Moral absolutes
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28-01-2016, 12:23 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
I also don't agree that rape is worse than murder, which some people seem to think. If you can't say that murder is always wrong you can't say rape is always wrong.

From an ethnocentric stance, or an equal rights stance, sure rape is definitely wrong. But equal rights isn't a moral absolute either IMO.

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28-01-2016, 12:32 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 12:12 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I'll add one more thing....

My view is that all of morality is nothing more than preference, and while it would be my preference that no women are raped and no children tortured, if I had to choose one, I'd rather see a woman raped than a child tortured.

Actually, what you are saying is you would choose an adult be tortured over a child being tortured. The meaning of "torture" is not a specific act, it can and has been many different acts in varying degrees. Rape is or can be torture.

I would say, it would depend on the torture for the adult and for the child.

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28-01-2016, 12:44 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 12:23 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  I also don't agree that rape is worse than murder, which some people seem to think. If you can't say that murder is always wrong you can't say rape is always wrong.

From an ethnocentric stance, or an equal rights stance, sure rape is definitely wrong. But equal rights isn't a moral absolute either IMO.

I submit that killing and murder are not the same. Murder is always wrong but killing is not necessarily wrong. I could kill you in self-defense or defense of others, it's not murder but you're still dead and I'm still innocent of murder.

As for rape being assessed as worse than murder, I am of the mind it certainly can be. Once dead your life and your problems are over, not so with rape. Rape is forever, as long as you live. It's the torture that just keeps on giving.

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28-01-2016, 12:57 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 09:44 AM)Heatheness Wrote:  ...
We are either humans with the capacity for moral behaviors or we are immoral animals. Rape is never moral.

Animals (I assume you mean non-human animals) are not immoral. They are amoral.

If there were no humans (or similar) anywhere in the universe, would morality exist?
Would rape exist?

(28-01-2016 12:03 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  ...
Atheists are very divided about morality. DLJ and others don't want to acknowledge it, but there are many atheist moral realists out there.

Tsk, tsk. Putting words into my mouth is not cool, bro.

When did I ever claim unity of atheistic beliefs?

Dodgy

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28-01-2016, 01:07 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 12:44 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  
(28-01-2016 12:23 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  I also don't agree that rape is worse than murder, which some people seem to think. If you can't say that murder is always wrong you can't say rape is always wrong.

From an ethnocentric stance, or an equal rights stance, sure rape is definitely wrong. But equal rights isn't a moral absolute either IMO.

I submit that killing and murder are not the same. Murder is always wrong but killing is not necessarily wrong. I could kill you in self-defense or defense of others, it's not murder but you're still dead and I'm still innocent of murder.

As for rape being assessed as worse than murder, I am of the mind it certainly can be. Once dead your life and your problems are over, not so with rape. Rape is forever, as long as you live. It's the torture that just keeps on giving.
True the definitions for murder and killing differ.

But I would rather be raped (by a dude) than killed or murdered. My existence ending (to me) is a much worse result than being damaged (physically/psychologically/socially).

However the definition of murder has morality written into it, since it is just killing in a certain context according to contemporary morals/laws. So in that sense murder is by definition immoral, (or the way to do killing immorally). So in a discussion on morality, murder probably isn't a good term to throw around. Killing is probably more appropriate.

Under different cultures what would be considered unlawful killing would be different. For instance mutually agreed duels to the death. Or perhaps a culture that abides revenge (for instance if a family member was raped, it is okay to go kill the rapist). Both of these would be considered murder to us, but might be considered morally acceptable forms of killing elsewhere.

Similarly, I think rape, while viewed through OUR lens of morality appears to be wrong, but through a different lens it might be circumstantial, or maybe acceptable.

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28-01-2016, 01:14 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 12:57 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(28-01-2016 09:44 AM)Heatheness Wrote:  ...
We are either humans with the capacity for moral behaviors or we are immoral animals. Rape is never moral.

Animals (I assume you mean non-human animals) are not immoral. They are amoral.

If there were no humans (or similar) anywhere in the universe, would morality exist?
Would rape exist?

(28-01-2016 12:03 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  ...
Atheists are very divided about morality. DLJ and others don't want to acknowledge it, but there are many atheist moral realists out there.

Tsk, tsk. Putting words into my mouth is not cool, bro.

When did I ever claim unity of atheistic beliefs?

Dodgy

No, I meant what I said. Animals are amoral because they don't have the capacity to moralize. Humans are still animals but they do have the capacity, so if they choose to ignore the morals already established they are immoral. If they never have had any experience in morals, that would be amoral.

In the analogy that was set "few humans left on earth and females who would not breed to save the species so the male/males decided to rape" the morals are already established and one or more of the group makes a choice to go against the established morals... that is immoral, not amoral.

Non-human rape already exists in our world. Sea otters rape baby seals for sexual pleasure and most of the baby seals die from this. Dolphins gang rape young females they cut from the pod and drag her to the bottom and rape her to death because they won't let her go up for air in case she might escape. They take turns on her, some hold her, some raping her while the other go up for air.

There are many other examples but I think that makes my point.

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28-01-2016, 01:19 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 01:07 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  
(28-01-2016 12:44 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  I submit that killing and murder are not the same. Murder is always wrong but killing is not necessarily wrong. I could kill you in self-defense or defense of others, it's not murder but you're still dead and I'm still innocent of murder.

As for rape being assessed as worse than murder, I am of the mind it certainly can be. Once dead your life and your problems are over, not so with rape. Rape is forever, as long as you live. It's the torture that just keeps on giving.
True the definitions for murder and killing differ.

