Another attack on moral subjectivism
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28-07-2015, 05:55 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(27-07-2015 09:34 PM)Stevil Wrote:  How would you decide what laws to implement?

Democracy.

Let's talk further about your society though. Would you have laws against beating children? Would you have laws against slavery? Suppose you had some religious cults pop up who began doing animal and human sacrifice? Would you not make laws against human sacrifice? Since I assume you would have laws against murder, we'll suppose that the person to be sacrificed is willing to sacrifice him/herself.

Let's suppose that someone in your society proposes a law against slavery, and that the society gets to vote on whether or not the law passes. Would you really vote against the law if you can't prove to yourself that slavery makes society unsafe or unstable?

I think your society would last about a day. As soon as someone looks out their window to see dog fighting, animal torture, bestiality, etc...

I might be going out on a limb here, but I'm going to suggest that most people want rules against those things. Not only that, I think they will seek to get those rules put in place.

I'm totally with you on allowing women to go in public topless though. Big Grin
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28-07-2015, 07:41 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(27-07-2015 05:25 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  ...
I actually posted it back on #518. (page 52)

I thought I recognised it.

(27-07-2015 04:06 AM)tear151 Wrote:  I found this on the internet and I think it's useful in this discussion

What is moral nihilism?

Moral nihilism is the meta-ethical view that nothing is moral or immoral; nothing is inherently right or wrong. It is the stance that there is nothing indicating that we ought to do any particular thing over another in any non-instrumental/non-conditional sense of the word ought.

Can anyone give me an example of a non-instrumental / non-conditional ought, please?

Is this just another way of saying that there are no intrinsic oughts, only contextual oughts?

Cheers

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28-07-2015, 01:25 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(28-07-2015 05:55 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(27-07-2015 09:34 PM)Stevil Wrote:  How would you decide what laws to implement?

Democracy.
Depends what you mean by democracy.
If you mean a vote every 3-5 years where those that win power get to implement whatever laws they want then I hope you see the problem. The next lot of questions that you have asked me, you better ask them also.

If you mean that the public get to vote on each law, then this is a majority rules system. Could end up with gay sex and marriage being illegal, could end up with women drivers being illegal, depending on the religious beliefs of the general public. D you live in a largely religious country?

(28-07-2015 05:55 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Let's talk further about your society though. Would you have laws against beating children? Would you have laws against slavery? Suppose you had some religious cults pop up who began doing animal and human sacrifice? Would you not make laws against human sacrifice? Since I assume you would have laws against murder, we'll suppose that the person to be sacrificed is willing to sacrifice him/herself.

Let's suppose that someone in your society proposes a law against slavery, and that the society gets to vote on whether or not the law passes. Would you really vote against the law if you can't prove to yourself that slavery makes society unsafe or unstable?

I think your society would last about a day. As soon as someone looks out their window to see dog fighting, animal torture, bestiality, etc...

I might be going out on a limb here, but I'm going to suggest that most people want rules against those things. Not only that, I think they will seek to get those rules put in place.

I'm totally with you on allowing women to go in public topless though. Big Grin
The thing is, you are asking me what laws I would implement, however it wouldn't be upto me and what I think or what I like or dislike.
It would be about whether these actions make society unsafe and unstable.
Each of these items you have mentioned would be up for debate against the goal of safe and stable society.

When you say that most people want rules against dog fighting, then what would happen if dog fighting were allowed? Would people riot in the streets and make society unsafe?

Another thought for you. I personally don't like horse races. The idea of a little person sitting on top of a horse's back whipping the horse, kicking it in the guts and pulling on a metal bit in its mouth is repulsive to me. Do you think if I were in power I ought to make that illegal?
How far should my power go? Should I make it illegal for people to chop lambs tails off, to put rubber rings around their balls?
Should I make it illegal for people to eat live oysters, to throw crayfish into a pot of boiling water?
Should I make fly spray illegal given that insects often wriggle for days afterwards?
How far should I go, in your opinion?
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28-07-2015, 01:35 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(27-07-2015 07:19 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-07-2015 07:04 PM)Stevil Wrote:  So you are telling me that you don't consider gay marriage to be wrong or harmful and yet you are also tellimg me that you haven't proclaimed gay marriage as not being immoral.

