Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
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12-10-2015, 06:58 AM
RE: Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
(11-10-2015 04:51 PM)Can_of_Beans Wrote:  A Facebook friend shared this picture on her page

[Image: 0f63c768be48a5381fbac5d19fc4a83b.jpg]

So far, so good. I really appreciate a relationship where we can have a debate or disagreement and still be friends, or at a minimum, be civil.

But...another one of her friends writes:

"Kindness wouldn't be objectively good without God, yet it is."

I respond

"Kindness isn't objective. It's entirely subjective to the human experience. We share a basic desire to pursue happiness and avoid pain an suffering, and kindness makes it easier to fulfill that desire even though "pursuing happiness" means different things to different people. It only requires empathy - not a divine command."

They respond with a wall of text rant about "atheist Dogma" and how if morality isn't objective it inevitably leads to Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. I wish I could copy and paste it, but they blocked me, and I can't see it anymore. It was good stuff.

I follow up with

"1) There is no "atheist Dogma." No atheist holy book, liturgy, hymns, class of priests, or absolute authority figures telling them what to think or do. Consequently, only knowing that someone is an atheist is to know next to nothing about them other than that they have consigned one more god to the graveyard of mythology than you have.*

2) I'm surprised the Hitler card got played so quickly. It usually takes longer for Godwin's Law to take effect. Wink Besides...

3) The argument I'm making has nothing to do with atheism or theism. I'm simply saying that we don't need to appeal to an eternal system of rewards and punishments or divine commands to find good reasons to be kind to each other. Recognizing our shared humanity is enough."

They respond "Everything you just typed is atheist Dogma. You're blocked. Bye."

Me: "LOL...so much for objective kindness in spite of disagreement. Big Grin"

Apparently kindness is objectively good unless your talking to an atheist, then in that case, fuck 'em. Laugh out load



*I borrowed that "graveyard of mythology" bit from Sam Harris

Christians are to morality what pink eye is to vision.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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12-10-2015, 08:16 AM
RE: Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
(12-10-2015 06:55 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(11-10-2015 08:07 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
The dirty little secret is that the Nazis were operating on the same fundamental premises as Christianity endorses: Subjectivism in metaphysics and epistemology and self sacrifice in ethics.
...
They could not have done what they did on the principles of objectivism and individualism and of man's right to live for his own sake.

This probably belongs to another thread but since you mentioned it...

Just out of curiosity, is there an 'ism' for number 4.?
1. Subjectivism + Individualism
2. Subjectivism + Collectivism
3. Objectivism + Individualism
4. Objectivism + Collectivism

I ask because I was looking for a diagram for this and stumbled across this AQAL model

[Image: AQAL_holon-275x275.gif]

Which kinda makes sense (to use 'internal' and 'external' instead of 'subjective' and 'objective') because I also found this http://www.slideshare.net/finnellj/dudeist-philosophy which was amusing and contained this
[Image: dudeist-philosophy-22-728.jpg?cb=1330680564]

... which equates Objectivism with (rugged) Individualism and this confuses me because it implies there will not be a 'Objectivism + Collectivism' combination.

Anyway, I started down the path of checking out the AQAL model and quickly found myself in a steaming pile of woo... so I stopped.


HI DLJ,

I was using objectivism as an alternative to subjectivism in this case. I wasn't referring to the philosophy of Objectivism. It's just easier than saying objective reality. So in this case objectivism simply means the principle that reality exists independent of anyone's conscious activity or in simple terms "wishing don't make it so".

As far as there being an ism for objectivism + collectivism I can't think of one. Many people can and do hold all sorts of contradictory ideas in their worldview. As far as Objectivism the philosophy and Collectivism, there is no compatibility at all. The two are fundamentally at odds with each other. Objectivism Holds that man has a natural right to live for his own sake, that each individual is an end in himself. Collectivism is premised on the opposite principle, that man has a duty to live for others and to sacrifice his life for the good of others.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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12-10-2015, 08:36 AM
RE: Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
(12-10-2015 08:16 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(12-10-2015 06:55 AM)DLJ Wrote:  This probably belongs to another thread but since you mentioned it...

