Moral absolutes
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29-01-2016, 04:56 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
..............hang on a minute
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29-01-2016, 05:02 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 01:29 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(28-01-2016 12:32 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  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.

Are you saying that there could be a situation where raping an adult is a lesser evil than torturing a child?


Absolutely? I cannot, honestly, rule out the possibility of such a situation. It would probably involve a contrived situation created by a Shakespearean level villain as part of a sadistic revenge plot, but I imagine it is possible.

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29-01-2016, 05:09 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
I'm all for laws and government and rules and such, but the idea of "real" morality is absurd. First of all, morality CAN'T only be about the wellbeing of humans. Virtually everyone is disgusted by modern American farming practices (when they see it), and I would bet that 99% of moral realists would agree that treatment of animals is very much a moral issue. The problem is, if morality is real, then there are right and wrong answers to moral questions. Questions that we KNOW have no right or wrong answer. Such as, should we eat animals? If so, which ones should we eat? Should we eat plants, if so which ones? Should we be allowed to own dogs and cats? What about zoos? What about holding certain animals in captivity because they would otherwise be extinct? Should we attempt to keep certain animals from going extinct? Should abortion be legal? If so, how many days into the pregnancy is the cutoff point for abortions? Should we be allowed to capture horses, "break" them, and use them as slaves?

Anyone who believes in moral realism, believes there are right and wrong answers to these questions, and that is complete absurdity. We just make up the rules as we go folks, get over it. Times change...one day it is immoral for a woman to show her ankles in public, and on another day, it's perfectly moral for a woman to go about in a bikini. How can you not see that we just make this shit up?
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29-01-2016, 06:49 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 08:32 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  I disagree on the rape being the most morally correct choice. It might be the less heinous choice but it is never moral.

You're missing the point. In a situation where there are no good choices the moral thing to do would be to choose the action that causes the least harm. That could mean that rape is the most morally correct choice to make. The least heinous choice is the most morally correct choice no matter how bad that choice may be when evaluated in isolation.

That does NOT make the act of rape good. It just means that you can't claim "do not rape" is a moral absolute. There are no moral absolutes. It all depends on the specific situation and the goal of your moral system.

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29-01-2016, 07:33 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2016 08:56 AM by Heatheness.)
RE: Moral absolutes
(29-01-2016 12:13 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(28-01-2016 08:32 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  ...
I disagree on the rape being the most morally correct choice. It might be the less heinous choice but it is never moral. Your words were "lesser evil" I acquiesce to evil, though I don't believe in evil, because I consider you chose that for want of a better word but I will not agree to more or less moral. Both are immoral and that one is more or less heinous might be true, neither are the more or less moral. IMO

My 2 pennies-worth, if you don't might my intrusion...

The word 'absolute' implies a scale. Scale implies gradients.

Absolutely Immoral ------------------------- Morally Neutral ------------------------- Absolutely Moral
-------------------------<------------ Less Moral -------------> <------------ More Moral ------------->-------------------------

Any scale requires an axiology or framework e.g. temperature.

I think you are using Human Well-being as that axiology and you are placing certain acts i.e. rape on the far right of the above diagram.

A nihilist (such as Matt or myself) would argue that given that the universe (or multiverse) doesn't actually give a shit about human well-being (or anything else) it's all kinda meaningless and there are therefore no absolutes.

To avoid the Emo pitfall of despondency, i.e. to find meaning in this mean and meaningless world where life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short", where one accepts nihilism as an 'is', one has to say "Fuck it! How are we best going to live together before the Big Crunch / Heat Death / (pick your preferred end-theory)"... let's invent some 'oughts'.

These 'oughts' have been argued since before Plato (when rape wasn't such a big deal btw ... just property damage) and will continue to be argued over, I hope, until a god shows up or the universe dies.

One can say that rape is objectively wrong but only once a scale of right/wrong (or good/evil or nice/nasty or pleasure/pain etc.) has been established and even then without the benefit of gods or hindsight, we don't actually know for sure.

Who knows, if a male T-rex hadn't been turned on by the smell of his best mate's mate and had his way with her, he might have noticed that small mammal hiding the grass who was our great-great-great... great-great-grand mother.

Again, who knows, maybe in the long run, the planet might have been better off had that mammal been lunch.

Now there's a cheery thought.