But I would rather be raped (by a dude) than killed or murdered. My existence ending (to me) is a much worse result than being damaged (physically/psychologically/socially).

However the definition of murder has morality written into it, since it is just killing in a certain context according to contemporary morals/laws. So in that sense murder is by definition immoral, (or the way to do killing immorally). So in a discussion on morality, murder probably isn't a good term to throw around. Killing is probably more appropriate.

Under different cultures what would be considered unlawful killing would be different. For instance mutually agreed duels to the death. Or perhaps a culture that abides revenge (for instance if a family member was raped, it is okay to go kill the rapist). Both of these would be considered murder to us, but might be considered morally acceptable forms of killing elsewhere.

Similarly, I think rape, while viewed through OUR lens of morality appears to be wrong, but through a different lens it might be circumstantial, or maybe acceptable.

Rape is not consent so, no, it's never acceptable to the victim, only to the perpetrators.

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28-01-2016, 01:20 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 09:12 AM)claywise Wrote:  ...
Even Dillahunty, who uses "wellbeing" as a yardstick for what should be considered "moral," falls short, in my opinion:
...

I had a chat with him about this.

My gripe was about conceding to apologists over there being an objective morality without qualifying that to say "objective against an axiology or framework" or yardstick, as you put it.
And further making the point that a given god's moral pronouncements are going to be subjective, to that god.

He agreed.

Smartass

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28-01-2016, 01:23 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 09:12 AM)claywise Wrote:  After listening recently to Matt Dillahunty on this subject, I got to wondering precisely what "moral absolutes" believers (or non-believers) might propose. In other words, what moral position might be so clear-cut that everyone agrees on it.

Thou shall not kill is obviously problematic, even if we allow for the common Christian assertion that it refers only to murder. According to Merriam-Webster, murder is the crime of deliberately, or unlawfully, killing a person or people, sometimes with the added frisson of malice aforethought.

It's pretty easy to come up with situations in which knowingly killing even an innocent person might be "moral" — say, for example, that a terrorist is holding a dirty bomb and hostages inside a building, and taking her out will result in the death of innocents, though far fewer than if the bomb is allowed to go off.

Thou shall not steal is easy to debunk, so I won't bother here. Ditto with false witness, adultery, and so on. Some might say hitting a child is always, absolutely morally wrong, but again one can see exceptions.

I thought "Rape is always wrong" might be an absolute, and for me, personally, I think it is. But what about a situation in which survival of the species was at stake - say, there is one fertile female left alive after an apocalypse, and she does not wish to propagate any more creatures who would one day bring down more destruction, or bring new individuals into a world of suffering (which strikes me as a perfectly moral position)? I still think that person's autonomy is more worthy of regard than the goals of the "community," certainly when it requires violence against her.

Even Dillahunty, who uses "wellbeing" as a yardstick for what should be considered "moral," falls short, in my opinion: Is it "moral" to raise tens of millions of highly intelligent animals - pigs, which have the cognitive abilities of a three-year-old human and obviously can suffer - because it promotes the "wellbeing" of humans who like to eat bacon?

I guess my point is, despite Christians' frequent yammering and teeth-gnashing about moral relativism, I don't think I see any "moral" position that's absolute. Curious to hear any proposals for a true absolute moral.

Universality, which is what you are talking about, has to do with the nature of concepts. Moral principles are conceptual in nature and the process of induction is a process of abstraction which is what we do in forming a concept. Principles are integrations of concepts.

Universality is a result of this process of abstraction, specifically the process of measurement omission. When we abstract, we retain the similarities of a group of objects while omitting or de-specifying their particular measurements. For example, in forming the concept man, we retain the relevently similar characteristics of man but ommitt specific measurements such as height, weight, hair color, ethnicity, IQ, language, time and place. The principle is that these measurements must be some specific quantity or quality but can be any specific quantity or quality. In this way, concepts are open ended integrations. They subsume an unlimited number of concretes.

An understanding of concepts and objectivity is crucial to understanding the issue of absolutes. This is precisely what the vast majority of Theists and atheists don't have so this is why they can not fathom a rational, objective basis for morality.

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The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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28-01-2016, 01:24 PM (This post was last modified: 28-01-2016 01:31 PM by Adrianime.)
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 01:19 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  
(28-01-2016 01:07 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  True the definitions for murder and killing differ.

But I would rather be raped (by a dude) than killed or murdered. My existence ending (to me) is a much worse result than being damaged (physically/psychologically/socially).

However the definition of murder has morality written into it, since it is just killing in a certain context according to contemporary morals/laws. So in that sense murder is by definition immoral, (or the way to do killing immorally). So in a discussion on morality, murder probably isn't a good term to throw around. Killing is probably more appropriate.

Under different cultures what would be considered unlawful killing would be different. For instance mutually agreed duels to the death. Or perhaps a culture that abides revenge (for instance if a family member was raped, it is okay to go kill the rapist). Both of these would be considered murder to us, but might be considered morally acceptable forms of killing elsewhere.

Similarly, I think rape, while viewed through OUR lens of morality appears to be wrong, but through a different lens it might be circumstantial, or maybe acceptable.

Rape is not consent so, no, it's never acceptable to the victim, only to the perpetrators.
Revenge-killing isn't consensual (nor are death sentences). Acceptable by all parties is not required for morality. Plenty of moral systems don't offer equal rights to all involved. For instance, slavery.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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