often entail similar results, yet motivated by entirely different reasons. The same way two people can oppose a law, or action for entirely different reasons. Just because acts appear the same, doesn’t mean there aren’t any underlying distinctions, when in fact there are. I might only drink milk because it taste good, with no regard for it’s health benefits (he might still drink it even if it were harmful to his health). Another man might drink milk exclusively for it’s health benefits (he could in fact detest the taste of it). Just because they both drink milk, and they both gain the same health benefits from doing so, to claim the reasons for why they do, are one and the same is engaging in a equivocation fallacy. Do you understand this when it comes to my milk example?

Your argument boils down to claiming that since both actions result in health benefits, that there's no distinction between the two. A claim that is obviously false.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-07-2015, 01:41 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(23-07-2015 04:19 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-07-2015 05:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  You can't play this role, because you don't understand it. Your understanding is strawman, that's the case almost all the time when people think they understand the arguments of the other side.

Prove it.
Your responses to mine are the proof.
You constantly saying to me "You believe ..." is proof
You constantly saying to me "fear seems to be what drives you..."
You thinking I need to supply evidence for my disbelief.
You thinking I am brushing things under the rug.
You not understanding why the evidence you cited is flawed even though I told you why it is flawed.
You show no indication of understanding my position.

(23-07-2015 04:19 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think I understand the position quite well, in fact the moral nihilistic view I share an affinity for is the one presented and held by Alex Rosenberg,
Rosenberg isn't the authority on the matter.

From what I have read of the reviews of his book
He believes atheists are hard atheists.
He believes there is no god and yet he purports to science as being the only source of knowledge. Well science hasn't disproven god. It can't because there is no falsifiable definition of god. If Rosenberg is a hard atheist then he has gone off the science plot and has joined theists into the "I'll believe whatever I want" plot.

Rosenberg believes that all atheists should be hard atheists, he believes that all atheists should be into science.
Rosenberg is wrong!

(23-07-2015 04:19 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  and serves as reference point as to why I find your arguments weak.
It would be great if you actually addressed my points and highlight where the weakness is rather that point to Rosenberg as an authority. That shit doesn't work with skeptics. We appeal to evidence and reason rather than authorities.

(23-07-2015 04:19 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think it's you who don't understand moral nihilism, since it appears you think it requires a person, to not believe in a "moral core"
All a moral nihilist needs to qualify is to disbelieve in morality.

Your concept of "moral core" is something new you have brought forth. You haven't explained what you mean by it.

From reading reviews of Rosenberg's book it seems Rosenberg's response is that even if there is a perceived "moral core" there is no reason to belief that it points to truth hence he rejects it as truth.
The guy you think so highly of rejects it!

(23-07-2015 04:19 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  , or requires the sort of science denial that you engage in.
What the fuck are you on about?
What science denial?

(23-07-2015 04:19 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  you're extreme skepticism, as a requirement for moral nihilism.
What is extreme skepticism?
You just made that up didn't you.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Stevil's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: