Moral absolutes
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28-03-2016, 08:14 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(25-03-2016 10:06 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(25-03-2016 09:59 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Just so you don't feel left out, I'll go ahead and accuse you being in line with ISIS. GaspSadcryfaceHoboWeepingBlinkThumbsup

Also, earlier I made the claim that most atheists believe in objective morality, and you correctly called BS. You're right, we would need a poll to either prove or disprove that claim. It's actually a hypothesis of mine, but I hope that after witnessing the responses that some members made to me after I said that nothing is objectively wrong, that perhaps you can see that there is at least a significant number of them, and I would be surprised if the majority of atheists think that genocide and slavery are not objectively wrong. I say that nothing is objectively wrong, and some atheists figure I must be a member of ISIS.....Facepalm

You should read Alasdair Macintyre After Virtue, that paints the history here, as to why much of modern moral discourse is incoherent, following the death of teleological beliefs. It will give you a good history of why the wishy-washiness, and confusion that plagues 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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28-03-2016, 09:24 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-03-2016 08:03 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(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.

Ignore what fact? That people mistakenly believe in objective morality? Consider

So what if there is an illusion of objectivity? That is not the point of the discussion.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-03-2016, 10:59 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-03-2016 09:24 AM)Chas Wrote:  Ignore what fact? That people mistakenly believe in objective morality? Consider

So what if there is an illusion of objectivity? That is not the point of the discussion.

The point of our discussion, was for you to articulate why subjective is an inadequate term when it comes to morality, but not other categories commonly deemed as subjective.

But I went ahead and provided an answer to that question myself, as to why referring to morality as subjective is misleading, because unlike when we speak of our musical preference were we all acknowledge they're subjective, when it comes to morality our language, and beliefs are saturated by beliefs that morality is objective.

While you on the other hand, avoided providing an answer to that question at every turn, and just continued to be wishy-washy.

"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, 12:55 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-03-2016 08:03 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(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.

Well said.

My guess is that most of us are taught that morality is objective as children. Parents typically don't tell kids to avoid certain behaviors because they are not in line with their preferences. They tell them that certain behaviors are wrong, no if's, and's, or but's about it. Kids are told that stealing is wrong, as if it were a fact. Thinking about morality as subjective requires a certain amount of unlearning and a restructuring of how we think about it.
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28-03-2016, 01:16 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-03-2016 08:13 AM)epronovost Wrote:  
(28-03-2016 04:05 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  



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?

Well, I agree with Singer and Dawkins that there's nothing special about humans, we're just smart apes, but I disagree in that I don't think morality has to do with wellbeing. If morality was about maximizing wellbeing and minimizing suffering, we could never justify enslaving horses, having zoos, eating meat, etc. Even if you exclude nonhuman animals, we could never have justification for luxuries like vacations, nice homes, and nice cars, while so much of the world doesn't have even their most basic needs fulfilled. I can sympathize with people and animals. While you're right in that the animals can't speak, I think it's a safe assumption that they don't want to be killed or tortured, and I'm not at all against making laws that lessen the torture and killing of certain animals. I just want people to be clear that it really comes down to preference though.
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28-03-2016, 01:38 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-03-2016 12:55 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  My guess is that most of us are taught that morality is objective as children. Parents typically don't tell kids to avoid certain behaviors because they are not in line with their preferences. They tell them that certain behaviors are wrong, no if's, and's, or but's about it. Kids are told that stealing is wrong, as if it were a fact. Thinking about morality as subjective requires a certain amount of unlearning and a restructuring of how we think about it.

I don't think that's really the case either, but rather we're predisposed to taking that as a given, and if anything we have to be taught morality is subjective rather than vice versa. It seems to be intuitively true even if it's not, and I think there's a variety of studies in support of this, studies of children, etc....