How does your logic work here?

Perhaps you missed the immediate part, which is an important qualifier. The wrongness of certain things might not be immediately apparent, though it may still be wrong, for reasons that are not immediately apparent. Honoring the Sabbath, might not be immediately apparent, to those who don't recognize the importance of rest, etc....

If you took any of this to indicate what my position is on the Sabbath or Gay Marriage, you'd be mistaken.
What did you mean when you said "and even beyond this"?

When you say " The wrongness of certain things might not be immediately apparent" Doesn't that blow the idea of innate or intuitive moral sense?
If it were in our DNA or imprinted into our hearts by god then we would just know that it is wrong wouldn't we?

by the way I rest almost every night. Some people work on weekends and rest on a week day. Having rest on a sabbath is a bunch of arse.
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28-07-2015, 01:42 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(28-07-2015 01:35 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(27-07-2015 07:19 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Perhaps you missed the immediate part, which is an important qualifier. The wrongness of certain things might not be immediately apparent, though it may still be wrong, for reasons that are not immediately apparent. Honoring the Sabbath, might not be immediately apparent, to those who don't recognize the importance of rest, etc....

If you took any of this to indicate what my position is on the Sabbath or Gay Marriage, you'd be mistaken.
What did you mean when you said "and even beyond this"?

When you say " The wrongness of certain things might not be immediately apparent" Doesn't that blow the idea of innate or intuitive moral sense?
If it were in our DNA or imprinted into our hearts by god then we would just know that it is wrong wouldn't we?

by the way I rest almost every night. Some people work on weekends and rest on a week day. Having rest on a sabbath is a bunch of arse.

At least on an simply evolutionary scale, there are still multiple things that don't kick in instantly and immediately by infants. Development happens across the body & mind of us animals like other animals. Mammals happen to have a slower process and some particular ones longer than others because of how they form too. Meaning the change from birth to adolescence to adulthood is longer than same some other creatures that make the leap in a shorter time span. Because something doesn't register immediately doesn't mean it's not biologically passed on and a nurture element.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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28-07-2015, 01:56 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(28-07-2015 01:35 PM)Stevil Wrote:  What did you mean when you said "and even beyond this"?

Probably the part you cut off when you quoted me: "and even beyond this, it would require children to have an innate sense of what concepts like a “wedding”, “days”, “gay”, “sabbath” etc.. are, which they don’t. "

Quote:When you say " The wrongness of certain things might not be immediately apparent" Doesn't that blow the idea of innate or intuitive moral sense?

No, not really. You might be intuitively averse to unfairness, cruelty. But the unfairness or cruelty of certain scenario might not be immediately observable, might be hidden, or concealed from you. You might need to look a bit closer to see that. You might take a man as kind, and trust worthy, when in reality he's just plotting to cheat you.

Quote:If it were in our DNA or imprinted into our hearts by god then we would just know that it is wrong wouldn't we?

Not, really.

Quote:by the way I rest almost every night. Some people work on weekends and rest on a week day. Having rest on a sabbath is a bunch of arse.

But I'm assuming you don't work seven days a week, that you at least have a day or so off every week?

There's a verse, , "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath "
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28-07-2015, 04:27 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(28-07-2015 01:56 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 01:35 PM)Stevil Wrote:  What did you mean when you said "and even beyond this"?

Probably the part you cut off when you quoted me: "and even beyond this, it would require children to have an innate sense of what concepts like a “wedding”, “days”, “gay”, “sabbath” etc.. are, which they don’t. "
So it seems that things aren't innate or intuitive, that the observer actually needs to understand things, needs to understand consequences.
(28-07-2015 01:56 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:When you say " The wrongness of certain things might not be immediately apparent" Doesn't that blow the idea of innate or intuitive moral sense?