Just out of curiosity, is there an 'ism' for number 4.?
1. Subjectivism + Individualism
2. Subjectivism + Collectivism
3. Objectivism + Individualism
4. Objectivism + Collectivism

I ask because I was looking for a diagram for this and stumbled across this AQAL model

[Image: AQAL_holon-275x275.gif]

Which kinda makes sense (to use 'internal' and 'external' instead of 'subjective' and 'objective') because I also found this http://www.slideshare.net/finnellj/dudeist-philosophy which was amusing and contained this
[Image: dudeist-philosophy-22-728.jpg?cb=1330680564]

... which equates Objectivism with (rugged) Individualism and this confuses me because it implies there will not be a 'Objectivism + Collectivism' combination.

Anyway, I started down the path of checking out the AQAL model and quickly found myself in a steaming pile of woo... so I stopped.


HI DLJ,

I was using objectivism as an alternative to subjectivism in this case. I wasn't referring to the philosophy of Objectivism. It's just easier than saying objective reality. So in this case objectivism simply means the principle that reality exists independent of anyone's conscious activity or in simple terms "wishing don't make it so".

As far as there being an ism for objectivism + collectivism I can't think of one. Many people can and do hold all sorts of contradictory ideas in their worldview. As far as Objectivism the philosophy and Collectivism, there is no compatibility at all. The two are fundamentally at odds with each other. Objectivism Holds that man has a natural right to live for his own sake, that each individual is an end in himself. Collectivism is premised on the opposite principle, that man has a duty to live for others and to sacrifice his life for the good of others.

Thanks for the clarification. That makes sense now.

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13-10-2015, 04:49 PM
RE: Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
(12-10-2015 08:16 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  As far as there being an ism for objectivism + collectivism I can't think of one. Many people can and do hold all sorts of contradictory ideas in their worldview. As far as Objectivism the philosophy and Collectivism, there is no compatibility at all. The two are fundamentally at odds with each other. Objectivism Holds that man has a natural right to live for his own sake, that each individual is an end in himself. Collectivism is premised on the opposite principle, that man has a duty to live for others and to sacrifice his life for the good of others.

In french we call this dicotomy: «Un pour tous et tous pour un.». This is the foundation of the feudal system of ethic. We call it moral feudalism.

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
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14-10-2015, 07:11 AM
RE: Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
(13-10-2015 04:49 PM)epronovost Wrote:  
(12-10-2015 08:16 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  As far as there being an ism for objectivism + collectivism I can't think of one. Many people can and do hold all sorts of contradictory ideas in their worldview. As far as Objectivism the philosophy and Collectivism, there is no compatibility at all. The two are fundamentally at odds with each other. Objectivism Holds that man has a natural right to live for his own sake, that each individual is an end in himself. Collectivism is premised on the opposite principle, that man has a duty to live for others and to sacrifice his life for the good of others.

In french we call this dicotomy: «Un pour tous et tous pour un.». This is the foundation of the feudal system of ethic. We call it moral feudalism.
Probably why feudalism is so evil. Any system based on a contradiction is.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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14-10-2015, 08:02 AM
RE: Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
(13-10-2015 04:49 PM)epronovost Wrote:  
(12-10-2015 08:16 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  As far as there being an ism for objectivism + collectivism I can't think of one. Many people can and do hold all sorts of contradictory ideas in their worldview. As far as Objectivism the philosophy and Collectivism, there is no compatibility at all. The two are fundamentally at odds with each other. Objectivism Holds that man has a natural right to live for his own sake, that each individual is an end in himself. Collectivism is premised on the opposite principle, that man has a duty to live for others and to sacrifice his life for the good of others.

In french we call this dicotomy: «Un pour tous et tous pour un.». This is the foundation of the feudal system of ethic. We call it moral feudalism.

The only moral system is one which recognizes that individual rights are absolutes that must not be violated in any way. Individual rights are not handed down by a god or granted by society but are objective in nature, i.e, are right regardless of anyone's wishes, likes, dislikes, faith, preferences etc. They are based on man's identity as man, his nature as a rational being and can't be violated without doing an injustice. This is what inalienable means. Feudalism grants the chosen few the right to enslave others.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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14-10-2015, 08:49 AM (This post was last modified: 14-10-2015 08:53 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
(11-10-2015 04:51 PM)Can_of_Beans Wrote:  "Kindness isn't objective. It's entirely subjective to the human experience. We share a basic desire to pursue happiness and avoid pain an suffering, and kindness makes it easier to fulfill that desire even though "pursuing happiness" means different things to different people. It only requires empathy - not a divine command."

