Moral absolutes
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27-03-2016, 05:52 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(26-03-2016 09:22 PM)epronovost Wrote:  @Matt Finney

Actually, I would agree with your analysis on pretty much all point if not for one, the goal isn't subjective (or down personnal preferences). In fact the goal is always the same for everyone. We want to be happy, to prosper, to learn and to grow. We all want the same thing, the only difference is our opinion on how to reach this goal. Morality is then defined by the behaviors and beliefs that allows everybody to be happy, prosper, learn and grow. Said like that its very simplistic, but in reality its a real pain to determine what exactly this is supposed to mean.

I agree that people want happiness for themselves, and for many of us, being kind to others makes us happy (myself included). But if we look at the psychopathic spectrum we can find people who have a desire for murder. If committing rape and murder makes a psychopath happy, then does that mean that the psychopath ought to commit rape and murder. And some people are simply neutral. They have no desire to harm anyone, but also no desire to help others, does this mean that they ought to do nothing?

And then how do we act regarding nonhuman animals. I, for example, enjoy eating meat. In America, this means that I support an industry that tortures millions of cows, pigs, and chickens. How does someone who thinks morality is about wellbeing reconcile that? As I pointed out earlier, if morality is a real thing, and it's about wellbeing, then the only conclusion is that we ought to move towards veganism, sterilizing predators, etc.
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27-03-2016, 05:58 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(27-03-2016 03:37 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(26-03-2016 09:00 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Morality is most simply defined as what a person should do. People who believe in morality believe that there are certain behaviors that ought to be sought out, and that there are certain behaviors that ought to be avoided. And that is the reason for my nihilism. I don't think there are any behaviors that ought to be avoided or sought after. We all carve our own path and whether we're talking about Gandhi or Charles Manson, neither of them have ever done anything that is objectively right or wrong. It's not until you put a goal into the equation that anything can be measured objectively, and whatever you think the goal is, is always going to be subjective.

Firstoff, i emphasized the relevant parts to my reply.
Am i correct in reading that ("nihilist" and emphasized passage) you reject any morals as being either subjective or incoherent?

If that is the case i am wondering how you live and behave in a social environment like the society you are actually living in.
If Ghandi or Manson havent done any *wrong* in your view, how do you determine how you behave towards other humans and how not? Whats your basis to decide "yes, i am gonna do that" and what not?

Are you following the rules your society has set up?
If "yes" why?

These questions may sound silly, but seem inevitable looking at your statements about morals and nihilism.

I think that what most people refer to as morals, are actually nothing more than subjective preferences. Some people (Richard Dawkins) think that vegans are more moral than non-vegans. I think that whether or not someone is vegan is nothing more than a preference. Like preferring coke to pepsi.

I determine my own behaviors based on my desires and my knowledge of consequences.

I don't follow ALL of the rules of my society. I follow some of them because many align with my desires, and the rest are to avoid consequences I desire to avoid. Hope this answers your questions.
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27-03-2016, 06:00 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(27-03-2016 04:09 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(26-03-2016 09:00 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Morality is most simply defined as what a person should do. People who believe in morality believe that there are certain behaviors that ought to be sought out, and that there are certain behaviors that ought to be avoided. And that is the reason for my nihilism. I don't think there are any behaviors that ought to be avoided or sought after. We all carve our own path and whether we're talking about Gandhi or Charles Manson, neither of them have ever done anything that is objectively right or wrong. It's not until you put a goal into the equation that anything can be measured objectively, and whatever you think the goal is, is always going to be subjective.


We all have goals and desires, things we want; we're evolved to do this, because apathetic apes make for easy lunch out on the African savanna. We have very base desires like survival, and from there other wants and needs get layered upon. If you lack even the basest desire for survival, or value something else more than personal survival (like the ending of personal suffering through euthanasia, or dying for a cause you value more than your own life), then very often your own life is forfeit. Granted we don't all have the same goals or value them the same (the subjectivity of morality), but humans without goals and desires generally aren't around long enough to be a factor.

The best you can do is build up a subjective consensus about what desires and goals we should share, and try our best to go about achieving them as objectively as possible. Getting hung up on moral absolutes or the lack thereof seems like a waste of time. Who cares if the universe doesn't give a shit about Gandhi versus Manson? We care, and considering that our opinions affect our behaviors and subsequently our lives and the lives of those around us, that's what matters.

I don't think I disagree with anything you said here. Thumbsup
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27-03-2016, 08:05 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(27-03-2016 05:52 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(26-03-2016 09:22 PM)epronovost Wrote:  @Matt Finney

Actually, I would agree with your analysis on pretty much all point if not for one, the goal isn't subjective (or down personnal preferences). In fact the goal is always the same for everyone. We want to be happy, to prosper, to learn and to grow. We all want the same thing, the only difference is our opinion on how to reach this goal. Morality is then defined by the behaviors and beliefs that allows everybody to be happy, prosper, learn and grow. Said like that its very simplistic, but in reality its a real pain to determine what exactly this is supposed to mean.

I agree that people want happiness for themselves, and for many of us, being kind to others makes us happy (myself included). But if we look at the psychopathic spectrum we can find people who have a desire for murder. If committing rape and murder makes a psychopath happy, then does that mean that the psychopath ought to commit rape and murder. And some people are simply neutral. They have no desire to harm anyone, but also no desire to help others, does this mean that they ought to do nothing?

And then how do we act regarding nonhuman animals. I, for example, enjoy eating meat. In America, this means that I support an industry that tortures millions of cows, pigs, and chickens. How does someone who thinks morality is about wellbeing reconcile that? As I pointed out earlier, if morality is a real thing, and it's about wellbeing, then the only conclusion is that we ought to move towards veganism, sterilizing predators, etc.

Euh, what so mysterious about the word everyone? It translate to every single person. People don't like being murdered, thus the psychopaths aren't fullfilling the universal goal of morality. Animals, despite being capable of feelings and emotions aren't people either. Thus, they aren't considered as much and can be abused for the benefit of everyone. One could also make the argument that they aren't devoid of all value so their suffering must be limited when possible. Being perfectly moral isn't a requirement either, its an objective. As long as you don't make to much wave, most of us would be content to let you do wathever you want.

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
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28-03-2016, 04:05 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(27-03-2016 08:05 PM)epronovost Wrote:  
(27-03-2016 05:52 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I agree that people want happiness for themselves, and for many of us, being kind to others makes us happy (myself included). But if we look at the psychopathic spectrum we can find people who have a desire for murder. If committing rape and murder makes a psychopath happy, then does that mean that the psychopath ought to commit rape and murder. And some people are simply neutral. They have no desire to harm anyone, but also no desire to help others, does this mean that they ought to do nothing?

And then how do we act regarding nonhuman animals. I, for example, enjoy eating meat. In America, this means that I support an industry that tortures millions of cows, pigs, and chickens. How does someone who thinks morality is about wellbeing reconcile that? As I pointed out earlier, if morality is a real thing, and it's about wellbeing, then the only conclusion is that we ought to move towards veganism, sterilizing predators, etc.

Euh, what so mysterious about the word everyone? It translate to every single person. People don't like being murdered, thus the psychopaths aren't fullfilling the universal goal of morality. Animals, despite being capable of feelings and emotions aren't people either. Thus, they aren't considered as much and can be abused for the benefit of everyone. One could also make the argument that they aren't devoid of all value so their suffering must be limited when possible. Being perfectly moral isn't a requirement either, its an objective. As long as you don't make to much wave, most of us would be content to let you do wathever you want.





In this video, Peter Singer makes the claim that eating vertebrate nonhuman animals is not ethically justifiable (around 3:40 in). Would you agree with him?

I see atheists speak about morality as if there are objective truths to be discovered, and that's my only real criticism. I don't think one can discover whether or not it is ok to eat meat or perform abortions, I think we all just make up the rules as we go. I don't think Singer and Dawkins are grasping the true nature of morality.
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28-03-2016, 06:33 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-03-2016 04:05 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(27-03-2016 08:05 PM)epronovost Wrote:  Euh, what so mysterious about the word everyone? It translate to every single person. People don't like being murdered, thus the psychopaths aren't fullfilling the universal goal of morality. Animals, despite being capable of feelings and emotions aren't people either. Thus, they aren't considered as much and can be abused for the benefit of everyone. One could also make the argument that they aren't devoid of all value so their suffering must be limited when possible. Being perfectly moral isn't a requirement either, its an objective. As long as you don't make to much wave, most of us would be content to let you do wathever you want.





In this video, Peter Singer makes the claim that eating vertebrate nonhuman animals is not ethically justifiable (around 3:40 in). Would you agree with him?