No, not really. You might be intuitively averse to unfairness, cruelty.
Is this really an intuitive thing, or perhaps born from experience and empathy.
Or used as an excuse to try and get something?
The universe genuinely isn't fair. There is no reason to think that it is and there is no reason to think that it ought to be. The winner doesn't generally complain about how unfair things are, but the some of the losers do. Why is that? Are they perhaps looking at it from a selfish perspective?
(28-07-2015 01:56 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  But the unfairness or cruelty of certain scenario might not be immediately observable, might be hidden, or concealed from you. You might need to look a bit closer to see that. You might take a man as kind, and trust worthy, when in reality he's just plotting to cheat you.
Is it unfair that a wealthy person gets to take frequent holidays, gets to fly to exotic countries and have fun while a poor person has to work two jobs seven days a week just to put food on the table for their children?
There is an abundance of people on the planet and only limited resources, should we share them out evenly? Should we have a system that rewards hardwork or special skills, should we provide the opportunity for reward for those that take calculated risks. What about those that work hard and fall on the losing end of chance luck.
What about cultures or religions that favour males over females, the Catholic church won't give women high positions, they won't have a woman with authority over a man, many Christian organisation try to instil that it is the man that is to be the head of the family. Is this fair? Why do you think the universe ought to be fair, where did you get that idea from?
Perhaps it comes from your own selfishness, seeing others get things and have things that you want and you feel they don't deserve it more than you.
(28-07-2015 01:56 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:If it were in our DNA or imprinted into our hearts by god then we would just know that it is wrong wouldn't we?
Not, really.
Yes, really!
(28-07-2015 01:56 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:by the way I rest almost every night. Some people work on weekends and rest on a week day. Having rest on a sabbath is a bunch of arse.

But I'm assuming you don't work seven days a week, that you at least have a day or so off every week?
I don't give a rat's arse about any Sabbath. I don't think it is immoral for a poor person to work seven days a week to feed their children. I have no innate or intuitive moral sense telling me this is wrong.
Let's just give up on the ridiculous idea of an innate or intuitive moral sense and instead replace this with the idea of reason, consideration and foresight.
(28-07-2015 01:56 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  There's a verse, , "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath "
Have no idea what that means. Sounds jibberish to me.
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30-07-2015, 08:28 PM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(28-07-2015 01:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 05:55 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Democracy.
Depends what you mean by democracy.
If you mean a vote every 3-5 years where those that win power get to implement whatever laws they want then I hope you see the problem. The next lot of questions that you have asked me, you better ask them also.

If you mean that the public get to vote on each law, then this is a majority rules system. Could end up with gay sex and marriage being illegal, could end up with women drivers being illegal, depending on the religious beliefs of the general public. D you live in a largely religious country?

The problem is, we live in the real world not "stevil land". "Stevil land" would only work if we gave all of the citizens lobotomies, or perhaps heavy drugs, or just used robots. Literally, that's the only way it would work. Your society would require something so separated from emotion that we wouldn't even call it human anymore. Where are you going to find people that have no interest in creating rules based on what they like? Who's going to join your society when you tell them you have people fucking cows in their front yards? (You will have some cow-fuckers because cow-fuckers will be the first to join when they find out it's totally legal there).

But back to the main point, explain to me exactly how your society is different from a democracy? Keep in mind that a democracy could have rules such that all laws must be only those that are necessary for survival and stability. In the U.S., for example we have separation of church and state (at least on the books) to prevent religion from influencing law making. Democracies can have rules. But, yes, please explain in further detail how your society would be better.

(28-07-2015 01:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  The thing is, you are asking me what laws I would implement, however it wouldn't be upto me and what I think or what I like or dislike.
It would be about whether these actions make society unsafe and unstable.
Each of these items you have mentioned would be up for debate against the goal of safe and stable society.

Who decides after the debate?

(28-07-2015 01:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  When you say that most people want rules against dog fighting, then what would happen if dog fighting were allowed? Would people riot in the streets and make society unsafe?

Let's suppose that people did riot, and dog fighting was then prohibited. Then we are right back to law based on likes, and there is no point in trying to avoid it in the first place. Wanting to materialize our desires is something we can't escape, whether its prohibiting animal abuse, or trying to put together a society who only creates laws based on survival and stability.