Perhaps it's primarily based on our strong feelings. Like a mother as a result of her biological dispositions feels a strong bond to her child, a need to protect that child, she doesn't see this as a choice she can opt out of, but feels so strongly towards this, that it feels like a real obligation, her duty, her purpose, one she didn't chose for herself.

Perhaps empathy has a considerable part in this as well, to see ourselves in other people shoes, that when we understand the things we don't like others to do to us, by our ability to relate and empathize we see it as things that shouldn't be done to others, naturally deriving oughts from an is, even if it's all just an illusion. It's why it's common for parents, to appeal to the "how would you feel if that was done to you", where the connection that it ought not be done to others, requires no separate acknowledgement. We at some intuitive level believe this is true, even if it's false, without needing to be indoctrinated to it.

Perhaps thats also why we tend to appeal to othering, scapegoating etc.. to justify brutal actions, to see the slave as less than human etc.... to make them unrelatable.

Add this to the fact that we're story telling creatures, and not just story telling creatures, but the sort prone to imagine that our lives, our communities are a part of a story as well. That every thing just neatly falls into place, as result of being animals with a language to articulate their predicament, even in ways that deceive us.

"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, 04:23 PM (This post was last modified: 28-03-2016 04:26 PM by Chas.)
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-03-2016 10:59 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(28-03-2016 09:24 AM)Chas Wrote:  Ignore what fact? That people mistakenly believe in objective morality? Consider

So what if there is an illusion of objectivity? That is not the point of the discussion.

The point of our discussion, was for you to articulate why subjective is an inadequate term when it comes to morality, but not other categories commonly deemed as subjective.

But I went ahead and provided an answer to that question myself, as to why referring to morality as subjective is misleading, because unlike when we speak of our musical preference were we all acknowledge they're subjective, when it comes to morality our language, and beliefs are saturated by beliefs that morality is objective.

While you on the other hand, avoided providing an answer to that question at every turn, and just continued to be wishy-washy.

Thank you for clarifying your meaning. However, I don't agree at all.

Calling morality subjective on the same level as calling simple matters of taste subjective is dismissive of the difference between preferring pepperoni pizza and preferring to punish pedophiles.

This is not complicated.


Pro tip: Fuck off with the 'wishy-washy'. It indicates you lack reading comprehension skills.

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29-03-2016, 08:18 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-03-2016 04:23 PM)Chas Wrote:  Thank you for clarifying your meaning. However, I don't agree at all.

Calling morality subjective on the same level as calling simple matters of taste subjective is dismissive of the difference between preferring pepperoni pizza and preferring to punish pedophiles.

This is not complicated.

Punishing people for their subjective preferences, doesn't mean that labeling those preferences as subjective is inadequate. In some countries you risk being punished for eating a pepperoni pizza, for the music and movies you choose to listen to, or the clothes you were, etc....

"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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29-03-2016, 07:54 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(29-03-2016 08:18 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(28-03-2016 04:23 PM)Chas Wrote:  Thank you for clarifying your meaning. However, I don't agree at all.

Calling morality subjective on the same level as calling simple matters of taste subjective is dismissive of the difference between preferring pepperoni pizza and preferring to punish pedophiles.

This is not complicated.

Punishing people for their subjective preferences, doesn't mean that labeling those preferences as subjective is inadequate.

Yeah, it does. There is more to morality than simple preference.

Quote:In some countries you risk being punished for eating a pepperoni pizza, for the music and movies you choose to listen to, or the clothes you were, etc....

So? That has nothing to do with anything. Law and morality are not the same things.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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30-03-2016, 06:28 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(29-03-2016 07:54 PM)Chas Wrote:  \

Yeah, it does. There is more to morality than simple preference.

I already pointed out that the more here is a matter of the beliefs that morality is objective, effecting our moral language and views.

Yet you don't seem to agree with this, and have yet to substantiate what the more is.

You pointed out punishment, though as I pointed out you can be punished for other subjective preferences as well. It doesn't make them any more than preferences, regardless of the consequences of having them.

"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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