I see atheists speak about morality as if there are objective truths to be discovered, and that's my only real criticism. I don't think one can discover whether or not it is ok to eat meat or perform abortions, I think we all just make up the rules as we go. I don't think Singer and Dawkins are grasping the true nature of morality.
Then what do you think of social contract theory?

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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28-03-2016, 08:03 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(24-03-2016 04:57 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I'm trying to catch up on this thread. Are you suggesting that "morals" are the same as food tastes?

Assuming morality is not objective, than yes it can be likened to as subjective as food taste, though we place a higher value to our moral preferences.

But the distinguishing feature between other subjective preferences and morality, is that language of morality is steeped in objective language and beliefs, perhaps pushed on us by religion. That leads us to speak of moral wrongs and rights, in similar way as do factual wrongs and rights, to speak of moral progress, to speak of enlighten moral perceptions, to point to whats wrong with others and whats right with us, etc...

Chas and others seemed to ignore this fact, though they somewhat recognize this when claiming that referring to morality as subjective is not adequate, while lacking the ability to articulate why that is.

If morality is not objective, we still the illusion of objectivity, perhaps similar to how we have the illusion of free-will, in a purely deterministic universe.

"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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28-03-2016, 08:05 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(25-03-2016 04:31 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  No. It's because Chas is very wishy-washy about his position. He describes morality as not objective, but he also says it's not "not objective" (subjective). He sounds very confused, so we try to get him to elaborate. Many atheists fall into the trap of thinking that things like slavery and genocide are objectively wrong, or that democracy is objectively better than theocracy. Not saying that is the case with Chas, it's just hard to get a clear answer out of him.

Exactly.

"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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28-03-2016, 08:11 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(25-03-2016 07:15 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(24-03-2016 03:44 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  No, you haven't adequately answered the question but I'll work with you, just try and stay focused

Let's go with food taste, if I were to claim that our taste in food can't be adequately labeled as subjective you might find that a bit weird, yet you find it appropriate to make that claim about morality.

You listed some things that you're appealing to argue why the subjective label is inadequate when it comes to morality, seemingly amiss of the fact that the same can be said about pretty much everything we commonly refer to as subjective.

That there's biological underpinnings in regards to the food we consider as tasting good, social and environmental factors. What clothes are appropriate and fashionable are constructed by a variety of social influences, etc.


So what exact unique feature/s do you see when it comes to morality, that leads you to believe subjective is an inappropriate label, unlike in other commonly label subjective categories?

Is the distinction purely a matter that moral tastes, are ones you attach for more of a higher value to, that your taste in food or fashion?

Or is it something else?

Inadequate, not inappropriate. Read the actual words I post, please.

Good job dodging the questions, so you can continue to be wishy-washy, and confused about your own views here.

You have yet to justify why it's inadequate, compared to other subjective preferences. If it helps, you can replace where I used to the word inappropriate with the word inadequate and try again.

"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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28-03-2016, 08:13 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-03-2016 04:05 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(27-03-2016 08:05 PM)epronovost Wrote:  Euh, what so mysterious about the word everyone? It translate to every single person. People don't like being murdered, thus the psychopaths aren't fullfilling the universal goal of morality. Animals, despite being capable of feelings and emotions aren't people either. Thus, they aren't considered as much and can be abused for the benefit of everyone. One could also make the argument that they aren't devoid of all value so their suffering must be limited when possible. Being perfectly moral isn't a requirement either, its an objective. As long as you don't make to much wave, most of us would be content to let you do wathever you want.





In this video, Peter Singer makes the claim that eating vertebrate nonhuman animals is not ethically justifiable (around 3:40 in). Would you agree with him?

I see atheists speak about morality as if there are objective truths to be discovered, and that's my only real criticism. I don't think one can discover whether or not it is ok to eat meat or perform abortions, I think we all just make up the rules as we go. I don't think Singer and Dawkins are grasping the true nature of morality.

Considering that his argument revolves around a false equivocation, I would tend to disagree with him. If humans are animals, animals aren't human. The objective of morality shared by all humans was mentionned earlier. We cannot speak for what other animals think on the subject (if they even think about it at all). If we can say that our morality can be universaly shared, adopted and enforced by all of us, we can't say about them. Thus our objective can only apply to us and our rules, boundaries and limitations can only be applied to us in an objective manner. What do you think about it and why?

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
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