(28-07-2015 01:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Another thought for you. I personally don't like horse races. The idea of a little person sitting on top of a horse's back whipping the horse, kicking it in the guts and pulling on a metal bit in its mouth is repulsive to me. Do you think if I were in power I ought to make that illegal?
How far should my power go? Should I make it illegal for people to chop lambs tails off, to put rubber rings around their balls?
Should I make it illegal for people to eat live oysters, to throw crayfish into a pot of boiling water?
Should I make fly spray illegal given that insects often wriggle for days afterwards?
How far should I go, in your opinion?

You know that I believe that there is no ought of the matter. There are no right or wrong answers. What you will do is exactly what you want to do, or at least what you decide to do, there are no oughts.

We live in a world where people want to enforce likes. May as well join in, even if your desire is to convince people that the only laws we need are those that are necessary for survival and stability. Such a society is still only a desire.
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31-07-2015, 04:36 AM
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  The problem is, we live in the real world not "stevil land". "Stevil land" would only work if we gave all of the citizens lobotomies, or perhaps heavy drugs, or just used robots. Literally, that's the only way it would work. Your society would require something so separated from emotion that we wouldn't even call it human anymore. Where are you going to find people that have no interest in creating rules based on what they like?
A lot of countries are going this way. Christians complain about the secular nature or the erosion of moral values. But the reality is that with a global world, countries have members from all nations, members from all religions, all cultures. It is no longer acceptable to think of your country as a Christian country with Christian values. Countries are now diverse and need to be accepting and tolerant of diversity.
In many countries now they are removing laws against gay marriage, or against prostitution, or against marijuana or against euthanasia. The trend is to reduce the laws down to only what is necessary.

(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Who's going to join your society when you tell them you have people fucking cows in their front yards? (You will have some cow-fuckers because cow-fuckers will be the first to join when they find out it's totally legal there).
It's funny how you focus on something as obscure and benign as this. Rather than on the freedom offered to the people due to the constraints on government. Gays will be forever beyond the oppressive control of government. How many people are gay? Is their freedom not worth the trade off of letting some unlikely crazy dude to fuck his cow on his farm?
How does this harm you? The guy fucks his cow, so what? Does this impact your life? How does that impact compare with the impact of a government telling a gay person they cannot live with their partner, that the country won't recognise their family status?
Why do you feel the need to control this crazy guy? How is it your business what he does with his cow?

(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  But back to the main point, explain to me exactly how your society is different from a democracy?
Because laws against something aren't made due to popular vote.
A Christian majority populous cannot vote against gay marriage citing it as immoral. They would need to prove that gay marriage is dangerous to the safety and stability of society.

(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Keep in mind that a democracy could have rules such that all laws must be only those that are necessary for survival and stability.
Yep, I'd be happy with a democracy that has a "constitution" that states that all laws must be tied into this goal. That government's purpose is to support a safe and stable, perhaps thriving society rather than a moral one.

(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  In the U.S., for example we have separation of church and state (at least on the books) to prevent religion from influencing law making.
The thing is that "morality" isn't a religious thing. Most people claim to have a morality. It is ambiguous what is meant by that. But if you claim that govt and law are to support a moral society then a Christian leader will put his Christian morals into law, he will try to outlaw gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, prostitution, polygomy and cite these as immoral.


(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Democracies can have rules. But, yes, please explain in further detail how your society would be better.
I've already told you that I reckon a clear and specific purpose for govt and law creates boundaries to the power a government has rather than giving them carte blanch with the ability to force a moral society (based on their own personal morals)

(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(28-07-2015 01:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  When you say that most people want rules against dog fighting, then what would happen if dog fighting were allowed? Would people riot in the streets and make society unsafe?