Couple of problems with this. If there are objective moral laws, they would be laws governing human experience. So pointing out that their relative to the human experience, isn't particularly a denial of objective morality.

In fact to imply that we have an innate desire to pursue happiness, and avoid suffering, a desire to be some sort of way, and kindness is a means to obtaining that sort of being, we refer to as happy, and kindness is a particular means of obtaining that, in way that cruelty is not. This would in essence be suggestive of the appearance of a law, fixed into out biological makeup (as opposed to externally produced by our cultural environment) that makes us feel guilty as if we did something wrong, when we resort to cruelty over kindness, that diminishes our chances of happiness when we chose one over the other, etc...

While they might not be actual moral laws, objective morality, your beliefs are suggestive of the illusion of it.

"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."
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14-10-2015, 11:15 AM
RE: Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
(14-10-2015 08:49 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(11-10-2015 04:51 PM)Can_of_Beans Wrote:  "Kindness isn't objective. It's entirely subjective to the human experience. We share a basic desire to pursue happiness and avoid pain an suffering, and kindness makes it easier to fulfill that desire even though "pursuing happiness" means different things to different people. It only requires empathy - not a divine command."

Couple of problems with this. If there are objective moral laws, they would be laws governing human experience. So pointing out that their relative to the human experience, isn't particularly a denial of objective morality.

In fact to imply that we have an innate desire to pursue happiness, and avoid suffering, a desire to be some sort of way, and kindness is a means to obtaining that sort of being, we refer to as happy, and kindness is a particular means of obtaining that, in way that cruelty is not. This would in essence be suggestive of the appearance of a law, fixed into out biological makeup (as opposed to externally produced by our cultural environment) that makes us feel guilty as if we did something wrong, when we resort to cruelty over kindness, that diminishes our chances of happiness when we chose one over the other, etc...

While they might not be actual moral laws, objective morality, your beliefs are suggestive of the illusion of it.

I see your point. Perhaps my argument was better suited for "we don't need God for kindness to be good," and I should have pointed out that there are situations where kindness isn't good and where violence can be (e.g. in defense of yourself and others) to address the subjective/objective question. Consider

"I feel as though the camera is almost a kind of voyeur in Mr. Beans life, and you just watch this bizarre man going about his life in the way that he wants to."

-Rowan Atkinson
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14-10-2015, 12:39 PM
RE: Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
(11-10-2015 08:09 PM)Alla Wrote:  At least they didn't give you so much negative feedback as I get here from very kind atheists. Big Grin

I think you dropped this.

[Image: victim-card.png]

You get negative feed back when you say something unorthodox, foolish, or cruel. There have been times where you have shown you can be level headed. And at those times people will talk to you civilly. You're a lamb in a lions den. Expect to get bit.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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15-10-2015, 06:47 AM
RE: Classic Facebook Debate on Objective Morality
(14-10-2015 08:02 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(13-10-2015 04:49 PM)epronovost Wrote:  In french we call this dicotomy: «Un pour tous et tous pour un.». This is the foundation of the feudal system of ethic. We call it moral feudalism.

The only moral system is one which recognizes that individual rights are absolutes that must not be violated in any way. Individual rights are not handed down by a god or granted by society but are objective in nature, i.e, are right regardless of anyone's wishes, likes, dislikes, faith, preferences etc. They are based on man's identity as man, his nature as a rational being and can't be violated without doing an injustice. This is what inalienable means. Feudalism grants the chosen few the right to enslave others.

I don't want to get in a debate defending moral feudalism (mostly because it's so archaïc), but feudalism didn't grant the chosen few the right to enslave others or at least not in those terms. When we think about feudalism, we frequently think of knights and peasents and in that context, it's true that serfs were to all intend and purpose slaves to a noble. But, feudalism is much older than knights and serfs has we commonly imagine them. The first well known written legal system based on moral feudalism in western Europe was the Danelaw: the law of the vikings if you prefer. They are the people who invented the modern definition of individual rights and they were also one of the origin of the medieval feudal system. History can be a complicated mess.

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
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