Undecided

No I don't mind you jumping in and thanks for the information. I am not a nihilist. I do think there is a purpose for life, it's survival and morality is a construct of the purpose. Our species found, as many do, that survival was enhanced by group support and that group support was enhanced by rules of behavior and social order directed for the common good. It didn't just make us stronger, it made us the top of the food chain. Morality as a social glue for enhanced survival worked.

I am not a philosopher nor do I have experience at arguing philosophical arguments but I do not subscribe to a position of more or less moral on a sliding scale. I can subscribe to the acts themselves being more or less horrific or heinous but the mental gymnastics of assigning a value to decision making processes of moral choice is not in agreement with my world/social view. If it causes harm and there is a "victim" then it is not moral even if the majority does not give credence to the victims' harm. Morality is not majority rule, even though laws and punishments about morality are majority driven, IMO.

mo·ral·i·ty. [məˈralədē] NOUN

1.principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
synonyms: ethics · rights and wrongs · ethicality · virtue · goodness ·
a particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society: "a bourgeois morality"
•the extent to which an action is right or wrong:
"behind all the arguments lies the issue of the morality of the possession of nuclear weapons"

I highlighted the point I'm making in that "held by a specific person" is a point of morality, so if even one person assess harm, even if it's not the victim, then harm has been done and it's not a moral act. You see this in discussions currently when people talk of the burka and burka wearing women state they choose it for themselves, especially in a country where they have the right not to wear it, the argument is that they are indoctrinated so deeply they are incapable of making a distinction between what they may want and what their indoctrination has conditioned them to want, like Stockholm Syndrome victims. Many perceive them as victims even though they do not claim victimhood.

I know this is a B&W position and many may not agree or consider it valid but I'll own it. It is my view.

(okay, I'm done. Now please stop making me slap my two old brain cells together. I'm tired. Tongue )

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29-01-2016, 08:47 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2016 09:04 AM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Moral absolutes
Heatheness,

How would you go about answering the moral questions I posed in post #33? (Are there answers to such questions?)
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29-01-2016, 08:50 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2016 08:56 AM by Heatheness.)
RE: Moral absolutes
(29-01-2016 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(28-01-2016 08:32 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  I disagree on the rape being the most morally correct choice. It might be the less heinous choice but it is never moral.

You're missing the point. In a situation where there are no good choices the moral thing to do would be to choose the action that causes the least harm. That could mean that rape is the most morally correct choice to make. The least heinous choice is the most morally correct choice no matter how bad that choice may be when evaluated in isolation.

That does NOT make the act of rape good. It just means that you can't claim "do not rape" is a moral absolute. There are no moral absolutes. It all depends on the specific situation and the goal of your moral system.

*****sorry, I messed up. See post below.****

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29-01-2016, 08:54 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(29-01-2016 08:50 AM)Heatheness Wrote:  
(29-01-2016 06:49 AM)unfogged Wrote:  You're missing the point. In a situation where there are no good choices the moral thing to do would be to choose the action that causes the least harm. That could mean that rape is the most morally correct choice to make. The least heinous choice is the most morally correct choice no matter how bad that choice may be when evaluated in isolation.

That does NOT make the act of rape good. It just means that you can't claim "do not rape" is a moral absolute. There are no moral absolutes. It all depends on the specific situation and the goal of your moral system.

I'm not missing the point, I disagree with it. I think we'll have to call it on that.

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29-01-2016, 09:53 AM
RE: Moral absolutes
(29-01-2016 08:54 AM)Heatheness Wrote:  
(29-01-2016 08:50 AM)Heatheness Wrote:  I'm not missing the point, I disagree with it. I think we'll have to call it on that.

OK, I will leave it at my not seeing a difference between "the least heinous option available", "the least immoral option available", and "the most moral option available". You seem to be unwilling to grant that the least immoral possible act in a given situation is, by definition, the most moral possible act in that same situation. I do not accept that it is possible to judge the morality of any action apart from the circumstances and intentions involved.

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29-01-2016, 02:57 PM
RE: Moral absolutes
(28-01-2016 12:32 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  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.

Well, in this case we'll say that the child is beaten, raped, all teeth pulled with pliers, fingernails pulled out with pliers, genitals mutilated, burned all over with acid, acid in the eyes, skin peeled off and then salt poured on the open wound, for months and months. You know, torture.

Yes, I would rather see a woman raped than see this happen to a child.

Any chance you could address post #33?
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