Let's suppose that people did riot, and dog fighting was then prohibited. Then we are right back to law based on likes, and there is no point in trying to avoid it in the first place.
When people go against the law, get violent and all, they are risking their own lives, they are risking a criminal record. People will only resort to riots on matters that are highly important to them, more important even than their immediate personal safety. It filters out many of the likes that aren't so important to them.
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31-07-2015, 10:49 AM (This post was last modified: 31-07-2015 10:58 AM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Another attack on moral subjectivism
(31-07-2015 04:36 AM)Stevil Wrote:  A lot of countries are going this way. Christians complain about the secular nature or the erosion of moral values. But the reality is that with a global world, countries have members from all nations, members from all religions, all cultures. It is no longer acceptable to think of your country as a Christian country with Christian values. Countries are now diverse and need to be accepting and tolerant of diversity.
In many countries now they are removing laws against gay marriage, or against prostitution, or against marijuana or against euthanasia. The trend is to reduce the laws down to only what is necessary.

Sure, but I think there will always be certain things (such as bestiality, sex in public, animal torture, etc..) that will be rejected by society at large, and I think societies will seek rules against certain things. We have to remember that we are dealing with human animals. We can look to the past to help make predictions, and I don't see humans escaping their own emotional drives.

(31-07-2015 04:36 AM)Stevil Wrote:  It's funny how you focus on something as obscure and benign as this. Rather than on the freedom offered to the people due to the constraints on government. Gays will be forever beyond the oppressive control of government. How many people are gay? Is their freedom not worth the trade off of letting some unlikely crazy dude to fuck his cow on his farm?
How does this harm you? The guy fucks his cow, so what? Does this impact your life? How does that impact compare with the impact of a government telling a gay person they cannot live with their partner, that the country won't recognise their family status?
Why do you feel the need to control this crazy guy? How is it your business what he does with his cow?

That's the whole point. The guy fucking a cow isn't hurting any other people, but I still think that most people are going to want rules against it. At least against doing it in public. Even if the public comes to accept bestiality, I think you could simply substitute it for something else. There will always be certain things that certain societies won't accept, and they will make rules against them.

(31-07-2015 04:36 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  But back to the main point, explain to me exactly how your society is different from a democracy?
Because laws against something aren't made due to popular vote.
A Christian majority populous cannot vote against gay marriage citing it as immoral. They would need to prove that gay marriage is dangerous to the safety and stability of society.

Who would they need to prove it to? Certain elected officials? A king? Themselves?

(31-07-2015 04:36 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  In the U.S., for example we have separation of church and state (at least on the books) to prevent religion from influencing law making.
The thing is that "morality" isn't a religious thing. Most people claim to have a morality. It is ambiguous what is meant by that. But if you claim that govt and law are to support a moral society then a Christian leader will put his Christian morals into law, he will try to outlaw gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, prostitution, polygomy and cite these as immoral.

The problem with that is that we would need a society full of nihilists. Where are we going to find one of those? Even proponents of the things you mentioned often cite moral reasons. Example: "It's wrong to oppress gays."

(31-07-2015 04:36 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Democracies can have rules. But, yes, please explain in further detail how your society would be better.

I've already told you that I reckon a clear and specific purpose for govt and law creates boundaries to the power a government has rather than giving them carte blanch with the ability to force a moral society (based on their own personal morals)


Again, you desire a democracy that only interferes for survival, I desire a democracy that only interferes for survival and to prevent genocide. I still fail to see a fundamental difference.

(31-07-2015 04:36 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(30-07-2015 08:28 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Let's suppose that people did riot, and dog fighting was then prohibited. Then we are right back to law based on likes, and there is no point in trying to avoid it in the first place.

When people go against the law, get violent and all, they are risking their own lives, they are risking a criminal record. People will only resort to riots on matters that are highly important to them, more important even than their immediate personal safety. It filters out many of the likes that aren't so important to them.

So how would you decide what to do? You could cater to the rioters and give them the law they are demanding (to make society safe), or you could arrest and prosecute the rioters ( to make society safe). Which one would you do?

Back to the hypocrisy bit though....

You mentioned that you would be in favor of invading another society if it was necessary for survival. Would you complain if another society invaded your society for its own survival? Would it make you a hypocrite if you did complain?

If I support Obama, but complained about Bush, does that make me a hypocrite?
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